Looking back over the years I served as a litigation paralegal, there were a few things that would constantly happen at work that used to drive me completely insane. If you are considering attending paralegal school or researching the paralegal field for a possible career switch, please pay attention.
Daily tasks that drove me insane (in no particular order):
- Lawyer to paralegal: “_____ is coming in to meet with me in five minutes. Can you have the contract, all the documents that have been produced by all parties, and our firm’s file ready for review?”
- “Out of an abundance of caution” tasks. This is lawyer-speak that translates to “I don’t know what the hell to do, so we’re just going to do everything and see if something sticks.” Nothing like spinning around in circles all day long because your boss is an incompetent moron!
- “I need you to do this ASAP!” You practically have to keep a spreadsheet so you can keep track of all your ASAP projects and the reasons why nothing is getting done on them (which actually involves a second sub-page spreadsheet of the ASAP projects that bumped the lesser ASAP projects).
- Constantly rescheduling events that should go forward except for the fact that the lawyer just isn’t in the mood anymore.
- They don’t like to give instructions, yet if you don’t do something (that they think you should intuitively know to do) that they never actually told you to do, you will catch hell for it.
- They are completely incapable of answering your emails or in-person questions. Usually, just lead with the most critical question, because no way have I ever seen a lawyer answer a two or three part email question.
- They will interrogate you in front of co-workers until you start to squirm or stutter. This could go on for awhile, so never ever go to work without eating a big breakfast.