Working With Attorneys – A Confessional Part I
I was recently asked to do a brief interview for the Attorney At Law Magazine. I thought I would take my two favorite questions and turn them into a blog post. So, here is my first confessional about what life is like working with attorneys. The purpose of this blog post is to first and foremost remind those of us that work with the legal field to remain diligent, compassionate and energized. The second part of this blog post is to remind attorneys to know who they are and allow us the opportunity to assist with the things they are not programmed to do. The final purpose of this blog post was to save some money on my weekly therapy – so thank each of you who takes the time to read this. Here goes:
- What do you enjoy most about working with attorneys? I jokingly described my previous experience as a paralegal in small firms like this “Imagine working for a person, whose only goal is to walk into a courtroom and prove he’s right – even if deep down he believes he’s wrong.” Obviously, that is a simple way of saying, as a lawyer you must advocate zealously, no matter the strength of their client’s position. The work ethic, intelligence and simple doggone determination of most attorneys is truly inspiring to me. I also find the industry, as a whole, one of the most honorable professions I know (contrary to many of the jokes made at their expense). I like to consider myself a workaholic. The truth is the legal field is full of nothing but workaholics. People who will work harder every day to fulfill their mission of solving legal needs. There is no end to the work, and no end to the commitment lawyers make to fulfill their duties. I actually have worked for many lawyers who worked longer hours than I did – a rare occurrence for me in my professional life prior to becoming a part of the legal field.
- What is the biggest challenge you face in your industry? How do you overcome it? The biggest challenge in the industry can be the greatest reward – CHANGE. Lawyers are terrible at change. They have been taught precedence is everything. So…. When there is an existing solution, that is the best choice. But business….and technology are exactly the opposite. To be successful in business, you must be ready to pivot your business model, change your overall ideas of how you run the business itself and evolve as your market evolves. Technology is all of this – at a much faster and more disruptive pace. So, naturally most law firms reject the idea they are a business in the first place and reject new technology if it is not comfortable and familiar. But with challenges come the best rewards. Once law firms are given the tools and technology to improve their systems, they can decrease their workload. A novel idea in the legal field, but you can do more work, serve more clients, make more money and do it all in less time.