How much do you rely on your para? I’m in my 30s and pretty computer literate, I don’t dictate, I like doing research etc. I know other attorneys that have their paras do all their discovery, all their research, all their motions and I wonder how it’s possible to hit billables if someone else is doing the majority of your work? Seems crazy to me.

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I only use a paralegal for filling and service. Don't even really use my legal secretary for anything either. I've learned to be self sufficient, in part because my firm has 10+ attorneys to a secretary and one paralegal for the whole office.

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Paralegals everywhere are deeply insulted.

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I didn’t mean the post to offend. I have a great para, I just find older attorneys have theirs do way more of their work. Paras rock!

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My assistant does filings. If there are a lot of exhibits, I'd ask a paralegal to help. Otherwise, I don't really see the benefit until actually preparing for trial. I work with one paralegal who will do first drafts of things like discovery requests in specific kinds of cases, but the drafts still need a lot of work. She also sends out subpoenas. I've never met a paralegal competent enough to do research or draft motions. I think it's really practice area dependent. They are more useful in areas that involve filing out a lot of forms and when less money is a stake so minor errors are not a big deal.

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Who in the world is having non-law educated staff research and draft motions??

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Every lawyer I know over 40

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Y’all apparently don’t do a lot of gigantic briefs with hundreds of exhibits, create thousand entry privilege logs, or go to big trials… my paralegals are my lifeblood.

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I mean we have to make the privilege calls, but cleaning up the formatting on a several thousand entry log where the entries are done in relativity… I don’t have time for that.

I also completely agree if your paralegals aren’t good you just have to do it yourself. I’m incredibly lucky to have several with 20+ years of experience, great attitudes, great work product, and a willingness to work the hours needed.

I am interested in thoughts on this as well. I find I bounce back and forth between trying to delegate smaller tasks to free up my time to focus on larger tasks and business development and wanting to do everything myself so there are no issues with my billing.

I used to lean hard on my old firm’s paralegals for help with discovery and getting the ancillary docs for filings pulled together. They were brilliant. One even had a JD herself, but preferred the paralegal hours.

New firm’s paralegals are useless. 90% of the time, I get told, “Paralegals don’t handle that here,” and the other 10% of the time is cite checks and proofing (half of which is done wrong anyway).

As much as possible. Mines fairly new but really good. So I just ask her to try to do stuff and see how it goes. Then teach and work together to get our processes right.

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