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Virtual Paralegalism

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“Is Law Boring?” Be a Paralegal and Find Out

“Is Law Boring?”  Be a Paralegal and Find Out

At least that’s the advice of Larchmont Gazette psychologist and “Career Doctor”, Jacqueline Homor Plumez, in her answer to this week’s request for career advice:

IS LAW BORING?
Dear Career Doctor: I think I would like to become a lawyer, because I always fight for what I believe in. My problem is that I know a couple people who happen to know lawyers and they say it is really boring. I’m the kind of person who always likes to talk, and hates being bored. Should I become a lawyer? ~ Kristie

Even though Plumez is not a legal professional, she does a nice job of explaining the demands of a legal career from a layman’s perspective. She points out that law school is expensive, the attrition rate is high, a great deal of research and writing is required, and television provides a distorted view of trial work. I’ve always thought that the general public believes that complex civil disputes can be resolved in less than 45 minutes, including commercials.
Plumez advises Kristie to “figure out what area of the law would most interest” her and “get a job as a paralegal in a law firm that specializes in your area of interest.” To help Kristie figure out areas of legal specialization that might appeal to her, I suggest that she talk to some area legal professionals, including attorneys and paralegals. If she is not ready to make a long term commitment to a job in the legal field and is not already employed, she could try temping or interning at different law firms to see if she finds the environment and the daily activities appealing.

She could also do some intensive online research, and read legal blogs in different specialty areas to learn what attorneys do and how they feel about their work. And there’s no better way than attending a real civil trial at the local courthouse to find out that it takes a lot longer than an hour to try a case and there will be no Denny Crane “reasonable doubt for a reasonable fee” pyrotechnics.
But I’d also tell Kristie that even more important for legal professionals than the ability to talk effectively, is the ability to listen well. If she finds constantly listening to others’ legal (and non-legal) problems mind-numbing, and wading through a sea of facts, paper and case law to help find solutions to these problems tedious, then, yes, she’d likely find working in the legal field boring.

3 Responses to “Is Law Boring?” Be a Paralegal and Find Out

  1. Law, like everything else, is only as exciting or boring as you make it. While most of the advice given is true, e.g., legal education is expensive, the attrition rate is high, there are many "upsides" to practicing law. While I also frequently experienced downsides, in over thirty years of practice, I never found law "boring."

    I do believe that some people are better suited to be lawyers and some people are better suited to be paralegals. In today's legal system both are essential parts of the legal team. I'm not so sure you can decide whether you want to be a lawyer by "practicing" as a paralegal. Paralegals are professionals with a special role in the legal system requiring special skills and perspectives, many of which are not transferable to being an attorney and many of which are not in the skill set of excellent attorneys.

    Lynne is absolutely correct that whether she an attorney or a paralegal, “If she finds constantly listening to others’ legal (and non-legal) problems boring, and that wading through a sea of facts, evidence and case law to help find solutions to these problems is tedious, then, yes, she’d likely find working in the legal field boring.”

    Thanks for another great post, Lynne.

  2. Robert, as always, I appreciate your input as an attorney with extensive experience and as a paralegal instructor. Working in the legal profession, as an attorney, a paralegal or in a related career, isn't for everybody. My introductory students were often surprised by the amount of analytical thinking and writing involved. If *that* sort of stuff bores you, then a legal career is definitely not for you! 🙂

  3. I think the advice of Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez was absolutely right. To set your goal, first of all try to find out what suits you most. Devotion to the work will come if you love it wholeheartedly. Sometimes television and some other media distorted the actual looks. And in this way we are in paradox and derailed from our endeavor, ambition or our goal. We should have lots of endurance to select our goal. Dr. Plumez highlighted one thing very clearly that Kristie should make an effort to find out what she like most. No one can guide you in a best possible manner until and unless you truly search your ultimate destination.

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]gmail.com

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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