This is a humorous and sarcastic blog written by a paralegal in a mid-sized law firm in a mid-tier market. The goal is to share some of the pitfalls and foibles encountered in my own day-to-day experiences. Feel free to contact me at aparalegalslife@gmail.com with comments. Complaints, not so much :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is this a rhetorical question?

This story, titled "Are Paralegals Happy?", really jumped out at me.  Let's begin at the beginning:
High expectations are on par with everything that the paralegal field has to offer. It is one of a handful of industries filling up fast and according to NFPA’s compensation and benefits survey; only 10% of paralegals rated their job satisfaction as low. These figures are extremely impressive, making paralegal one of the 21st century’s hottest jobs.
So, 9 out of 10 of my co-workers are liars.  Or delusional.  Probably both.  That's the only possible explanation.  Unless they did the study with an open bar.

Oh, it gets better...

A common complaint of paralegals is a lack of praise and acknowledgment for all that they do. As new paralegals work their way to the top they find more responsibility so the paperwork can pile up though even in an entry-level position, things can get hectic, and fast. Routine work at the ground floor involves a ton of court filings but the good thing about this pressure is the amount of supervision given to newer people. a period of 5 years will go by before paralegals get to the meat of the job and then the heat is turned up again. It is one of those thankless job where office award ceremonies rarely honor the paralegal. Sure, they will be pats on the back here and there but lawyers do not usually go out of their way to place their help on a pedestal. That is not to say that it cannot happen and all lawyers ignore the feelings of their staff because that would simply be untrue but paralegals historically have gotten the shorter end of the stick.
Our entire profession is built around "routine work" for cryin' out loud.  That's the whole reason we exist!  They are right about the lack of praise.  We rarely hear about anything except what's gone wrong.  It's part and parcel of working for lawyers, who are mostly a self-interested and egotistical bunch.  They loathe to share praise for success with anyone.
One reason that they are not as respected as the attorneys that they are a subsidiary of is a lack education found with paralegals against the prestige that comes along with a law degree plus bar examination credentials.
OK, have you heard of proof-reading?  Run-on sentances?  Hell, a comma would improve this immensely.
On the other side of the negativity related to paralegal jobs are major positives. Intellectually challenging assignments are a plus that many would not trade for anything. The same paperwork that seems to pile up can also be quite interesting and stimulating.
What are these "intellectually challenging assignments" of which you speak?  I'm all aglow with stimulation from and interest in these deposition transcripts.
With the great pay and the chances to improve one’s self with this job, positions in and related to the paralegal field will enjoy stabilized increases within the job market making one of a growing number of career paths that employed and low employed persons should consider.
I suppose being a Paralegal is better than a lot of jobs.  But as I've said before, it's far from wonderful. 

Don't worry, I know for a fact Paralegal Hell is reading this same article, and plans to give it her own, unique treatment as well.


Lynne DeVenny said...

I commend you for getting past the bad grammar to even find a point. I think there's a statement in there that after five long years on the job we get cooked meat. *unable to comment further 'cause hurt myself falling out of chair laughing*

Grumpy Humbug said...

I sat on this for two days before writing, took me that long to give it the proper level of snarkasm. I have half a mind to send a redline version back to the author to correct all the grammatical mistakes.

Elizabeth said...

ugh! While I may be stimulated from some of my family law assignments, any "stimulation" I may have had goes out the door when I am waist high in financial records trying to determine our client's separate property interest in the community residence.

Anonymous said...

So it's a thankless job and we won't get any credit. We're also buried in paperwork, yet 90% are happy! Yeah, I think they surveyed these paralegals during happy hour.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Momalegal, this survey had to be taken during Happy Hour. I think some paralegals are happy and do truly enjoy their job, but they are few.

In terms of "stimulation", is it still stimulating when you have to take a cattle-prod and poke your attorney towards the direction of the family courts building?

Just curious...