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Virtual Paralegalism

The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism

A Paralegal’s Purse (or The Magician’s Hat)

A Paralegal’s Purse (or The Magician’s Hat)

Part of the inspiration for my blog title came from one of my favorite movies, Practical Magic, about the small-town sisters who just happen to also be witches with magical talents. Paralegals are expected to perform minor feats of magic every day, from drafting key pleadings that were due yesterday to finding long lost original documents (that the attorney wrote on and threw away years ago).

Paralegals are also expected to be ready for every contingency and to produce whatever is needed at a moment’s notice, like a magician yanking a giant white rabbit out of a hat – except our hat is our bag (and maybe our laptop case but that’s another entry).

I searched for months for the perfect purse to suit my professional needs. It obviously had to be as big as a diaper bag (but look nothing like a diaper bag). It had to be a neutral color that would go with all of my clothes but still have that fashionable metallic finish I lusted after (that would keep it from looking like a diaper bag). It had to have short handles for when I wanted to appear cute and kicky, but long handles for when my hands were full of documents, luggage or a Wal-mart buggy.

Even more important, my magical accessory had to have room (and many little pockets) for all of the following key professional items:

Cell phone and charger
Digital voice recorder (will discuss memory issues in another entry for older paralegals)
Flash drive (and nifty flash drives from recent CLEs)
MP3 player (and headphones)
Digital camera
Reading light (and reading material)
Courthouse badge
Business cards
Burt’s Bees lip shimmer (for those long days)
Neutrogena blotting papers (for those longer days)
Hand sanitizer (not admitting to OCD)
Pens, paper, paper clips
Reading glasses (too vain for bifocals)
Crackers (to offset light-headedness when attorneys forget we need to eat)

Below is a photograph of my beloved giant purse and most of its contents (fit for public viewing) arranged in a still life format (with one of my partially finished pastels). I did not include my orange Tic-Tacs (is it bad to be called “Bleeker”?) or my Ibuprofen (performing feats of magic gives me headaches). I added the pear for artistic purposes.

What’s in your magical bag of paralegal tricks? Photos welcome!

7 Responses to A Paralegal’s Purse (or The Magician’s Hat)

  1. Measuring devices! I have two flexible metal rulers, one 12″ and one 18″, which roll up together in a small round leather case. And, of course, my pocket knife, with the special carton knife hinge. Most important, though, is my pocket notary seal (self-inked, closed case).

    Have you ever noticed that it’s the same people who like to make fun of the purse of doom who most often want something from it?

  2. So sad, we had to eat the rabbit during a trial where the attorney forgot about meals (I recommend squeezing a mini-microwave in your purse if you can 🙂

    And yes, it’s always the folks slammin’ my bag who are most likely to want Kleenex, Advil, a pin, the use of my phone or snacks!

  3. Our bags carry a lot of stuff!

    Click to view my travel kit

    – Makeup bag, with my entire morning makeup regime
    – wallet
    – BlackBerry Curve
    – hand lotion
    – iPod Nano 2nd Generation
    – Moleskine notebook (for ideas)
    – Small weekly planner (backup in case my BlackBerry dies)
    – folding brush with mirror
    – NFPA business card case (business cards promoting my blog,
    – contact lens rewetting drops
    – Rosebud lip salve
    – Keys
    – business card case (primary business cards)
    – Vojo energy mints
    – USB flash drive
    – two gel ink pens, one highlighter with post-it flags in the barrel (everyone should have a highlighter with flags in the barrel)
    – nail file (in small white sleeve)
    – Advil
    – Tide to Go

  4. Christine, you ARE a magician to get all of those things into that fabulous super-fashionable little bag!

    My digital voice recorder is for ideas when I’m driving (or just woke up 🙂

  5. I swear the attorneys I work for think I have a crystal ball for which I use to tell the future and therefore can tell what they need!!! Really I just have a magic 8 ball which seems to answer more appropriately…”It is decidedly so” or better yet “Outlook good”!! If they only knew!!

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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