Resigning (Part 2)

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Comments (6)

txelle in Waco, Texas

63 months ago

I really feel like I will be leaving the attorney in a lurch when I resign. The truth of the matter is that I do everything in the office: paralegal, office manager, accounts payable/receivable, personal assistant plus help him with his “side projects.” He does not know much about his docket and cannot be trusted to pull something from the file himself. I realize that these are all his problems, not mine, but I plan on giving him the standard 2 weeks. If it takes him a week to find someone to replace me, then I have only 1 week to show them everything. I will do my best to make sure that the files are organized perfectly but I can anticipate many emails from this new person asking me where things are.

So this brings me to my questions. Should I give more than the standard 2 weeks notice? How long should I help the new person if they have questions after I am gone? How should I respond if my (soon-to-be-ex) boss tries to contact me after I am gone? I am fairly certain that he will ask me to come back at some point because I’ve seen it happen before.

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ellyjohn in Kingston, Jamaica

63 months ago

In the case where i had to leave my job and not wanting to be in a "to and fro" situation with my ex-employer or new staff, i gave the required notice (no more no less). I went a step further to provide a report with all projects and activities and their current status and the contact persons. As for my other work load, monthly reports (if there were being read) would provide the missing pieces.
I would tell you not to worry, give the required notice, have all files in their proper place, make hard copies and email the relevant persons all necessary information.
Your resignation letter should be short and to the point.......should include a thank you for the opportunity to work at xyz law firm......the time has come for me to make some personal changes, hence etc...etc.. something generic.......
Should you get the call to come from your ex-boss, i would say stand your ground and let him/her know you are not available, also do not be too quick to respond to email or telephone request or else they will not stop.......

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

63 months ago

If your plan is to remain working in the legal field (which is small and people talk) then I would give 2 weeks notice and once the two weeks is up evaluate the situation - did he hire someone? Is he/she catching on? And offer a 3rd week if the attorney boss is willing to pay both wages. I wouldn't tell him your willingness to stay on an extra week or more because he'll procrastinate and not believe that you are really leaving.

If you are leaving the legal field or have another job to go to or plan to not work for whatever reason - I would just give the 2 weeks and that's it.

I have always answered questions from past employers after I quit. They call and email and I have no problem helping out. I know other people firmly believe that once you are gone, that's it. But, the legal field is so small and incestuous that I am only hurting myself by not helping out. In my current job, this just isn't done - it's a corporation, not a law firm - so I expect no calls or emails if I leave this job.

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txelle in Houston, Texas

63 months ago

Well, I finally received my offer letter this past Thursday and I accepted on Friday morning. Due to the terms of the offer letter, I had to give my two weeks notice on Friday. The attorney claimed he was happy for me but kept talking about how he really wished I could stay longer. We basically went around and around in this manner several times throughout the day.

He texted me today to ask if I could stay until these 2 particular cases settled/went to trial. He said that he would give me a substantial bonus, depending on the outcome of the cases, and then I would be free to pursue other employment. Of course, there is no guarantee when, if, or for how much these cases would eventually resolve, so it almost guarantees that the other opportunity that I have already accepted would be gone.

When I was explaining my reasons for leaving, I basically stated that I realized after 4 years that I just do not enjoy the legal field and have decided to move on. I didn't tell him that a lot of the reason I was moving on was because of him. I know he is going to continue to bargain with me to try to get me to stay.

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Liz in Washington, District of Columbia

63 months ago

It sounds like your lawyer boss is being manipulative - which tells you he hasn't changed on being a bad boss. Ick. Congrats on your new position, and getting away from what sounds like a fairly icky situation!

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

63 months ago

Goodness. You have another job lined up. Give your two weeks' notice, and don't look back. So what if the attorney will be left in a lurch? Don't let him guilt you into anything more than wearing the 4-5 hats you wore as a paralegal.

Attorneys sometimes want their paralegals to be everything from the mail boy to an attorney and everything in between. It's a problem.

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