This evening, starting around 8:00 PM Eastern, I will be posting questions people ask me on Twitter and e-mail. I don't expect there will be much, but hey, I'm new to this. I'll update this post off and on through the evening as things come in, so check back if you want to, or just wait until morning and read the whole debacle in full. Hey, it's the internet. So here we go...
Q: @mrsktj earlier today: "Is it possible to be a paralegal for 20+ years and NOT be mean and bitter? (I know my answer, what's yours?)
A: It is possible, but very difficult. Most of the career paralegals I know (including me) are bitter, grouchy shells of their pre-paralegal selves. But on rare occasions certain unique people do survive without the addictions or crippling emotional damage that usually seems to come with over a decade of working for lawyers. So far in my career, I've only ever met one in person.
Q: By email, someone commented that most of the paralegal blogs and forums are highly negative and critical of the profession, and asked "is it really that bad being a paralegal?"
A: Sometimes it seems like all we bloggers and forum posters do is complain, true. This is a high-stress job, and the demands frequently seem too much to bear. But there are good days also. When I get in really bad moods about work and the career path I have chosen, I think back to some of the bright spots. Such as when we won a really big judgment for a client in a very complex case where they were royally screwed by a business partner of theirs. The lead trial attorney (a New York guy billing about $850/hour) specifically thanked me, a lowly paralegal, for all of the hard work I had done. Plus, he made a point of doing that in front of our client, who agreed and said it meant they could stay in business. At that moment I finally felt like 2 years of hard work on the case actually meant something. So yes, the demands of the job are frequently not fun, and this industry is full of people with egos, attitudes and issues, but more often than not, some good comes out of it.