I've been offering paralegal services here for about two weeks and had a nice client leave me feedback that sounded (read) like I had given legal advice. I am very aware of the boundaries and I always make it CRYSTAL CLEAR ( with caps) that I am not able to, and will not, offer any legal advice. Then, I DON'T offer legal advice but it is a constant boundary struggle with many clients, both virtual and the old fashioned kind. In this instance, I was consulting on a non-legal issue regarding the peformance of a GAL in a family matter with the client and the client's attorney so that they could discuss my input and make a decision for their case.
When I read the (very positive) feedback, I was shocked to see the implied message that I was offering legal advice and opted to respond to his feedback (I had aready left my own for the client) to make it clear I had provided a consult to the client and attorney
-Is there a better way to handle the seemingly inappropriate but well intentioned feedback; and
-does making use of the "response" trigger a ding to the JSS (which I don't have yet but coming soon)?
I'm wondering why, on the verge of getting a JSS, I haven't received the Rising talent bonus (keep the badge but I'll take the connects) and thinking that the use of that "response" feature dinged me. Any thoughts appreciated.
Welcome to Upwork and congrats on the early success. I'll let others here answer the first question but I can confirm, responding to feedback as you suggest won't negatively affect your JSS. It also doesn't play a role in achieving (or not achieving) Rising Talent status.
Thanks, Garnor. I was concerned that the use of the response might be flagged as an indication of negative feedback but, apparently, no worries! Must have been that first week when I didn't bother to complete the profile.....(he says, fishing for some insight into the mystery of the "badge" algorithms...)
You could send a message to the client explaining why the implication is not so good. Then, if he/she is understanding, you can enable them to change their feedback after you both agree on what would be more appropriate.
I considered that but had two concerns:
-it's hard enough to cajole them into leaving feedback the first time - who wants to do it twice?
- I worry about the appearance of trying to influence or bargain for a less than honest review. It seems that the feedback content is very important here in developing the trust required to land more and better jobs. I can only assume that less than scrupulous folks take this approach and I do not want to land in that category.
That said, I like the intent of that approach and maybe I can craft some language that suits the situation. Thanks!
Yes, I personally wouldn't do this. But the change feedback option is there should you care to use it.
The review doesn't necessarily have to be less than honest. I guess it depends on your approach. If you didn't give legal advice, all that needs to be done is to remove or reword the part that implies you did.
Hope it works out!
Maybe mention "paralegal services" in your profile?
Your overview only talks about being an attorney - I don't understand why you are surprised by the feedback.
Legal professional does not translate to paralegal.
Yikes! I haven't given that an overview since I threw it uo there the first day. I'm headed to change that up now - causing my own problems. I do make it clear in every proposal that I am not an attorney any more and won't be offering advice.
Explains some of the boundary problems, for sure. Thanks.
Ela, I made a couple quick changes to address the problem (I probably should start from scratch when time allows) and would be interested in your feedback if you have time to take a peek. I had in mind working only for licensed attorneys when I wrote that and didn't appreciate the consequences of working directly with clients while I wait for one of those steady professional relationships. Thanks again.
Update: Adjusted my profile by removing "former attorney" and "legal professional" phrases, added the "paralegal services" tag to the box. Got the badge today and, hopefully, a smoother and more accurate start of client relationships (although stats only revealed 2 hits that week so not sure of the impact). Thanks for the help!