With holiday season fast approaching, here's a list you'd better check twice: What Christmas gifts to buy for your support staff -- especially your legal secretary.
Let's face it, legal secretaries are often the most valuable players on any legal team. They juggle intake calls, scheduling, and legal document preparation -- all while dealing with some very difficult people. (That means you. And your opposing counsel. And your annoying attorney friends who stop by for unannounced, Mad Men-style happy hours.)
For these reasons and more, it's best not to be an office grinch when it comes to gift-giving. To help you out, here are five broad categories of gifts that your legal secretary won't object to receiving.
5. Gift baskets
If variety is the spice of life, then gift baskets are hot. They're big, they're bountiful, and they're also a breeze to order online. Many gift basket websites even offer same-day delivery -- a reprieve for lawyers who leave things to the last minute.
Gift baskets come in all shapes and sizes. You can order a highbrow selection of wine and cheese, a healthy selection of fresh-picked fruit, or a gluttonous grouping of chocolates and candy. Some websites even allow you to build custom gift baskets, so you can choose something you know your secretary will like.
4. Techie devices
In today's world, every legal secretary has to be tech-savvy. So why not get a gift that's user-friendly?
For convenience, you may consider getting your secretary a desktop charging station -- a single device that lets you charge multiple gadgets in one place.
You could also go practical and protective: Several companies are selling designer cases and shields that supposedly block cell phone radiation -- a way to stay stylish, while dialing back the risk of cancer.
3. Spa packages
What legal secretary -- female or male -- wouldn't enjoy a day at the spa? Your present could be as simple as a prepaid massage, or as elaborate as a package complete with a mudbath and hot stone therapy. Some spa chains offer gift certificates good for any location coast to coast, so your secretary can get pampered pretty much anywhere.
2. Cash or gift cards
Greenbacks are a gift that never goes out of style. But how much is appropriate? Internet chatter suggests that at least $100 is expected if you're giving out cash. Staff at larger firms, and in larger cities, may expect larger gifts.
You could also get your secretary a gift card -- not to a specific store, but from a major credit card company. This gives your legal secretary unlimited options, and gives you peace of mind that you're not forcing her to shop somewhere she hates.
1. A break -- or a raise!
Some things you just can't buy. But if you're an employer, you may be able to afford giving your secretary some extra time off.
In fact, two-thirds of women say they'd prefer more flex time instad of a raise, a recent survey by More magazine found.
If a break isn't possible, perhaps you can bump up your secretary's salary. After all, a bigger paycheck encourages loyalty and rewards hard work -- and it's also the one Christmas gift that can only come from you.