It makes me cringe to use paralegaling in a sentence, but it’s in the title of a much circulated news article, “Paralegaling is a Better Job Than Lawyering,” based on CareerCast’s 2011 ranking of 200 jobs from best to worst. Paralegal assistant (arrrrrgh, redundant!) came in number 13, and lawyers came in, um, number 82.
(We dropped out of last year’s top 10. What’s up with that?)
Ashby Jones, lead writer for WSJ Law Blog, wonders why paralegals rank so much higher, when it seems pretty obvious that our stress levels should be directly related to our supervising attorneys’ stress levels:
So what makes paralegaling so good? According to the survey, the working environment is good, the job has relatively low stress, and the physical demands aren’t too heavy.
What kills the lawyers? It’s the stress and the working environment, apparently, which is a bit strange because there’s a heckuva lot of overlap in the working environments of lawyers and paralegals. And often, given that old saying about stuff rolling downhill, the stress from senior lawyers gets unloaded in large doses upon secretaries, associates and, of course, paralegals.
Maybe we’re less stressed because we don’t have law licenses to lose, and are almost never named defendants in legal malpractice suits.
What do you think? (And who is to blame for the word paralegaling?)