Paralegal Career Advancement or Career Change Options?

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thirdin77 in San Jose, California

59 months ago

I'm a 32 year old male who's considering paralegal work. I've read much of the sobering talk on this website but the personality and career placement tests I've taken have pointed me at paralegal work and the projected growth in the field is a plus.

What I'm concerned about is what I'll be doing in 10, 15 or 20 years in this field.

My understanding of pay or other advancement options include:
* periodically moving from one employer to the next to get higher pay rates
* being promoted to a position of managing other paralegals
* starting a paralegal-for-hire business, employing other paralegals, probably as temp workers, and then hiring them to firms or individual practicing attorneys

What other options are there for advancing one's pay or income?

My other question was about changing career fields.

What transferrable skills or credentials will 10+ years in paralegal work give me?

What other fields do career change-seeking paralegals typically transfer into?

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

59 months ago

There isn't much of a career ladder and your salary will top out eventually. Also possible is your salary gets nice and high at one firm and then something happens to that job and you can't come close to finding another paralegal job paying that much or more. In other words, you become too expensive and your salary starts going backwards.

The paralegals I know who are no longer paralegals did the following:

returned to the career from which they came
became owner of a records service business
became office manager for a small law firm
switched to legal secretary - fewer hours, higher pay
became stay at home moms
went to work for a structured settlement firm
went to law school
became a legal recruiter

and that's about it.

Salaries in general are going down for paralegals. Legal secretary jobs seem to be holding steady or going up.

A few niche paralegal type jobs are doing okay, but it's very hard transferring from one area of law into another area of law. My litigation skills won't help me in any other paralegal jobs - corporate, IP, real estate, commercial, immigration, personal injury, estate, probate, family, business - I could not get a job in any of these paralegal fields or others based on my 10+ years as a litigation paralegal.

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thirdin77 in San Jose, California

59 months ago

Anyone else? I read all comments on threads I start but it's good to have comments from as many people as possible. Any takers?

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thirdin77 in San Jose, California

59 months ago

I understand that paralegal are attorney assistants, but what does anyone say in response to what the Occupational Outlook handbooks- written by Jist Works- say about how, in order to cut costs, paralegals will be given more of the work that attorneys could do but would do at a higher billing rate?

This increased allocation of work to paralegals is part of the reason for the projected growth in paralegal employment, albeit with the continued competition for paralegal jobs.

Given this, I question how dependent paralegals will be on attorneys for work if corporations or whatever clients are seeking lower-rate billable labor.

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Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida

59 months ago

"Given this, I question how dependent paralegals will be on attorneys for work if corporations or whatever clients are seeking lower-rate billable labor."

Paralegals will always be dependent on attorneys for work as Paralegals MUST work under the supervision of an attorney. A paralegal cannot practice law, cannot give legal advice, cannot set legal fees, and cannot represent a client in court (excepting the few instances before certain administrative agencies).

Paralegals cannot accept work from a non-attorney client and work 'willy-nilly' for them. Even corporate paralegals work under the direction and supervision of the in-house corporate counsel.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

In the true sense, a paralegal is a glorified secretary. The title paralegal sure feels good.

Myself, at this point, I think the title of court reporter feels good. I don't think I will ever work again as a legal secretary or paralegal - simply because I am easy to replace with a younger and prettier one. After being unemployed for 14 months, and working on my shorthand to go back to court reporting - I really don't think I want to be a sheit-employee again.

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

59 months ago

Let's say an Original Answer needs to be filed. The firm has filed a similar Answer so there really isn't any writing from scratch, but the client doesn't know that. So, what does a lawyer do?

(1) Draft it himself - takes 10 minutes to copy over the similar Answer and customize it for the new case. He bills 30 minutes (.5) and his time is billed out at $300.00. Law firm makes $150.00.

(2) Gets his secretary to do the exact same thing as above and attorney bills for it ($150). Meanwhile attorney works on another 30 minute project ($150). Law firm makes $300.

(3) Gets his paralegal to do the same as above. Attorney can't bill for it because the paralegal will be billing for it. Paralegal bills out at $80. Law firm makes $40. Meanwhile attorney works on another 30 minute project. Law firm makes $150. Total made by law firm $190.

So, to recap:
(1) makes the firm $150 - cost is attorney salary
(2) makes the firm $300 - cost is attorney salary and secretary salary
(3) makes the firm $190 - cost is attorney salary and paralegal salary

Do you see the problem here?

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dh in Northern CA, California

59 months ago

thirdin77 in San Jose, California said: I'm a 32 year old male who's considering paralegal work. I've read much of the sobering talk on this website but the personality and career placement tests I've taken have pointed me at paralegal work and the projected growth in the field is a plus.

What I'm concerned about is what I'll be doing in 10, 15 or 20 years in this field.

My understanding of pay or other advancement options include:
* periodically moving from one employer to the next to get higher pay rates
* being promoted to a position of managing other paralegals
* starting a paralegal-for-hire business, employing other paralegals, probably as temp workers, and then hiring them to firms or individual practicing attorneys

What other options are there for advancing one's pay or income?

My other question was about changing career fields.

What transferrable skills or credentials will 10+ years in paralegal work give me?

What other fields do career change-seeking paralegals typically transfer into?

Talk to other paralegals who've been in the field. They will undoubtedly try to talk you out of it. Most of them regret they went into law.

It's dead end. While it's true that you have to change jobs periodically to get better pay (because yearly raises just don't cut it), the pay increases won't be enough for you to actually get ahead, especially not if you want to increase retirement contribution. Inflation eats up the raise. If you're concerned about what you will be doing 10, 15, 20 years from now, I'd be willing to bet that, if you become a paralegal today, you won't be doing it all those years from now because you will have changed careers in the meantime.

Here's another thread for your reading pleasure:

www.indeed.com/forum/job/legal-secretary/Legal-Secretary-Positions-newcomers/t171193

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Continued....

- non-legal industries aren't especially interested in skills one develops as a paralegal. .......... Paralegals, generally, are sharp, valuable people who get things done.

Here, here. Chalk one up for the paralegals. Excellent.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I started as an estate planning, probate and elder law paralegal. Four and a quarter years later, a litigation and WC firm hired me at higher pay and trained me. One can switch specialties, if given the chance. I should add that firm didn't give me a raise during the last four and a half years of the nearly seven years I worked there.

Given the chance is the key wording. The chances are low....

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: In the true sense, a paralegal is a glorified secretary. The title paralegal sure feels good..

I will comment here that when my title was "Paralegal" as I am a ceritfied para.....I was not a glorified secretary. 2 different jobs. There was a legal secretary and there was a paralegal position.

When I had the title of "Legal Assistant" (2 jobs) it was a mix of para duties and secretary.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

As for my 10 years expeience as a Paralegal, the story is strange
and to this day a nightmare. so it went.

I was "fired" from every legal job. yup. The immediate conclusion would be that "person was incompetent" or worse "said person cannot get along with others" Not good at all.

Yes, I have worked for attorneys that I did not seem to be getting along with. I tried...just could never figure out what they wanted me to change in terms of me getting along with them. It was additionally odd and confusing to me, as I got along great with the other attorney, but was having mystifying problems with General Council....who eventually was removed from his position "due to his incompetence" and moved into the mortgage department, his strength. I was "fired"

My first job as a paralegal was for a sole-practioner and there was a newbe attorney there also. All was going swell for 1 and a half years......until attorney leaves and the replacement is a "jerk newbe" who goes out of his way to make trouble with me WHEN my boss is not there.....every day between 9am and 10:30am, when the bookkeeper arrives and boss arrives at 12 noon. In the end, 5 months later, I am fired..

SO- my story is not the norm.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

"But I stand by my position absolutely that the stress, long hours, lack of recognition, hostility and the toxic personalities are not worth going into law."

I just pasted this comment here.

Maybe for me...the personalites were too toxic to my system - and thus came the "personality conflict"

Once hired, and you find that your personality is not meshing with the attorney..I only know to do the job correctly, don't agrue...
know how to duck and be subverient when necessary...give short responses like OK, when necesary...

If I am trying my best to get along with my big boss (as I get along fine with the other attorney) ,...certainly not trying to rub him the wrong way...trying to understand what he wants from me, since my work is coming out right.........and there are no specific references to me saying or handlng something wrong in way of a communcation...I am at a loss.....I cannot fix it...

THEN one day I called my girfriend (very savy thinker and works in non-legal corporate world) and I told her about the "crazy" incident at end of my day...as my head was still spinning in mass confusion...and fear a firing

She responded with theses 3 words....

IT'S A SET-UP.............

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

SO my story is not the norm:

Yeah, we have had 2 other paralegals who have commented on the same senaria..

ONe para commented that had gone through 4 jobs in 4 years...although not the norm ....clearly it can happen...she was opting out of the profession...

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

Yeah.

AND maybe it was a Set-Up.

The theory sure does fit the entire story...

Or it was a personality conflict I could not fix...

The result I am clear on....termination with Severence Package...

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

AND the bigger result was that I became an "unhirable" in Miami...

1 year to get another job...got hired at a corporation that had finacial problems....... out in 6 months...

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: AND the bigger result was that I became an "unhirable" in Miami...

1 year to get another job...got hired at a corporation that had finacial problems....... out in 6 months...

Correction: "financial problems"

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Plain and simple......
there are some attorneys....
who look at you as a "work-horse"
AND are unreasonable as to expectations...

and I have experienced some fair and decent attorneys
while temping....

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

someone commented that "PARALEGALS, in general, ARE SHARP VALUABLE PEOPLE WHO GET THINGS DONE"

that so absolutely describes me.

My brain was sharp, knowlegeable and yeah I got things done...no work complaints..

My people skills cannot be as bad as my job history suggest.

WHY? Because for 4 years I was an outside SALES representative for a mortgage company. YOU have to have good people skills to sell...and the ability to get people to like you....

before I became a paralegal

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

New Topic:

Has anyone experienced a "personality" conflict with the boss?

Whether just personality differences, or you just do not see eye to eye, or disparate perceptions: The boss may not think the worker is capable or visa versa..Regardless...there is a disconnect.

What can a Paralegal do?.....What did the paralegal do to try and resolve the disconnect?

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: As you've read from my comments, Cindy, apparently I had a personality conflict with my last boss. I say "apparently." He was difficult but I dealt with it.

I would prefer to term any alleged conflicts personality differences. I'll maintain to the grave we were productive together. I feel I upgraded my position by asking for additional responsibilities and taking on further responsibilities the individual assigned to me. So, the individual clearly felt I was capable.

The individual was complex. The individual was basically introverted. He was aloof. He was anal. He was demanding. He was intense. With the intensity came abruptness. The individual sometimes affected an edge in his tone of voice that cut through me.

To get along with him I let him get to know me better than I would let other people know me. I tried to talk about sports with him. We both liked Denver Broncos football....

I gave to charities in the name of his passed mother and father-in-law. ..... I bought him a bottle of Wild Turkey for Xmas.

Those were my efforts to resolve whatever disconnect there was. IMO he magnified it in his mind. Because everything was his way or the highway, I felt I would risk my job if I spoke up too much.

Ok - It seems you took on additional responsbilities so that he knew you were competent and capable. Demonstrate cabable of doing the job and more.

Second- found a common interest you both shared-- build some comparaderie. Sunday games...his charity

Third...knew what he might want for x-mas and got it...
Tried to please him...

Again...all good....it appears there was some friction...and intense cutting edge comments....major head spinners.. Personality differences.....However, you did keep this relationship going for 7 years???

Me- out in 6 months. Work coming out correct...Still, he said I didn't know anything...

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: New Topic:

Has anyone experienced a "personality" conflict with the boss?

Whether just personality differences, or you just do not see eye to eye, or disparate perceptions: The boss may not think the worker is capable or visa versa..Regardless...there is a disconnect.

I had been at Ruden for five years when Rabian (new baby attorney) was hired. I worked for Rabian for about two/three months - nothing but conflict. I happened to walk by the Office Manager's office. Rabian was in there. So I invited myself in. He told me to leave. I said, I was staying, since I knew it involved me, maybe we needed to have a talk. Rabian came right out and said, I was hearing impaired (before my last two surgeries), he didn't think I was capable of the job and didn't want me as his secretary. The office manager and I were just staring at each other in disbelief. She reminded Rabian I had been there five years, worked for a partner, had a great rapport with him and I had great skills.

But it didn't matter. Rabian was very biased. Rabian did finally get another secretary. Thank god. Then we moved to St. Pete. Rabian wasn't invited. He was crushed -when in to talk to the partners. Rabian came to St. Pete. His crap started over. I did finally get fired - after working for Ruden for eight years.

After what Dara did to me (ran me down to every placement agency in town) I sent Rabian a three page letter explaining to him why he was an asssshole.

They started giving me a nice reference. What's funny, Rabian got married. His wife worked in the Tampa office. They fired her. Rabian quit, opened his own shop.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said:

Wow- thank you for commenting Mary..

5 years at a big firm Ruben Mc......had an office in Miami....hard to get into...must have solid work history..no jobhoppers....

So- here your are in the Big Leagues, working for a Partner for 5 years........Then comes along, your new boss...backstabbing A-hole nightmare newbe....And 3 years later... (total 8)you are out of a job..

I would without a doubt state there was nothing you could do about that..natta. ..Really amazing you asked to be invited into HR with A-hole badmouthing you....

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

You didn't miss anything by not working for Ruden. The Miami office had a really bad manager. I can't remember her name. She worked her way up from receptionist to office manager - and from what all the others said about her, she was an absolute joke. Rick Jablonski, although had far more knowledge and skill - well, let's just say it ---

Law firms are run for the benefit of the attorneys. Decisions are made based on a partner (or partners) whims - whether they are fair, logical, or to the benefit of the staff.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: You didn't miss anything by not working for Ruden. The Miami office had a really bad manager. ---

Law firms are run for the benefit of the attorneys. Decisions are made based on a partner (or partners) whims - whether they are fair, logical, or to the benefit of the staff.

Mary - very excellent comment.. No doubt....indeed the truth. Decisions based on partner(s) whim..... if they want a pretty girl they get a pretty girl....they complain abut you to HR...bye bye to you...

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Cindy and Mary, please review this thread and comment. Thanks!

www.indeed.com/forum/job/legal-secretary/Age-discrimination-leagal-secretary/t171173/p1#c849411

I made my comment..hope it was the correct post.

Baloney.....great phase...

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: New Topic:

Has anyone experienced a "personality" conflict with the boss?

Whether just personality differences, or you just do not see eye to eye, or disparate perceptions: The boss may not think the worker is capable or visa versa..Regardless...there is a disconnect.

What can a Paralegal do?.....What did the paralegal do to try and resolve the disconnect?

Personality conflict, difference- a big problem.

Upon my move to Miami - WITH a job offer in writing! ! ! !
I encountered a big personaity conflict- MY BOSS changed personalities.
As has been written in articles,
Many times, the attorneys are on good behaviour when they want to hire you.
And then, when you go to work....dealing with a different person...
the "cantankerous" attorney....

I had 2 jobs in a row- when moved to Miami...
FIrst 2 I encountered personality conflicts...
There is nothing you can do...except...
give short responses such as ok...be subsurvient...
back away from the conflict! !

It was not me....these things happen...
I was unable to overcome it...out in 10 days, then out in 30 days..

third job- was a SET-UP.
99% sure it was..the re-structure...no need for me anymore...
I was used for the last quarter crunch.....99% sure that was it! ! !

(Con't)

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

re: personality conflict, pesonality difference...big problem

If you recall...there was a woman, a Paralegal...
Worked for Big Firm in CA for like 10 years.....
She and husband moved from CA to Las Vegas...
Remember her story...

This Paralegal.....a proven solid para with an excellent work history...
Well....the para went through 2 jobs in Vegas....
Nailed the 3rd...working for corporation, Union...
Said she does not miss the stress one bit....imagine...
Has set hours....9-5

I SUBMIT....that moving to a new state can present new difficulties..
You are "new" to their legal community, legal culture...
My story not the norm....
However....even with the time-line cover on my resume...
I put years only June to January years.....so it appears worked there 1 year..
1 year later and no one wanted to hire me...

then panic and desperation hit 6 months into it...
Unemployment Resource center closed...No place to go for structure...
And it was a nice resource center...
only the professionals for allowed in there...

part-time job in Miami.....only if you speak Spanish..
so telemarketing was out...always my back fall job...
Yeah...my bad personality...the resume one that reads...
"can't get along with otheres"....
BUt I sure can sell....on the phone and in person...
There is a disconnect....HUm....makes me wonder..

Anywho, 1 year later...get a job...in-house councel for corporation..
ONly to discover....6 months into it...company cannot meet payroll..
on a regualar basis....

After that...my life spun out of control....

Yeah- I SUBMIT, these pesonality conflict, difference...boss's work style...
CAN really throw your life into a loop....

AND there is Mary's true story....
8 years with a Big FIrm....then comes the termination...
Due to personality conflict, personalty difference...
She was in a no-win situation...
Managed 3 years under him....Big "snaps" for Mary on that...

What can I say....hope floats...

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

(cont'd)

As you recall.....there is a Paralegal....
Worked like 10 years for Big Firm in CA...
Steller work history........
Moved to Las Veags with husband....
Went through 2 jobs........
Then nailed the 3rd....
Works for corporation, Union...
Straight work hours...9-5
Said she does not miss the stress.....imagine.

SOMETIMES...it is not a personality conflict, personality difference..
It is another disconnect....
SOMETHING else is going on with the company...
Such as a re-structure..financial problems...

I only know that it ruined my life....
Tested my survival skills to the max....
Had to move 5x in 12 months...to motels...in Florida.

Then my Father....throws me out of house...
Lovely...I was homeless....back to the motel...
That was the final straw that broke the camel's back...

What can I say....hope floats.......

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

(cont'd)

As you recall.....there is a Paralegal....
Worked like TEN years for Big Firm in CA...
Steller work history........
Moved to Las Veags with husband....
Went through 2 jobs........
Then nailed the 3rd....
Works for corporation, Union...
Straight work hours...Nine to Five...
said she does not miss the stress.....imagine.

SOMETIMES...it is not a personality conflict, personality difference..
It is another disconnect....
SOMETHING else is going on with the company...
Such as a re-structure..financial problems...

I only know that it ruined my life....
Tested my survival skills to the max....
Had to move 5x in 12 months...to motels...in Florida.

Then my Father....throws me out of house...
Lovely...I was homeless....back to the motel...
That was the final straw that broke the camel's back...

What can I say....hope floats.......

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

NEW TOPIC:

Has anyone changed jobs, while still employed?? I think "IP in Wash D.C." has done so. Andyone else and how did you do it?

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

ANOTHER NEW TOPIC"

The "LOR", Letter of Recommendation. Why you get them and why you do not??

IMO, firms, companies, etc, are reluctant to give them due to possible lawsuits...

Myself...I got one LOR....my boss was leaving the firm..thus no place for me...

Otherwise....no go...even when I signed a Severence Package that states cannot sue for any reason under the sun....When I asked for a LOR on the work I had done, that I was realiable employee...Answer: we do not give LOR to anyone.

Who is up next???

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I did. I started as an estate planning, probate and elder law paralegal. I simply had to move on from that firm, so I applied to firms who were advertising. I interviewed with a couple of firms and a BS legal headhunter. A month later, I applied to and heard from a three-attorney plaintiffs' PI auto and claimants' WC firm.

I interviewed with PI and WC partner. His interview was my only interview at that firm. I heard from him the next day and accepted the job at higher pay. I changed specialties. That job was the one I held onto for nearly seven years.

Well done DLP. Therefore, you have a super steller work history in legal...

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware said: ANOTHER NEW TOPIC"

The "LOR", Letter of Recommendation. Why you get them and why you do not??

IMO, firms, companies, etc, are reluctant to give them due to possible lawsuits...

Myself...I got one LOR....my boss was leaving the firm..thus no place for me...

Otherwise....no go...even when I signed a Severence Package that states cannot sue for any reason under the sun....When I asked for a LOR on the work I had done, that I was realiable employee...Answer: we do not give LOR to anyone.

Who is up next???

Correction: "reliable employee"

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Well, Cindy, you convinced me I had a stable work history in law, despite its ignominious end. You saw where I wrote "held onto the job," as opposed to "held the job." Slight difference in semantics.

Oh I get it...my rule...hold onto a job as long as you need it...if and when you can...

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I try to get LORs for a couple of reasons. The idea behind a LORs is to head off the risk of a negative reference. Present a strong LOR, with dates of employment, and a prospective employer may not call that ex-employer for a reference.

An LOR documents in writing your time with an employer. If you're asked for references at an interview, popping open your attache and presenting (with a flourish, of course) a stack of LORs is impressive. Finally, a positive LOR is good for you personally. It's always nice to read another person's positive comments about you.

Yes, I agree with the purpose the LOR serves.. But do you see the possible lawsuit they may be afraid of?

DLP case No.000 ha......Terminated after 7 years AND at an age over 40, that fits EEOC definition of "age discrimination".

DLP can take the LOR (evidence) down to EEOC and file age discrimination.

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Yes, I worked there for nearly seven years, but for much of that time I was doing my damnedest to keep that job for as long as I could.

Re-direct- You are not addressing the legal question as to possible reason employor did not give you the LOR.

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: It wouldn't stand. I was 48 when that individual hired me.

In any event, again, as Paul Harvey would have said, here's the rest of story. The individual said he would write a LOR for me. The individual even said he would write it that afternoon or the next day. The individual never provided the letter. I never saw that individual break his word in the nearly seven years I worked for him. So, clearly, intentionally or unintentionally, that individual lied to me.

Ah-ha....over 40 when hired...Attorney could still fear a potential lawsuit...In any event...not getting the LOR sure did not help things.......

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Recall that he noted I was 55 years old, had seven years of litigation experience, and I would find a new job in a month. He paid me a month's severance and accrued leave. He naively believed I would find another job that quickly, or, more likely, as my wife has stated many times, he said those things to assuage any guilt he felt for terminating me.

(How tasteful of him to note my age after he cans me. I kept my yap shut about age discrimination because he said he'd provide the letter.)

(amended and corrected)

Yeah - how "distasteful" of him...truely....You were smart...no reason to "threaten" age discrimination..that will do you no good...damage...and you knew that....so you did the right thing....keep the goodwill, get your months severence..additional pay ...wait for LOR.... that IS how you handle it...as you did....

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: New Topic:

Has anyone experienced a "personality" conflict with the boss?

Whether just personality differences, or you just do not see eye to eye, or disparate perceptions: The boss may not think the worker is capable or visa versa..Regardless...there is a disconnect.

What can a Paralegal do?.....What did the paralegal do to try and resolve the disconnect?

It was suggested in an article that one way of dealing with the "personality conflict" is to find a "buffer" person..In legal, we are one-on-one...no buffer...I sort of had a buffer when working for In-house....I shared office with Asst GC...and we got along great....He trained my up..However....I do have to speak with GC at times....and that was always "uncomfortable", just was...

SOMETIMES there is other stuff going on in the backgrounds..and that could be the cause of a termination..

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Not working for money, but using my legal training and knowledge to help friend in Property Settlement Agreement.

Yeah, I am..No, I have no experience in Divorce...however...
there is the Internet and....I can read, understand and comprehend..
Found the Delaware Law.... it is in the Code, Title...
Located Sample Property Settlement agreement...
Researched and pulled public record on property...off internet..
Read up on how the property is divided...if mortgage ...

Wah-lah....I have an entire packet put together for her...
NO- I am not giving legal advice.

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware said: Not working for money, but using my legal training and knowledge to help friend in Property Settlement Agreement.

Yeah, I am..No, I have no experience in Divorce...however...
there is the Internet and....I can read, understand and comprehend..
Found the Delaware Law.... it is in the Code, Title...
Located Sample Property Settlement agreement...
Researched and pulled public record on property...off internet..
Read up on how the property is divided...if mortgage ...

Wah-lah....I have an entire packet put together for her...
NO- I am not giving legal advice.

And yes, I told her to have husband get an "appraisal"
Appraisal in...

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Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida

59 months ago

You're reading the law, interpreting it, and using your interpretation to work on a settlement agreement that affects her rights and interests in real property. Doing that work without the supervision of a licensed attorney IS the unauthorized practice of law.

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida said: You're reading the law, interpreting it, and using your interpretation to work on a settlement agreement that affects her rights and interests in real property. Doing that work without the supervision of a licensed attorney IS the unauthorized practice of law.

Oh Jane, you do jump to conclusions...The Settlement Agreement had already been drafted by Husband's attorney...She does not undersatand it. words like "equity" - she does not understand..I just looked up the information at to how the property (house) division works, so I understand it and make sure the numbers line up...If not..I tell her to have him explain it...Additionally, I pulled the Public Property Records ....anyone can do it...on the internet...check on mortgage...see where attorney is getting the number.

I can explain things, already drafted by the attorney...how the numbers work..,,to her in a way that she can understand....That is all....

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida said: You're reading the law, interpreting it, and using your interpretation to work on a settlement agreement that affects her rights and interests in real property. Doing that work without the supervision of a licensed attorney IS the unauthorized practice of law.

I never said I was interpreting the law.

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida said: You're reading the law, interpreting it, and using your interpretation to work on a settlement agreement that affects her rights and interests in real property. Doing that work without the supervision of a licensed attorney IS the unauthorized practice of law.

Additionally, I suggest she have the agreement reviewed by an attorney.

the list of items to be divided are in the Sample Property Settlemeny Agreement.

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Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida

59 months ago

This is what YOU said:

"Yeah, I am..No, I have no experience in Divorce...however...
there is the Internet and....I can read, understand and comprehend..
Found the Delaware Law.... it is in the Code, Title...
Located Sample Property Settlement agreement...
Researched and pulled public record on property...off internet..
Read up on how the property is divided...if mortgage ...
Wah-lah....I have an entire packet put together for her...
NO- I am not giving legal advice."

The facts you presented conveyed that you had done research and prepared "an entire packet" for your friend for her property settlement agreement. I did not jump to conclusions, that is the information YOU gave.

Additionally, explaining legal terms to her and advising her what the settlement agreement means is giving legal advice. The only advice you should be giving her is to consult an attorney of her own. Even as paralegals working under an attorney, we cannot tell clients what legal terms mean or what the legal effect of a document is; we can only relate to the client what the attorney specifically tells us to say about those things.

I understand the desire to help, but there is a very fine line between general help and UPL. And UPL applies to any non-lawyer, not just practicing paralegals.

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida said: This is what YOU said:

"Yeah, I am..No, I have no experience in Divorce...however...
there is the Internet and....I can read, understand and comprehend..
Found the Delaware Law.... it is in the Code, Title...
Located Sample Property Settlement agreement...
Researched and pulled public record on property...off internet..
Read up on how the property is divided...if mortgage ...
Wah-lah....I have an entire packet put together for her...
NO- I am not giving legal advice."

The facts you presented conveyed that you had done research and prepared "an entire packet" for your friend for her property settlement agreement. I did not jump to conclusions, that is the information YOU gave.

Additionally, explaining legal terms to her and advising her what the settlement agreement means is giving legal advice. The only advice you should be giving her is to consult an attorney of her own. Even as paralegals working under an attorney, we cannot tell clients what legal terms mean or what the legal effect of a document is; we can only relate to the client what the attorney specifically tells us to say about those things.

I understand the desire to help, but there is a very fine line between general help and UPL. And UPL applies to any non-lawyer, not just practicing paralegals.

(1) I did not say "interpret the law"
(2) equity and mortgage are not legal terms....I was a mortgage loan officer before a paralegal...
(3) Anyone, can pull a Sample Stettlement Agreement off the internet....
(4) She does not have representation......

If her father was a financial advisor, he could explain the division of the savings plan, already drafted...by husband's attorney...she does not understand IRA, taxes on money if you touch it early...husband will be helping her...and has explained the document...she need it further explained....

Again, Savings, MM accounts, business IRA....not legal terms...

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Jane Do Girl in Pensacola, Florida said: This is what YOU said:

"Yeah, I am..No, I have no experience in Divorce...however...
there is the Internet and....I can read, understand and comprehend..
Found the Delaware Law.... it is in the Code, Title...
Located Sample Property Settlement agreement...
Researched and pulled public record on property...off internet..
Read up on how the property is divided...if mortgage ...
Wah-lah....I have an entire packet put together for her...
NO- I am not giving legal advice."

The facts you presented conveyed that you had done research and prepared "an entire packet" for your friend for her property settlement agreement. I did not jump to conclusions, that is the information YOU gave.

Additionally, explaining legal terms to her and advising her what the settlement agreement means is giving legal advice. The only advice you should be giving her is to consult an attorney of her own. Even as paralegals working under an attorney, we cannot tell clients what legal terms mean or what the legal effect of a document is; we can only relate to the client what the attorney specifically tells us to say about those things.

I understand the desire to help, but there is a very fine line between general help and UPL. And UPL applies to any non-lawyer, not just practicing paralegals.

This is a big line........

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kmm in Wilmington, DE in Wilmington, Delaware

59 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Never got the goddam letter, of course. That has pissed me off perhaps more than my sudden termination.

oh yeah - sometimes these things come back to haunt us...when we are not even looking for it. The hauting of the LOR.

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