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 :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Cast of Characters

Apologies for the lack of posting, but three appeals, two emergency TRO's and a gnarly bout of the flu have taken their respective toll on my free time.  This is the first day in weeks where I can see the surface of my desk.

After a year-ish at the new firm, I've been able to come up with names for some of the cast of characters:

Disinterested Partner - Very senior, and completely not involved with supervising the associates, who are generally left to their own devices or are overseen by partners from other offices.  Travels a lot, and spends much of his limited time in the office irritated at dealing with the cases we do have.  Friendly enough, but rather intimidating due to his standing in the legal community.  I try to avoid him as much as possible so as not to get on his radar.  He has enough to deal with.

High-Strung Partner - Over-stressed is an under-statement with this one.  I would bet real money he bills 5,000 hours this year.  Juggles everything that comes through our office and handles far more work than any one human being should.  If he asks me for something, I do it quick and get the hell out of his way. 

Uptight Associate - Technically the most senior associate in the office, but has absolutely no spine and will not stand up for himself.  Quiet and soft-spoken, I just can't see a long career in litigation without some significant personality changes.  Very easy to deal with, so long as you do your work thoroughly. 

Mumbles (Associate) - This is the one I work with most often.  Talented lawyer, smart, very ambitious, horrible communications skills.  He mumbles instructions, almost under his breath, as he's walking away from you.  Doesn't give people remotely enough information to understand what he wants you to do, even by e-mail, and gets cranky when you pry for more details.  He is very quick to temper when you get something wrong because he didn't tell you how or even whether to do it.  I'm not one to shy away from calling out attorneys when they give me bad instructions, and when I do he always backtracks and sometimes even apologizes.  Unfortunately, it doesn't stop him from doing the entire routine again in 15 minutes.  He'll certainly be a Partner in due course, but not one I'd want to work for as an Associate. 

We have a few more associates that I don't work with much.  Some are still young, but smart enough to listen to my experience and wisdom on certain matters.  They haven't practiced long enough to develop the appropriate level of jaded cynicism, though, that is required for a career in BigLaw.  Time will tell.

Of course, regular readers know about the Un-Manager, so I won't cover her in detail. 

We have a couple of Admin Assistants that I don't interact with much, so I don't have nicknames for them.  Both are very competent and capable, and if I have any complaint at all it would be the constant gossiping about their family lives.  But maybe that's just because I'm old, cranky and don't have a life of my own to gossip about.

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