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Virtual Paralegalism

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A Paralegal’s Desk: You Missed My Inbox by a Mile

A Paralegal’s Desk: You Missed My Inbox by a Mile

One of the biggest complaints I hear from legal support staffers is about activity that occurs while they are not at their desks, i.e. the dread piles of paper keft in their chairs or surreptitiously slipped among ongoing projects.

By “surreptitiously” I mean in the dead of night, and usually not in that box clearly marked “IN” on an organized paralegal’s desk.

Plus, our team is supposed to be mostly paperless, so I complain even more when people leave actual paper on my desk, especially “mystery paper” which amounts to “What the hell do I do with this?”

So I was really prepared to complain, via Twitter and this blog, when I found this on my desk this morning. (BTW, that stapler does not have staples in it, and the only time I use the hole punch is for an archaic federal government office that still insists on colored paper.)

Yeah, it’s an empty paper towel roll. I understand it could have been worse, i.e. an empty toilet paper roll…
This is what an OCD paralegal looks like – all day – when left with an empty paper towel roll.

Soooooo, that’s my mystery paper left on my desk in the dead of the night story. I do understand why legal support staffers – and anyone else with a clearly marked inbox – complain about these situations.

Mess with my mind much, attorneys peeps?

10 Responses to A Paralegal’s Desk: You Missed My Inbox by a Mile

  1. Must have someone like my husband in your office. I'm all the time finding things he leaves in weird places. He most notably puts back paper towel rolls and milk cartons (into the fridge) empty, leaves his just poured drink on the counter, leaves the lid off things, etc.

    Possibly someone got interrupted and set it down? Do you have staff that come into clean in the evening/night?

  2. @Megan Mae ~ Your Dear Hubby sounds like mine, whose nickname since childhood has been The Absent-Minded Professor. I can never find anything he's lost, because his "last place seen" is never logical. For example: I once found a jar of peanut butter he left on top of the grandfather clock. Yup.

    It may very well have been the cleaning crew – just messin' with my head…lol.

  3. Ha, if such a roll were left on my desk…I would turn it into a telescope and deliberately EYE everyone as they passed my desk.

  4. LOL I can completely relate to this Lynne. LOL I have the constant paper to chair situation at work as well. Fortunately, I have my attorneys trained at my office–they know to Post It Note everything. 😉

  5. I worked for tyrants who "communicated" like this. Despite being a young lawyer, I was expected to recognize a symbol like this towel-tube as a command to replace the empty towels. I was also expected to take out the garbage.

    There is insufficient respect in the workplace.

  6. So I don't get it – someone wanted you to refill the paper towels and stapler? That's plain lazy IMO, in the time it took someone to leave that stuff on your desk, they could have gotten a new roll of towels. And I get if someone can't find the staples, but come on, a little effort here, or some courtesy?

  7. Teri,

    Your comment about turning the paper towel roll into a telescope is hilarious! The visual image on that is absolutely priceless!

  8. Ha! I literally laughed out loud at "organized paralegal's desk." I should send you a pic of my desk sometime. It's soooo unorganized! Well, I guess it's unorganized to any eye but mine. I have three stacks of papers/files. One is a stack of files I'm currently working on or that need to be worked on asap. One is a stack of random stuff I need to file and one is…well, I'm really not sure. lol

Contact Info:

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

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

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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