In today’s digital world, it seems as if the proliferation of e-mail has made face-face meetings a rare occurrence. When someone does come to your office, however, most attorneys still seem to feel that dressing your best is the only way to go to make a good impression.

Regardless of your dress code, take a few minutes to tidy up your office to make a good first impression.

Your office makes a big first impression

Years ago, when I was in law school I made a concerted effort to do informational interviews with attorneys in town. The two things I can still remember about all of them are: (1) which attorneys were nice and helpful; and (2) how clean every attorney’s office was.

Frankly, an office in disarray might make more of an impression than your personality, depending on the state of your office and your personality type. Think about it, if you meet with a nice/boring person who operates out of a pig sty, what will you remember more?

Stacks of files imply more than being busy

I know some attorneys who think that having stacks of files in their office will prove to clients how busy they are. That is definitely one interpretation. It can also imply that you are disorganized, poor at multitasking, and spend more time looking for the right file than actually working on the file.

There are plenty of reasons to go paperless—being able to easily maintain a cleaner office is one of them. It is impossible to create stacks of paper if you have a paperless office—unless you have a giant stack of paper that needs to be scanned.

How you maintain your office can indicate to clients how you run your practice. Physical chaos probably means you have a frenetic personality. Unless that is what you are trying to portray, spend a few minutes organizing your office before your next meeting.