I work as a legal assistant in a small (<10 assoc.) patent law firm; the firm is extremely profitable and well-managed. There is absolutely no room for pettiness; it is the most professional atmosphere I have worked in or even imagined. There is no backbiting by assistants or attorneys over anything, let alone about titles or who's job is better. The firm is most profitable when it runs like an oiled machine and there is no room for ego in that machine. If an associate started abusing the assistants to inflate their ego, they would be making the machine inefficient and they won't make partner and they know it. The assistants know that if they don't get along with the associates, then it is they who are slowing down the machine and if that happens, they're out too.A lot of people on this forum seem to think that a "top" law firm is some V50 ranking. The truth is, a top firm is a profitable firm where the machine is well run and the atmosphere is enjoyable to work in. At our firm, the attorneys and the assistants talk about science, literature, art--there's no room for talking about who's job is better and bringing it up would be a huge, unimaginable faux pas. So there it is for you: if you find yourself in a firm where it is even imaginable to talk about or engage in some of the pettiness expressed in this thread, you don't work in a top firm and you should shop your resume.
Hello everyone, I donít know if this is the right forum for this or if anyone knows, but I was wondering if anyone had been or had considered being a paralegal. If anyone was a former paralegal or a current one, why are you now considering law school? My main concern about paralegals is that I donít want to be a pee-on for some lawyer at a firm and do most of their work while they get all the credit. Any feedback
Quote from: chocolatedlux56 on February 28, 2006, 10:39:27 AMHello everyone, I donít know if this is the right forum for this or if anyone knows, but I was wondering if anyone had been or had considered being a paralegal. If anyone was a former paralegal or a current one, why are you now considering law school? My main concern about paralegals is that I donít want to be a pee-on for some lawyer at a firm and do most of their work while they get all the credit. Any feedbackdifference: AT LEAST $50,000
Being new to this forum, I was interested to read this thread that was revived. I was a paralegal for 18 years in medium and large firms. I also taught paralegal courses as an adjunct instructor at two local colleges. When I first started out, I was asked in interviews how many words a minute I could type (not many) and did I know shorthand (no! anad some of you may not even know what shorthand is). Those firms needed a secretary and that wasn't me. I never thought of it as "just a job". I've been fortunate to work with great attorneys and learn fundatmentals from them. Through my career (notice I didn't say "jobs"), I worked in a lot of different areas and gained experience in real estate, worker's compensation, personal injury, complex litigation, RICO actions, fraud cases and employment discrimination. I had all the stress that the attorneys had and put in plenty of overtime. I worked myself into a great niche and with the last firm I worked in, I prepared cases for mediation/arbitration and trial and put together the presenations that were used to present our case. I sat in ADR and trial and worked closely with the attorney and client. There were many times I was in the office or working when the attorney wasn't. So to say that a paralegal inevitably works less hours depends on the kind of work that s/he does. I worked with some who were strict 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and that was it. I was accepted to law school 10 years ago, but it wasn't the right time for me. (My brother was fighting cancer and in that period of time, I had my own severe health problems to deal with). Now is a good time for me and I'm headed to the Class of 2012. And you know what? All the years in my paralegal career have prepared me and will make me a better attorney. Because of the exposure I've gained, I know exactly what area of law I want to practice and what I don't, I know what to expect day-to-day, and I know how to treat a staff.