. . . since my secretary post continues to be a hot topic. First, for clarification, I am in a mid-sized firm. We have 15-20 attorneys and probably 25-30 support staffers.
I spoke with the office manager yesterday. I told her that I wanted to be clear on what was to be expected from my secretary and other support staff and who I should be asking to do what. I told her that I didn't want to report anyone or cause trouble, but that there were some things that my secretary seemed reluctant to do and that I wanted to make sure that I wasn't out of line in asking her to do these things.
The OM responded that the secretary is responsible for any task that I need her to do that is not billable (or personal--but I have never seen anyone give a secretary a personal task at my firm). If it is something that can be handled by the file clerks or service center, then it is her job to distribute these tasks and ensure that they are completed. But there is nothing that she is not supposed to do.
I made clear that I preferred to handle things for now, and the OM was in agreement. She said that she would step in later, if I needed her to.
At this point, my plan is to be much firmer with my secretary when asking her to do tasks and I will deal with any issues when they occur. I think that confronting her with a list of screw-ups from the last couple of weeks is just going to generate hostility. I should have called her on them immediately.
As for the evaluation--well I'm not going to say anything negative because I just don't think that's fair since I haven't said anything to her before.