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Reading out-of-office messages can be a well-deserved diversion, amusement, or learning experience. Most are pretty dry — but others will make you laugh out loud — and teach you how you might spiff yours up a bit.

Our favorite 6 are:

You can find me in court winning a case for my client. I may be delayed in my response. Please contact…

I am out of the office looking for a new job. Please contact me at the following personal email address. If you know of something suitable, I won’t be back.

It’s lunchtime. I am at my home office today and am downstairs eating my lunch. I do not bring my devices with me when I eat lunch. I will return at 2 PM Pacific time.

My family told me I could not go more than a day without checking my emails and phone. I am going to prove to my 2 teenagers they are wrong. Please contact… while I am winning my bet. I will be back online on MM/DD/YY.

I am flat-out preparing for a trial. It takes all my energy — and I will devote the same energy to your case when the time comes. Please contact…

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office on a pitch. Wish me luck. Please contact…

The responses are drafted by the individuals behind the email. Most firms suggest language for their attorneys. And a number of attorneys view it as just that — a suggestion and opt for their own.

A small number of firms don’t use out-of-office messages to offer the appearance of being always available. These firms have protocols to ensure the emails are reviewed and receive a response on a timely basis.

Clients may enjoy a clever OOO message — but only if it includes when you will be available, who to contact, or other alternate actions. Clients (and most readers) want certainty as to where and when — and are happy to wait for reasonable time frames or talk to your alternates. They want closure and direction. And this specificity adds one more component to proving how client-centric you are.

Best in the market ahead.

The Mad Clientist

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