Many of my posts are written for paralegals and attorneys – I think. This one is just for you, Paralegals.
In fact, this post is more of a solicitation for your input. Here’s my question: What do you wish other paralegals knew?
I’ve written posts on what paralegals wish attorneys knew and vice versa. Now I want to know what you, Paralegals, want other paralegals to know.
This is my list:
I love to be productive, and sometimes that leads me to simply take on too much. My personal inclination is to work (on something, anything) until I absolutely fall over. Staying home for the evening and doing nothing seems like a total waste to me, but you know what, sometimes that’s exactly what I have to do.
Rest and Recharge
I actually don’t know a legal professional that doesn’t have a hard time sleeping. Ask them why, and they say “I can’t get my brain to turn off.” If we all went home and did “nothing” for an hour or two, forced ourselves not to think about work, maybe we could get some nice shut-eye.
Letting our brains calm down after a stressful day is of paramount importance. We need to take this seriously or we risk burnout.
Why Firms Need to Care
This might sound insane, but I’m just going to throw it out there: Maybe firms need to start caring about facilitating “me” time for their lawyers and staff. I’m not saying firms should send out detailed questionnaires every quarter (“Are you sleeping? Are you working too much? Do you feel burnt out?”), but by simply letting their employees know that their sanity is important to the firm, pressure could be taken off the employees’ shoulders. Knowing that taking a “mental health day” isn’t going to get you fired is a huge step (and Lord knows we all need them).
Look at your calendar a couple of months out. Go ahead and take off a Friday. Put it on the books. If something comes up, you can move it, but do everything in your power to keep that from happening. Use that day to get a couple of things out of the way: a doctor’s appointment in the morning, pick up the dry cleaning, do the grocery shopping during the middle of the day, then go do a thing for you. Get that pedicure. Go take a nap (I know you don’t get them normally). Go to the pool. Do something lazy and regenerative.
Treat yourself like you’re important. Because you are.
This post will have nothing to do with advice. I simply want to talk about something that helps me work harder and longer.
Indexing, cite checking, and formatting are not the most exciting things in the world, but I look at those tasks as a time in my day to relax. Continue reading
I could try to articulate to you the number of times I’ve gotten in trouble for asking the question “Why?” but it’s not necessary. It was a lot. A lot. I never intend my questions to be rude or disrespectful, but I can see how it could come off that way. The question “why” can seem like a criticism of a person, a procedure, or a policy. Continue reading
Like most people, I would imagine, I really hate going to the doctor. I wait until the pain is so bad or the problem is so disruptive that I simply have no choice than to make an appointment (and inevitably be annoyed by the fact that I have to wait a day or two: “I’m sick! Can’t you tell?!?!”), sit in a waiting room for who knows how long, have a nurse poke at me and ask personal questions, and then have a doctor do the exact same thing. That’s not even the end! Then I have to mosey down to the pharmacy in the middle of my day and wait for what has been prescribed to me to fix that pain/illness/whatever that I’ve let get too bad. Continue reading
Someone who wished to stay anonymous stated that my blog presented the not-so-pretty side of being a paralegal. As I look back through my posts, I suppose that’s true to some extent. Perhaps it’s about time for me to talk about why I love my job so much. Continue reading
Warning: Shameless Self-Promotion
I’m teaching a webinar on November 29, 2011: The Paralegal’s Guide to Effectively Using Technology in the Law Firm.
What I’ll be talking about:
- Maximizing the Technology That Already Exists Inside the Law Firm
- Evaluating New and Existing Technologies to Determine What Best Fits Your Needs
- iPhones, iPads, Tablets, Web Based Software, and the Changing Face of the Law Firm in Regards to Technology
Growing up the child of a peace officer is a unique experience. When your dad’s job is to determine when people are lying and to serve them up a dose of justice, you don’t get away with a lot. (As a very young child, I learned the difference between saying “I lied” and “I’m just pickin’.” Semantics are important, people.)
Having a law enforcement officer as a dad can also give you a fantastic gift: the love of justice. Continue reading
At the beginning of every week I do what most people probably do, I make a “to do” list. Because I’m a nerd, and I love Excel (see previous post professing my love), I make four lists on the same spreadsheet: Home, Work, Volunteering, and Miscellaneous. Continue reading