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The Montana Estate Lawyer

Saturday, July 12, 2014

We've Lost Margaret

Keith’s mom, Margaret, died last month at the age of 92.  Margaret worked in our office for 21 years as Bill Scott’s secretary.  She  reluctantly retired just a few years ago at age 87.

Margaret went back to work at age 63.  She hadn’t worked in an office for 30 years.  She was used to manual typewriters and carbon paper.  Xerox copiers and electric typewriters?  Personal computers?!  She had to master a lot of new technology at an age when many people are retiring.  She did master it: Word, Quickbooks, the works.

In addition to being Bill Scott’s legal secretary, Margaret served as the office bookkeeper and, really, the office manager.  I don’t care whose name was on the door or who had the law license.  She approached her work with just as much elbow grease, intelligence and care as any lawyer.

It’s not really fair to say she was a secretary.  Diploma or not she was a paralegal.  In another day and age Margaret would have been a lawyer herself.  That’s how she approached her job.  Come early, stay late.  Work weekends.  Draft documents accurately and make sure they look professional.  Do whatever she could for the client.   Get to know the client and their family.  Take a real interest in them and their problems.

Bill Scott was not an easy boss.  He was demanding and sometimes brusque.  He was also out of the office a lot in later years.  So, he would meet with a client, tell Margaret to take over and then head for the lake.  When he returned he expected everything to be ready.  Very little “mentoring.”  She was on her own.  If it wasn’t right, he’d let her know.  If it was done right, well, that’s what we expect, so let’s move on.

We’ve got a great team in our office right now.  But it sure would be good to have Margaret back helping us out.  Keith misses his mom.  We all miss her as a big part of what made our law firm what it is today.


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