Today’s Quote: Who’s My Paralegal?

Suddenly, every time an attorney or paralegal quits the job, the client’s case is shuttled off to a new attorney or paralegal in the office that the client has never met. The new attorney is not familiar with the case, and has no relationship with the client. The client becomes rightfully frustrated, but cannot get adequate assurance from the law firm’s management that his case will be handled competently. Sometimes, the client cannot even get a return telephone call from the “senior partner.” ~ Excerpt from “Who’s My Lawyer?” (U.S. Politics Today)

The biggest complaint from most legal consumers is the inability to get a timely return phone call from their lawyer. This is one area that a well-trained paralegal can really help with client satisfaction, by handling calls when the attorney isn’t available, and helping to keep clients up-to-date regarding their cases.  Some clients, especially if they’re being billed by the hour, purposely talk to paralegals when they can.

But it can be just as hard on the paralegals and other legal support staffers left at a firm where the turnover rate is high. A regular exodus of staff is usually not indicative of a terrific work environment. No matter how many good questions you ask during an interview, or how observant you are the few times you visit a firm as a job applicant, sometimes employee dissatisfaction and high turnover are not going to be readily apparent.

Regularly reviewing area legal support staff want ads, and networking with local legal professionals are two good ways to get a feel for those firms that seem to have revolving doors. High employee turnover is not only hard on the firm’s clients – it’s hard on the employees left to share the increasing work load under what may already be difficult circumstances.

Readers, I hope you’ll share your tips for identifying firms with high turnover rates during the job search and interview process. Landing a job is of course important – but not landing in the frying pan is also equally important.

Source:  U.S. Politics Today

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