Ode to John & Anne: So this is what (some) paralegals do

  Photo:  This is the photo John & Anne framed and gave to me a couple years ago.  It sits on the front of my desk right next to my kids.  The picture of the girls was taken when I started full time plaintiff law and is in a frame given to me by Tom Chambers.

Photo:  This is the photo John & Anne framed and gave to me a couple years ago.  It sits on the front of my desk right next to my kids.  The picture of the girls was taken when I started full time plaintiff law and is in a frame given to me by Tom Chambers.

Not all paralegals are created equally.

Perhaps it's because of the type of practice we have.   Our clients tend to be terribly injured (or deceased).  Then of course, there is some navigation involved in dealing with my little quirks.  Here's a glimpse into the secret world of John & Anne.  A truly fabulous dynamic duo.

  • Visit client in the hospital at 9:00 pm
  • Receive an entire case file from a referring attorney one week before trial.  Completely reorganize it the way I want.  Do all the paperwork and get me out the door for court fully prepared.
  • Deal with constant stream of emails from me.  Telling them to do this or that and don't forget that either.
  • Try to ignore those emails received after midnight and on the weekends, knowing that they are not urgent.
  • Ready day or night if I send an urgent one.
  • Decipher the names I constantly mix up.   As in all names.
  • Manage huge case files that no longer look huge because we are paperless.  But which are in fact, huge.
  • Schedule everything.  Because things get double or triple set or worse when I do it.
  • Encourage me to try to schedule.  And then change minds after I flub yet again
  • Live with to do lists that are so long they can never be finished
  • Wake up in the middle of the night to write down something else that needs to be on the to do list
  • Order and pick up pizzas for the class I'm teaching in the moot courtroom.
  • Order and pick up Thai food for the people who come to meet about spinal cord injury assn.
  • Order Buckleys pub food only when I am desperate.
  • Coordinate 30 deposition dates for a case with four defense lawyers.  And do this for several cases all at the same time.
  • Talk to all insurance adjusters since I won't.
  • Come out to site inspection to help expert run heavy machinery.
  • Open envelopes not realizing they are from the coroner's office.  Then spend the rest of the week trying to remove the images from their minds.
  • Develop relationships with clients that become friendships after the case has resolved
  • Have dinner with me at clients' home.
  • Show me how to do three way conference calling again and again because I can never get it right
  • Run around the office to track me down to sign something.  This includes standing vigil outside of the restroom door
  • Smile and act politely to way too many rude people
  • Twitter back and forth with me
  • Brace to be jumped up on by Nala every time they walk into office
  • Exercise veto power over prospective clients who may not be a good fit
  • Decypher cryptic hieroglyphics on sticky notes in my awful handwriting
  • Negotiate, cajole, and somehow work out all subrogation issues
  • Put everything together and get it on my ipad/laptop everytime there is a deposition, mediation, or trial
  • Call clerks Thursday before Monday trial to make sure everything is on schedule.
  • Call all witnesses and schedule trial appearances.  Make grid with their contact number and special requirements.
  • Have holy cow moment with me when told by clerk that trial is not going out on time
  • Call every single witness and reschedule
  • Deal with medical doctors who can't reschedule
  • Schedule perpetuation depositions for the doctors who now can't appear.  Usually this means starting at 6:00 am or after 5:00 p.m.
  • Deal with me whining about late depositions.
  • Deal with experts and doctors charging us for the time that we originally booked and now the extra time that needs to be booked.
  • Deal with me whining about how much all of this delay is costing
  • Set up three way calling on my phone because I can never remember how to do it without disconnecting people.
  • Encourage me to do three way calling myself.  Then when I disconnect everyone.  Come and do it for me anyway.
  • Read my mind