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Author Topic: Runner - what is the role in a firm?  (Read 7434 times)

BigRig

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Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« on: April 14, 2006, 11:41:57 AM »
Can anyone offer a typical job description and/or comments on the position. Would it be worth doing over the summer? I am sure it won't pay much more than McDonald's, but I am willing to leave my salary position early because I have never worked in a legal environment and want to move to Tallahassee early (buying a place); it seems like these are the only positions I will be able to get considering I'm pre-law, have no legal experience, and will only be working a few months.
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prestigesq

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2006, 11:45:40 AM »
Copy these five thousand pages checking for double sided statements.  Take these boxes of files to storage.  Run to the cafeteria and grab me a Red Bull.  Bring my clubs to my car. 

mccapj2

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2006, 11:52:46 AM »
I am a runner at a law firm right now.  I don't think if you are already in law school that it is worth it from a learning experience point of view.  The only things I learn are by reading different documents I am copying and things like that.  You are the lowest person in the firm and everybody else tells you what to do.  You make up for the laziness of other people and get blamed for mistakes that the legal assistants make.

WfPck05

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006, 11:55:08 AM »
I was a runner at a firm during undergrad and my main job was running docs to the court house and to clients across the state for original signatures.  Of course, I also had to answer phones sometimes, file and pull files make photocopies.

AaronChris_24

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006, 11:59:16 AM »
Copy these five thousand pages checking for double sided statements.  Take these boxes of files to storage.  Run to the cafeteria and grab me a Red Bull.  Bring my clubs to my car. 

I couldn't put it any better myself.

I was a law firm runner all throughout my college days, part-time during school and full-time in the summers. As the name implies it is a lot of running around. I did everything from filing stuff at the courthouse, taking documents to other offices, making copies, grabbing lunch, driving lawyers to golf tournaments, buying beer, sorting the mail and any other random ask that they could come up with. On the upside though if you do a good job and depending on the firm you work at you can get them to start giving you legal assistant/paralegal type jobs and work your way on up, especially if they know you will be a law student. But that just depends on the firm and the lawyers... as a runner you will probably have a better experience at a small law firm vs. biglaw where most lawyers probably wouldn't even know your name or care for that matter.

BigRig

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2006, 12:04:40 PM »
Thanks guys.

I very much understand that it will mostly involve grunt work and that I will be the lowest on the totem pole.  But here are my thoughts:

1) I don't have any legal experience whatsoever and this job will expose me to the day-to-day procedures of litigation/filing court docs/etc.

2) I will allow me to make some contacts in the Tallahassee legal community at a top firm.

3) It will allow me to move to a completely new area ahead of time (might be able to buy a condo/home), which bodes well for my case for residency.

I think it wouldn't hurt for a couple of months considering these circumstances. I am not making a lateral career move here.  Any thoughts?
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brooke

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2006, 01:57:01 PM »
I was a runner at a Tallahassee firm during my last 2 undergrad years.  It gave me a lot of experience simply because it was small, so the first year attorneys who had to share a legal assistant with their supervising attorneys would often give me jobs that were "above and beyond" the runner duties.  My suggestion is that if you do indeed do this, work for a small firm and whenever you aren't copying, clerking, sweeping, or running to the courthouses, ask one of the young lawyers "anything I can do?" and if they don't seem extra busy "do you have 5 minutes to teach me something that I can do to help you out?"  Otherwise, it will get mighty boring and redundant.  Especially if you have to Bates stamp or redact personal information from a 5,000 page case - my hands are starting to ache just remembering it!!  I made $8 an hour (in 1999, not bad for FL) and learned as much as I could about the legal world with no previous experience.  I learned where all the courthouses were and the difference between civil and criminal, district, state, federal, yadda yadda.
If I were you, I'd float my resume around to see if anyone will hire you as a summer legal secretary.  You never know, they could be hard up for people and you'd get much more experience as opposed to being a runner.  Of course, they may want someone who has some legal background, but you'd be under a legal assistant/paralegal anyways, so...
I'm a paralegal in NYC now (and my only experience before starting here was those 2 years in Tal.) for a solo-practitioner, so I know it's possible to find someone desperate for someone smart, even without the experience.

Esq Now

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2006, 03:49:02 PM »
BigRig -- I agree with both of these statements by previous posters:

"On the upside though if you do a good job and depending on the firm you work at you can get them to start giving you legal assistant/paralegal type jobs and work your way on up, especially if they know you will be a law student."

"I know it's possible to find someone desperate for someone smart, even without the experience."


My firm hires undergrads interested in law school all the time and starts them doing real grunt work.  But if they show interest, reliability, and intelligence, they quickly are given (relatively) more interesting jobs.  At the same time, you'll get a chance to experience law-firm life firsthand, which will give a little added info when you start applying for jobs as a lawyer.
Equity is crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

MotownSaint

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2006, 05:37:36 PM »
What's the proper way to "float" your resume around, anyway?

Call'em first to see if they have an interest and then send?

brooke

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Re: Runner - what is the role in a firm?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2006, 06:52:02 PM »
Motown - Yep.  That's how I did it.  I started alphabetically in the yellow pages and started cold-calling, asking if they were hiring and if not presently, could I send them my resume for the next time they were, etc.