Pastries are highly functional office accessories. But with hundreds of pastries to choose from, what is best for building a modern practice? We’ve studied this issue and have talked with dozens of attorneys who think about it carefully every day. Most attorneys mention donuts as the workhorses of law firm nutrition and morale. We agree. But while some of our choices may spark controversy in the profession, here are our top five donuts to consider for a contemporary practice.
Raised Glazed. These are the classics and exude confidence and a solid practice foundation. We don’t have a lot more to say about these standard bearers, other than they generally come in plain, chocolate, and maple. Avoid bubble gum and most artificially-flavored fruit glazes.
Sprinkled. If you are looking to shake things up in the office or want to brand your firm as vogue, drop a few sprinkled donuts into the mix. Depending on your locale and the donut shop, you may also be able to find theme-related sprinkled donuts. Recent color themes we’ve seen include the Pittsburgh Steelers, Spongebob Squarepants, and West’s Federal Reporters.
Plain Cake. While not our favorite, plain cake donuts are a solid choice for a meeting with insurance counsel or if you have ERISA clients coming in for an appointment. Forewarn staff, however, not to take a bite of a plain cake donut and then put it back. Attorneys have lost clients from half-eaten or picked-over donuts, the majority of them plain cake.
Cruller. A cruller is a fancy name for a donut that looks like a truck tire. Use the cruller wisely and, in most cases, refer to it as donut. If, however, your want to demonstrate that you have civilized Occidental street cred, refer to it as a cruller or even incorrectly as a beignet, making sure to distinguish it from the more common “donuts” available. For a nice touch, ask your office barista to make cafe macchiatos to accompany any crullers.
Specialty Donuts. If you need to distinguish yourself from other attorneys who are using donuts to modernize their practices, consider splurging a little and offering specialty donuts. While some specialty donuts are more pastry than donut, don’t let that dissuade you from including them in your brand and marketing strategy. Best bets? Elephant ears, bear claws, donut holes, and long johns. The apple fritter also deserves mention because of its dense flavor, somewhat chewy dough and body, and its wonderful earthy hint of fruit and cinnamon. But don’t overdo it, as specialty donuts are expensive and could devastate your budget if you fail to watch the bottom line.
Finally, a word to the wise. Avoid cream or jelly-filled donuts unless you offer them to opposing counsel or a deponent, with no other choices. Jelly-filled donuts are too messy for the office and are known to jam fax machines and clog dictaphones if eaten improperly. That aside, donuts remain a critical component of a successful practice. While globalization has substantially increased your firm’s pastry choices, stick to the donut as a means to build a successful and contemporary practice. It won’t let you down.
BRIAN TANNEBAUM says
This is my first comment on this insipid blog, and I must say I am troubled over your lack of concern for the health of lawyers, specifically lawyers like me who are diabetic. I find your post intentionally insensitive to those who cannot partake in the round creation of artery filling chemicals and “sprinkles, and I demand that a follow up post advise of alternative foods such as celery, rice cakes, and sugar free candies. While I am not one of those lawyers who were forced at gun point to attend law school based on the promise of wealth, I fear I may, as a result of this post, run out and “grab a dozen” (which is probably 13 – one free) by virtue of your irresponsibility.
GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY
C. Hank Peters says
First, thanks for reading. Normally, most people bookmark our posts for later review. Second, our apologies for overlooking the so-called “diabetic lawyer.” We were unaware that there are lawyers who are diabetic, but now we know. That said, a simple solution would be to scrape the glaze off the donut to reduce the sugar content. If that is not a good option, eating donut holes instead of donuts may work well. If that’s still not a solution, donuts may not be a good option for the diabetic lawyer, and we’d recommend more traditional pastries, such as the Ho Ho or the Honey Bun. I can ask Amy to follow up with a post about alternative nutrition for lawyers, though she seems to have dropped off the planet lately. Or maybe that’s just our misperception based on our constant monitoring of Twitter.
Lincoln Newberry says
I visited a law firm once because of a domestic disturbance dispute. The firm had a bunch of donuts…probably about 3 or 4 dozen. It was very overwhelming and I started to hyper-ventilate. There was also a vending machine by the lobby where they stocked those little Hostess 6-pack things.
C. Hank Peters says
Sounds like a positive experience, though we’re confused by the need for the vending machine. Fresh is best, as they say, and that applies equally to donuts. Thanks for your input. We’ll be sending you a dozen chocolate glazed next week.