Lessons from Betty Halbreich

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I am currently reading Betty Halbreich’s memoir I’ll Drink to That. In her memoir, Ms. Halbreich recounts her life, from pampered high society lady to Bergdorf Goodman’s famous personal shopper. Ms. Halbreich began working at Bergdorf Goodman after leaving her husband in her forties. At 86, she has spent four decades working at Bergdorf Goodman and continues working there till this day.

In her memoir, she describes her childhood during the Depression, her move to New York city, and her moments with her clients. Ms. Halbreich’s clients include many powerful women, such as former first lady Ms. Ford, Hilary Clinton, and the deceased Joan Rivers. Ms. Halbreich writes about her attitude towards personal shopping:

I wasn’t beyond letting a client walk out empty-handed…I’m not in the business of stuffing closets with useless items- indeed, my motto is this: I don’t dress closets. I don’t come to work to create fashion plates either. My role is to offer people permission: to be catered to individually, to treat themselves to something beautiful, to be important, to feel better.

Lawyers can learn from her and tilt their attitude towards mimicking Ms. Halbreich’s attentiveness. Better service is not just good business. According to LawPro, it is crucial to avoiding malpractice claims.

 

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