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 :)

Monday, February 14, 2011


Periodically, management decides it's a good idea to have an all-paralegal meeting.  It's done roughly every 3 or 4 months, presumably because management takes about that long to forget how the last one went.  The paralegal meetings always cover exactly the same ground:

First - Attorneys A, B and C have complaints 1, 2 and 3, supposedly about all the paralegals in general (because we wouldn't want to embarras anyone).  The attorneys are always the same, their complaints are always the same, and all of the paralegals know who is complaining about what.  Most of us also know not to do said things.  We all know who those few paralegals are that DO keep making those mistakes.  Why do the rest of us have to keep getting yelled at?  Why are those paralegals still with the firm? 

Second - Only a couple of people are on target for making their billable hours quota for the year.  Names aren't mentioned, but again we all know who they are:  the two paralegals who are the only ones permitted by a picky client to work on a huge, complex, multi-district matter.  They work 18 hour days because the rest of us aren't allowed to help.  So stop comparing them to the rest of us who can't share that work!  Going back to my first point, why do we need to keep this many paralegals around if we have (a) people who are incompetent and (b) not enough work? 

Third - We need to cut costs.  Blah, blah, blah.  Everyone complains about the crappy sandpaper tissues, paper that jams all the machines and the cheap pens that won't finish a single form, and wonder what other things are going to be cut.  I usually lose my patience at this point and remind everyone we are lucky to have an employer who supplies tissues and pens, unlike my last 3.  Everyone shuts up, and we move on to...

Last - We are told there's a serious morale problem (shocker!).  In response, the paralegals start to gripe about the same attorneys causing the same problems (that we all know will never be changed), and how they all need to stop being egotistic jerks (like THAT would ever happen).  The meeting breaks up gradually as those of us with actual work to be done flee the scene.

Ultimately, another piece of me dies, slowly and painfully, while I endure the same meeting for the umpteenth time.  Notice how there's never anything positive covered?  Yet we have a morale problem. 

Thus the real reason I will never be in management:  I actually KNOW what the problems are!


Anonymous said...

Sounds word for word like what happens at my firm. I don't get why employers are afraid to pull someone aside & tell them they're doing something wrong. Are we that afraid to hurt someones feelings? Really?

Lynne DeVenny said...

Donuts help, even if you have to bring them yourself. I can forgive (or ignore) a great deal if handed a Krispy Kreme raspberry-filled donut.

But sometimes it'd be nice to be Stanley from The Office, contentedly - and mostly obliviously - working his crossword puzzles while all manner of nonsensical management behaviors rage around him.

Grumpy Humbug said...

Mmmmm... Donuts....

Actually we used to do them over lunch and the firm brought food in. Started off as good catered hot food, then it was reduced to sandwiches, of ever-decreasing quality. Now they just hold it at lunchtime and say "bring your own if you want". Cost-cutting really hurts when it hits the stomach.