This year’s National Business Etiquette Week takes place June 2 through June 8. The week marks an opportunity for employees and employers to consider the importance of etiquette rules in the workplace. Following appropriate business etiquette is key for employees at every level in an organization. 

Take a closer look at how this etiquette can level up your firm.

Components of Effective Business Etiquette

The choices you make, the behaviors you reward, and the values you promote all play a role in forming your business’s code of conduct. This code, or etiquette, is unique to your business. However, in the legal industry, there are a few components that are often found in successful firms.


Your employees need not be best friends to function effectively. However, successful firms insist that employees treat one another with respect. Respect is more than interacting with someone courteously, though. It is also about acknowledging a person’s worth and dignity and treating them as they would like to be treated.

Respectful behavior begins during the interview and continues throughout the person’s employment. Employees can demonstrate respect by offering firm handshakes, looking into a person’s eyes when speaking to them, and addressing them with appropriate titles and pronouns.

Similarly, a lack of respect can manifest in many different ways. An employee may gossip about a fellow employee or develop a derogatory name for a difficult client. Employees who do not respect others may even harass their coworkers. If these employees do not respect you, they may disregard your rules and undermine your authority. Taking steps to address these issues early can make all the difference.


Communication is crucial in any team environment. It is essential that you know your team members have received their job assignments and understand them. Staying up-to-date on your team’s progress is especially important if they are working remotely and you cannot physically check up on them.

Valuing communication as part of your business etiquette does not mean your employees must speak eloquently or compose lengthy emails. Instead, good communication skills can mean:

  • Acknowledging receipt of a task or assignment
  • Providing regular updates on the status of projects
  • Proactively communicating delays to you or the project manager
  • Seeking clarification when instructions are not clear
  • Responding promptly to questions or requests 

Some industries may value restraint in communication, but successful firms favor employees who over-communicate, particularly when you manage remote employees. 

At Woven Legal, we encourage the professionals we work with to send virtual “nods” or acknowledgments that messages have been received — within an hour of receiving them. Even if the professional cannot address the matter immediately, most managers appreciate knowing their message has been read. 


Timeliness is critical in the legal industry. If a client’s petition or brief is not filed by the applicable deadline, the court may dismiss the entire case. While most employees in the legal industry would acknowledge the importance of punctuality, not all demonstrate a commitment to this part of business etiquette.

Employees who consistently arrive late or leave early might not be as dedicated to punctuality as a thriving firm requires. When considering a potential employee, consider the individual’s timeliness early on. If the employee shows up on time for the interview, chances are that they will deliver on-time results for you and your firm, too. 


Your clients trust you and your firm’s staff with some of their most private information. Anyone who works in the legal industry must, therefore, demonstrate confidentiality. Employees who share protected information about clients or cases with others can land you in legal and ethical trouble.

Scrutinize a potential hire’s resume and work history for evidence of confidentiality issues. Lack of lengthy experience in the legal industry can suggest a potential employee may need additional coaching and supervision on their responsibility to maintain confidentiality. 

You should also be wary of someone with a history of short periods of employment with employers who handle sensitive information. Further investigation could reveal that the individual has a history of being careless with confidential information.


A courteous employee maintains a positive attitude throughout the work day, even when encountering difficult clients and tasks. When employees make positivity a priority, the entire firm can benefit from a more pleasant environment.


Finally, successful firms encourage proactivity as part of their business etiquette. Proactivity is the practice of observing the firm’s state of affairs and anticipating tasks that will need to be completed soon. Rather than waiting to be asked to complete such tasks, the proactive employee will simply do them without being asked.

A proactive employee takes the time to learn their employer’s needs and ensures that their actions meet those needs. Instead of doing “busy work” to appear productive, a proactive employee’s actions help advance the firm’s goals meaningfully.

How to Develop Your Firm’s Business Etiquette Code

Your code of etiquette plays a vital role in shaping the work culture of your firm. You can take an active role in developing a culture grounded in effective etiquette by following these tips:

  • Model the behaviors and etiquette you want to see in your employees
  • Hire individuals with the same or similar values as you
  • Regularly train your workforce about your expectations
  • Praise employees who exhibit proper business etiquette
  • Take appropriate disciplinary actions against employees who undermine good etiquette practices

If your firm has existed for some time and you have not paid much attention to the culture or “code” by which it operates, it is not too late to turn over a new leaf. You can still establish a positive and productive business etiquette through conscious and meaningful decisions communicated clearly to your staff.

At Woven Legal, we complement your firm and its unique culture by connecting you with skilled support professionals who embody the practices and characteristics that matter most to you. Our remote paralegals, legal assistants, and other professionals consistently demonstrate the traits and values that can promote a thriving working environment in your firm. Ready to learn more about how the team at Woven Legal can set your firm up for success? Schedule your free discovery call with us to get started today.



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