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How to use paralegals?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:11 am

I work in what you would call a midlaw firm, in the smallest of the firm's few offices. The office has approximately ~25 attorneys and five paralegals. Every attorney also has a secretary, with each secretary responsible for a maximum of 3-4 attorneys.

So my question is this: What can I approach the paralegal for, and how often? Is it just a "I'm in a pinch, will you please cite check this?" relationship, or is it acceptable to ask for cite checks on all my work?

Obviously practices vary by firm and office, but any thoughts are welcome. I don't want to be impolite or too demanding.

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TTRansfer

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Re: How to use paralegals?

Post by TTRansfer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I work in what you would call a midlaw firm, in the smallest of the firm's few offices. The office has approximately ~25 attorneys and five paralegals. Every attorney also has a secretary, with each secretary responsible for a maximum of 3-4 attorneys.

So my question is this: What can I approach the paralegal for, and how often? Is it just a "I'm in a pinch, will you please cite check this?" relationship, or is it acceptable to ask for cite checks on all my work?

Obviously practices vary by firm and office, but any thoughts are welcome. I don't want to be impolite or too demanding.
Why don't you just ask the partner who she normally works for?

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anyriotgirl

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Re: How to use paralegals?

Post by anyriotgirl » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:23 am

you basically answered your own question; it's different at every firm. I worked as a para before school and have a bunch of former paralegal friends, and I don't think any of us had the same exact job description. As a general rule, just be polite when you give assignments, and give concrete deadlines and expectations. Remember that your paralegal isn't an attorney and isn't going to know everything that you know, and will fuck things up. Conversely, if you're brand new, they probably will have institutional knowledge that you don't, and might be a good resource for questions you don't want to bother a more senior associate or partner with. IMO cite checking is one of the more interesting assignments that I might be given, and wouldn't be an issue, but again, can't stress enough that it's different everywhere.

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