How many support staff/paralegals to associates are at your firm, and what is your firm size/business model? I'm in midlaw where each paralegal supports around 4 people (2-3 working associates and 1 partner) and they are able to get things done if you ask but it's the constant asking/delegating for each task and callup that drives me crazy. I'm also curious about reporting procedures because I'm a little worn out with some processes we have where second attorney reviews even reminder emails.

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Talk with the review attorney/team about the issue with reminder emails. If they’re asking to review them, it’s probably because they don’t trust you yet. I don’t mean this to be insulting to you, but they’ve probably been burned before with some new patent agent saying something stupid to a client in a email that was not reviewed and are likely overly cautious with new folks as a result.

I would lower your expectations on the support/operations side of things. The boutique you were at likely had things set up very well, but specific to their niche practice/clients. I’m guessing the firm you are at now has a wider variety of clients, and you probably now (or soon will) support a larger number of partners, so it’s unfortunately really difficult to make operational improvements across the board. Each partner will want things done a certain way and, to the extent they’ve even put any thought into their operations structure, it’s going to be to suit their own preference (not to make your life easier).

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Thank you for this. Youre right it's many more clients and partners with different preferences. I agree I think I'm just going to have to lower my standards or possibly look elsewhere with an unfortunately more boring (but efficient) setup. They are easing up on some types of emails and letting me send them but I just made a mistake on one where I forgot one of the attachments (signature docs) so it might not be the right time to ask for more leeway. At my last firm I wouldn't have even sent an email about signature docs - that would be a paralegal thing - but here we are.

Small Boutique firm (7 practitioners). We have 4 paralegals we all share, and 2 legal assistants.

We don’t have to review reminder emails as everything is prepared in form letters our practitioners review/update twice a year (or more if necessary).

We all have various styles of reporting. I report all my application filings and office actions. Some don’t report anything directly unless they are including an analysis.

I’d say 80% of the time they are excellent, 20% of the time we will need to get on top of them. More times than not, they are ahead of us and are reminding us to do things.

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Where do you work and are you interested in hiring someone else remotely? Lol...

I'll also provide past experience in a small boutique. About 1 paralegal assigned to 1 or 2 attorneys + a small group who only did OA shells and spec formatting/translating + an "overflow" paralegal. Only big clients so the reporting procedures were very automatic and paralegals were trusted to report OAs and other actions without any attorney review. They were highly involved in the docket and automatically kept track of when to send email reminders, check case status, etc. and could just send those on their own and clear things on the docket. It was really nice and they just knew you needed stuff done and you never had to ask because they were tracking your docket with you. But the tradeoff was I got paid less. Seems strange I'm getting paid more in midlaw to basically do more admin tasks and not as much substantial work product, but part of that is we have some small clients so it makes sense for attorneys to personally check in more.

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