April Fool’s Pranks to Try With Your Law Firm

By March 20, 2018Uncategorized

April Fool’s Pranks to Try With Your Firm

A 500-lawyer firm distributed urine specimen cups to all associates.

The accompanying memo informed them of the firm’s tough new drug policy, and provided instructions to return the filled samples personally to the firm’s COO.  Many of them obligingly complied. It was a senior partner’s April Fool’s prank. I worked at that firm.

I love harmless pranks.  And April Fool’s Day is the perfect time to inject a bit of humor into law firms. We have so few opportunities.

When I was Marketing Partner at Ungaretti & Harris, I conducted annual anonymous April Fool’s pranks, including e.g. circulating Firm memos that (1) proudly proclaimed that we were going to be Chicago’s first full-service firm to advertise in the United Center bathrooms, (2) announced new personal fees to use the elevator, and (3) required formal attire on the weekends.

Most lawyers enjoyed the jokes.  A great many fell for them, vigorously complaining to the grinning Managing Partner.  “What’s the date on the memo?” he’d always ask.

Below are a few of these memos. Feel free to edit and use them with your own firms. 

———————-

MEMORANDUM

TO:                 All Attorneys

FROM:          Executive Committee

DATE:           April 1, 2018

RE:                 New [FIRM] United Center Advertising Vehicle

We are proud to announce that starting today, [FIRM] will become the first major law firm to advertise in the United Center restrooms.  In its brief history, the United Center has become known as one of the nation’s premier entertainment venues, offering a variety of sporting events, concerts and family shows.  Over 2.5 million attendees are projected to attend events at the United Center each year, a statistically significant number of whom may be in a position to purchase legal services.

With this in mind, we were intrigued by their newest advertising concept, 8-1/2” x 11” mini-billboards in all of the 100- and 300-level men’s and women’s restrooms.  We firmly believe that this is a cost-effective way to reach our audience in a distraction-free environment.  Unlike other forms of advertising, in this unique location our potential clients cannot change the channel, turn the page, scroll down, click “Back,” or in any other way tune out our message.  We will receive their undivided attention.

A United Center study illustrates the value of restroom advertising:

  • 88% awareness level of restroom billboards
  • 73% recall of one or more advertisements
  • 92% would use the product/service advertised on restroom billboards

Strategically placed in United Center lavatories, these Plexiglas-covered, fluid-resistant and tamper-proof mini-billboards have proven to be a successful medium at other similar venues.  While in a restroom during an event, potential clients will read our message in a distraction-free environment.  They are likely to be in a positive frame of mind associated with the energy and excitement of being at an NBA or NHL game, a major concert, or a family show, making them more receptive to reading and remembering our message.

When attending events with clients, please direct them to one of the facilities in which our advertising is placed.  You will be proud when they return with clean hands and a big smile on their face understanding what [FIRM] “stands” for.

Directions to the lavatories will be provided with the tickets.  Please contact [NAME] for more information.

———————-

MEMORANDUM

TO:                 All Attorneys

FROM:          Executive Committee

DATE:           April 1, 2018

RE:                 Elevator Usage

It has come to our attention that many of our 34th- and 36th-floor personnel are using the elevators to travel between these floors.  This usage has been brought to our attention by our building’s management who have advised us that the regular, recurrent stopping and starting takes a toll on the elevators, requiring more maintenance and electricity.  Over time, this will cause our rent expense to increase.

As the firm is approaching the time to renegotiate our long-term lease, this additional expense could be significant.  Therefore, the executive committee has elected to pass this added expense directly to those who use this service most actively.  The receptionists on 34 and 36 will be asked to record who uses the elevators most regularly.  At the end of each pay period, those individuals will be charged the pro rata amount relative to the increased usage.  Free rides will be provided to arrive and leave work, and for lunch.

We like to think of it similar to a tollbooth, where only those who actually benefit from the road are responsible to pay for its use and maintenance.  We believe it is much more equitable that way.  Further, it may encourage a few more smokers to quit, rather than having to pay for the privilege to cower on the sidewalk outside the building during their numerous surreptitious breaks.

Of course, in keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act, those with a legitimate doctor’s excuse will be exempt, as a reasonable accommodation.  Please contact your PCP who will refer you to a specialist in the network, or you can use your family physician if you are a member of the PPO.  Have the doctor write a note on a prescription form and send it to [NAME], who will clear it through our provider and the building management, as well as the management company’s health care provider.

Remember, using the stairs is an especially good way to stay in contact with your fellow [FIRM] personnel while en route to your next location, without wasting valuable time chatting.  And, exercise is fun!

———————-

MEMORANDUM

 

TO:                 All Attorneys

FROM:           Executive Committee

DATE:           April 1, 2018

RE:                 New Weekend Dress Code

We are pleased to announce that “Business Casual” has been a great success, with all personnel using care to abide by the general rules.  Further, our monthly billable hours have been steadily increasing recently, meaning more of our attorneys are in the office on weekends, oftentimes with clients.  Studies show that much of a client or customer’s impression of the competence and quality of its service providers are developed by the outward appearance of the environment, including the furnishings, plants, pictures, and the dress of its personnel.  Although Business Casual would appear to contradict this, it is sufficiently pervasive in the business environment that it is psychologically exempt.

Some clients have commented recently that although they appreciate our staffing the office to assist them on weekends, it would increase their comfort level with our firm if we had a more professional demeanor during these times.

Therefore, we are pleased to announce that effective immediately, formal business attire will be expected for all personnel on the weekends.  We know that you will appreciate the improvement in the professional attitude this will bring to the firm, and make your weekend apparel decisions easier as well.

Thank you for your assistance.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.

———————-

 

Leave a Reply