L.A. Firm Now Employs Attorney Concierge

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A concierge for its attorneys, that is, not an attorney who used to be a concierge.

Most of us will be familiar with the role of a concierge because of that Michael J. Fox movie where he plays one, which used to be on TBS all the time.  For those who haven’t seen that movie, a "concierge" is a person, usually a hotel employee, who specializes in assisting others.  According to Les Clefs d’Or USA ("The Golden Keys"), the U.S. branch of the international union of hotel concierges,

Clefs d’Or concierges will accommodate every guest request so long as it is morally, legally, and humanly possible. Their services run the gamut from the mundane to the extraordinary, yet each request is fulfilled with vigor to the guest’s full satisfaction.  Clefs d’Or concierges handle all duties with zeal: mail and messages, recommendations and reservations, travel and meeting planning, personal shopping and professional communications. They are also supreme social advisors, business expediters, and personal confidantes.

According to Les Clefs d’Or, there are two schools of thought as to the origin of the word "concierge."  Some say the word derives from the French comte des cierges, or "keeper of the candles," the title given during feudal times to the palace official who was in charge of catering to visiting nobility, such as by giving them candles.  Some say it comes from conservus, a Latin word for "slave".  (Members of Les Clefs d’Or prefer the other one.)

The Recorder reported on November 8 that the firm of Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine and Regenstreif now employs two concierges to run errands and accommodate other requests for its busy attorneys.  According to the Recorder, last week’s agenda included the following:

  • Fresh-cooked breakfast
  • On-site massages and manicures
  • Getting tickets to see Blue Man Group
  • Picking up dry cleaning
  • Finding a Halloween costume
  • Preventing associates from talking to the FBI
  • Arranging oil changes
  • Getting auto-repair quotes
  • Preventing Blue Man Group from talking to the FBI
  • Delivering a tuxedo
  • Arranging scuba-diving accidents
  • Making bank deposits

Okay, I made up two or three of those.  But they obviously do a lot of useful stuff.

Partners at Liner Yankelevitz were quoted as saying that the service is expensive but is worth it because it raises productivity and employee spirits, as well as being good for retention and recruiting.  Said Patricia Oliver, a recent Heller Ehrman refugee, "It feels like a place of healing.  When I see my friends from Heller, they say ‘You look completely different: relaxed and happy.’"

A law firm described as a "place of healing" that offers personal assistants and has "Mr. Sunshine" as a named partner?  That is either the most diabolical lie I’ve ever heard, or a great place to work.

Link: The Recorder
Link: The Sunshine Firm