I typically try to avoid linking to other blogs or legal-oriented websites. It's a personal thing. I have no objection when others do. It's just not the direction I choose to take, since so many others do it so well already.
Sometimes, however, something pisses me off so thoroughly that it's worthy of being pointed out. This is one of those times
Above the Law runs a weekly write-in advice column. Read this week's edition about a Paralegal's request for advice, then come back for my take after the jump. Plus an update!
If you read the comments, you'll see my initial gut reaction about two-thirds of the way down. I sat overnight on posting a reaction here in order to calm down and approach this in a more rational frame of mind.
I have respect for what ATL does. They serve a much-needed function by delivering important news that tends to slip through the cracks of most industry publications. My chief concern is their pervasive "lawyers rule, staff drools" bias. This week's Pls Hndle Thx column really shows the depth of that bias, and in a very ugly way shows the attitude many attorneys have towards "the staff".
ATL is written entirely by attorneys. OK. It's a website devoted to news about the legal industry. I get that. But they chose to give job advice regarding a position that they have zero experience with. In an incredibly insulting manner.
It shows the stigma that our profession still struggles with in our own industry, much less among the general public (most of whom seem to think we're glorified secretaries). ATL is widely-read within our industry, and their opinion (for better or worse) carries some weight.
This is not to say all attorneys think this way. Many of the comments were from attorneys defending our profession and criticizing the article in much the same way I am. Many attorneys realize how critical we are to the process. I just wish more of them did, especially the ones people read every day.
UPDATE: I've been contacted by Above the Law, and had a very nice e-mail chat with them about the state of Paralegal education. I've given them permission to quote me for a follow-up piece.
UPDATE 2: ATL mentioned me in Non-Sequiters on 6/9/2011. I've also posted a follow up article on paralegal education.