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Paralegal Posting of the Week: Sensitive Types Need Not Apply

Paralegal Posting of the Week: Sensitive Types Need Not Apply

This ad for a family law paralegal was posted on Paralegal Gateway’s listserv today, and was the subject of a great deal of commentary:

Experienced legal assistant needed for small but busy family law office. Excellent people and organizational skills a must. Must think quickly on your feet, be people oriented and have a strong desire to work hard in the most efficient way possible. An open mind and steady hands will serve the ideal candidate well. Sensitive, overly emotional drama queens/kings, and the tender hearted need not apply.

I’m still turning over the “open mind/steady hands” imagery in my mind. What exactly does that mean, and do I even want to know? I also agree that no one likes working with people who wear their emotions on their sleeves and get teary-eyed at the drop of a hat, but I don’t think the particular phrasing of this ad is going to appeal to most experienced paralegal professionals, who’ll likely form an impression, sight unseen, of an attorney with some personality issues of his or her own.

Normally, the word “sensitive” in a job posting for a law office isn’t, well, quite so insensitive. For example, in another ad for an immigration legal assistant, the job duties include tracking “time-sensitive cases”. An ad for an in-house compliance paralegal says that the position includes owning and driving “sensitive security information program and training”. And finally, an employer seeks a front desk administrative legal assistant with a “sensitive demeanor”.

Actually, you do have to be sensitive to work in a family law environment – sensitive to others experiencing intense personal and financial hardship, and emotions ranging from outrage to despair. The right amount of sensitivity and tender-heartedness is going to go a long way towards giving you the patience and empathy needed to be a good client advocate and family law paralegal.

But sure, I can see where weeping and using up a box of tissues right alongside a distraught client might be off-putting. And who wouldn’t like to include “No Drama Queens need apply” in their want ads?

3 Responses to Paralegal Posting of the Week: Sensitive Types Need Not Apply

  1. Since I've been looking for a job in Austin, I have seen some appalling ads. Most recently I saw a "paralegal" position in which they would give you a ONE YEAR trial period and after one year, you would be "eligible" to receive paid leave, sick time and health insurance. And I think they wanted to pay $15/an hour – WTH. Ridiculous on so many levels. SIGH.

  2. Oy vey, Jennifer! 😛 Since I have a prurient interest in paralegal postings from Hell — I hope you and other readers will send me any that you think are worthy of comment…:) I'm still laughing about the last one I posted – where applicants had to be able to turn on the computer – and sit.

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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