Yeah right, paralegals are the ones who goof up all the time (isn’t that what’s expected out of every amateur?). But here, what one needs to get their head around is you’ve got to take care of your own slip-ups – fall on your sword when you fail to hit that filing, stay up late and sort out the contract that you’ve screwed up!
Now you might think you can be a bit laidback when it comes to taking in hand the errors made by attorneys of your firm. But you know what… it’s you who has to put up with their mistakes, as well.
Since legal slip-ups are legion, without them you won’t really have any bad attorneys. And without having one to get the better of, where would all the good lawyers go (now that’s something you’ve got to think about!)?
However, what most paralegals don’t pay heed to is, not every blunder made by the attorney falls under legal nature – after all, even they’re human beings. But no matter what, the liability is always put on the paralegal to pick up the slack and clean up the mess!
In this article, we’ve mentioned five instances where as a paralegal you’ll have to bail your attorney out all the way through your career.
Failing to show-up!
Yes, this is the first entry in our mistakes list (What!? Is it the same with yours, too?). Well, it goes without saying that it’s the responsibility of a paralegal to track and meet deadlines in a law firm. But at the end of the day, it is the lawyer who is to be blamed for whatever happens in the court, though it was the staff’s mistake. To top it off, there are certain cut-off dates that only an attorney can meet (you cannot really step into their shoes, right?).
What’s even worse, at times attorneys are the sole reason why paralegals miss out on their timelines, as they fail to provide them with the required information, to communicate a certain message or be there to sign a specific filing.
Needless to say, it’s quite normal for a filing to go down the wire, but guess what… that doesn’t leave any room for mistakes when it’s time to get done with the legal formalities. And even if it does, guess who’ll take the blame? Well, you don’t really have to do the guesswork, do you?
Creating legal exaggeration
Being a lawyer isn’t as easy as it might seem. It involves a lot of listening, communicating and team work – not to mention those heaps of paperwork (for sure, it’ll drive you crazy!).
Speaking of legal writing, it’s all about team effort, where attorneys and paralegals come together, exchange drafts, and work to come up with the most compelling brief. Since first-rate legal writing (be it Will writing or other case paperwork for that matter) has an upper-hand on precision and conciseness, it has got the power of convincing the jury about the legitimacy of argument that’s being made.
Nonetheless, there are certain attorneys who’re a little too obsessed with their writing. They at times get bundled up in their work and put in a bit too much (or who knows… perhaps, they might have missed out on their call as a writer of histrionic romance novel!). No matter what, this could ultimately result into some dreadful legal exaggeration that’s cringewothry for paralegals and completely lethal in front of the jury.
But who’ll tell them that their legal writing sounds more like a B-movie writer and nothing like a jurist? Yeah, you guessed it right – it’s you who has to do it. So buckle up, as we know how attorneys take up criticism.
Getting the wrong people on board!
Topping your law school isn’t enough to become one amazing office administrator. Yet, there are many attorneys who stick to taking up the employee decision in their firm, regardless of having any hands-on experience.
Later these lawyers go back to their firm, leaving you to listen to those lifeless thoughts of the new assistant regarding their bar-hopping wild weekend! Their work is to file legal papers of a specific case, but you avoid the risk by not letting them near it – you never know what you might end up opening during the trial!
Moreover, the higher is the level of bad hiring, the worse is the job for paralegals already on board. It’s a terrible idea to slot an amateur lawyer in, isn’t it?
Taking up the wrong career path… in the very first place!
Okay, let’s get this straight… most attorneys took up this path just because they felt it’s got money (a lot of it, in fact!). But do they even stop for a while and think about what it takes to earn that much cash?
From reading dusty, old law books, pushing legal filings, working for countless hours to being held responsible from both jury and clients for everything that didn’t go as per plan… it is for sure a taste you got to acquire – not everyone might find it edible!
Though the very fact that there’s hell lot of cash floating in this field is true, it isn’t really distributed in an even way! Of course, there are attorneys who’re easily bagging mid-six figures, but the starter pack is lower than you’d expect.
Doing a job you absolutely hate, building mountains of debt whilst earning lesser than a basement (why be a code monkey that never attended college?) – this is enough to push attorneys into complete despair! But by the time they realise, it is too late and the only way to put away that debt is to practice law.
Again who’s got to put up with the boredom, lethargy and ineptitude? Without a doubt, it’s the paralegal who has to pick up the slack!
Now that you know as a paralegal what all you’ve got to put up with whilst working in a law firm, think twice before taking up law as a career… not that it isn’t a good path to walk on, but still!