I’m no mystery shopper, but I can still report on the bad attitude of some law firm IT support staff. 

I visit many law firms as a consultant, conference attendee, or friend. Two incidents are small but telling. At one firm, three visitors, all using different brand PCs, could not use the wifi signal. An IT support person said (nicely) that our machines must be at fault (in so many words). And the likelihood of that is? He later sheepishly informed us a router re-boot had fixed the previously denied problem.

At another firm, I could not send e-mail messages. I suggested to a tech that perhaps the firm’s firewall was the issue. Oh, no, that cannot be I was told (nicely), it must be your machine (in so many words). Later that day, a network engineer told me that indeed the firewall blocks outgoing SMTP mail.

I am dismayed that first-line IT staff blames users. Even if the user makes a mistake, blame is not appropriate. Lawyers are decision makers and if they get bad or condescending tech help, they are less likely to support strategic technology investments. Large firms CIOs who want to achieve bigger goals should make sure they have the basics covered.