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Making Mistakes As A Paralegal?
Have Been A Paralegal For Two Years, And I Still Find Myself Making Silly Mistakes On Occasion. I Think For The Most Part I Do Good Work, And I Truly Care About My Job. Occasionally Though, I Still Miss A Check Mark On A Form, Have A Typo In A Letter, Or The Last Big Screw Was As Follows:
I Sent Out A Contract Engagement Letter With A Typo In The File Number. It Was One Number Off. As A Result, Money Came Back And Was Associated With The Wrong Client Leading To An Accounting Nightmare. It Wasn'T Pretty. I Also Had Double Checked This Letter, And Still Missed The Error!
Are There Any Other Paralegals On Here That Experience Occasional Mistakes At Work? It Seems Like The Standard Is Perfection All The Time, But It Is Hard To Acheive It!
Also, Is It Okay For Your Supervising Attorney To Catch These Mistakes Occasionally Or Is It Your Opinion That The Paralegal Should Present Them With Perfect Documents So That They Don'T Have To Review Them?
Any Advice From Fellow Paralegals Would Be Greatly Appreciated!
Hi there. I am currently employed as a commercial construction litigation paralegal. Try saying that 10 times fast LOL. My area of law is highly complex and complicated, and for that reason, perfection is demanded. I literally sent out 16 Requests for Equitable Adjustment claims for MILLIONS of dollars. Talk about pressure! Anything and everything I handle is literally worth millions of dollars somewhere. That is the nature of large construction projects.
Do I make simple mistakes? Yes. We're only human. If a paralegal were to post they never make mistakes, they are simply a liar. We all do it.
I work for great attorneys that understand that is why we review each other's work. When they catch a simple typo or something that I inadvertently miss, I do not get harassed or put down. That is why we always have 2-3 pairs of eyes. We are only human and no one is perfect. I always pass my correspondence to the legal secretary to read. She always passes her correspondence to me. We treat proofing as mutual respect issue. We accept we make mistakes and we pass things around to get a fresh pair of eyes on things.
Honestly, the statement of, "...should present them with perfect documents so that they don't have to review them," made me wince a bit. I don't know how involved you are with your career. I am a member of two paralegal organizations and the State Bar Construction Law Section. I have to attend many hours of CLE and ethics. Hanging in front of me are the State Bar's Paralegal Ethics. On this sheet states that a paralegal shall never submit work to client that has not been reviewed by an attorney. I don't know if you employ in such standards, but no matter how much it irritates my boss, he reviews EVERYTHING I send, down to the simple, "Enclosed is a CD containing Bates Numbered images 001-002." This is for YOUR protection. As paralegals, we forget we can be sued for the unauthorized practice of law. Sometimes, my correspondence is so detailed with instructions from my supervising attorney, I ensure he reviews it and gives me the verbal go ahead. If your supervising attorney does not appreciate your thoroughness...I wince.
My advice is always have someone else check your work. A fresh pair of eyes ensures the client/opposing counsel receives perfect work. It should not be viewed as a negative thing. Make checklists. I have checklists, that after repeated use, have become habit. My first one was simple. Check the date, check the format, check the outgoing address, is the fax number correct, is the mailing address correct. I now go through these things systematically and produce very few mistakes. I always run spell check and grammar check. THEN I proofread on my own to catch mistakes. I do not proofread on the computer screen. I noticed that it is easier for tired eyes to glance over mistakes. I always print a DRAFT watermarked copy, make my changes, then have the secretary read it. Then I finalize, present to the attorney and request his review. The best advice is to walk away for a few minutes and go back. I don't know how many times I thought something was perfect, went to get a cup of coffee, looked down and saw a mistake. Sometimes, if it isn't urgent, I put it to the side, work on something else, and THEN go back to it. I catch my own mistakes that way as well. Lastly, take your time. You should watch me proof. I literally get out a ruler on client numbers, dollar numbers and important information and triple check. If it is important enough, I draft a cheat sheet with the important information so I can go back and compare.
The important thing is to focus on what is in front of you. Ask yourself what needs to be perfect in the document you are preparing. Client number? Dollar amount? County? Jurisdiction? I find that when I slow down and really ask..."What needs to be perfect?" I produce flawless work. Good luck!
California Family Law Subpoena...Which Form To Use...?
I Need To Subpoena My Son'S School For All Of His Information And Teacher Credential And Schooling Info. Yes I Have Joint Legal And Physical Custody But They Still Won'T Give It To Me. That'S Why I Need A Subpoena...Please Send The Link Or The Form #. I'Ve Checked Www.Courtinfo.Ca.Gov But All Of These Are For Business Records And I'M Asking For More Than Business Info.
Use the business records one, that can include all of the records pertaining to your son, as well as anything else that you specify on the subpoena. You can also attach the attachment form (that's what it's called on the CA forms site) and specify in detail what documents you want.
What Is A Law Firm'S Typical Billable Hour Expectations For A Newly Minted Associate Attorney?
A Few Classmates And I Have Debated Over What The Typical Billable Hour Expectations Are From Ca Law Firms Of A New Associate Attorney.
Recently, I Came Across A Job Offer For A 0-1 Yr Experienced Attorney, Which Stated That 200 A Month / 2400 A Year Billable Is Required.
Is This An Unrealistic Expectation For A Firm To Have Of A New Attorney?
Can 200 Billable Hours A Month / 2400 A Year Actually Be Achieved?
Is There Any Type Of Typical Billable Hour Requirement Range That This Falls Outside Or Within?
2,300 to 2,400 billable hours a year is a standard expectation for a first year associate in a big law firm or any regional law firm that pays comparable salary. It is not an unrealistic expectation and if you want to pursue a career as an attorney in a big law firm you have to be willing to put in the hours necessary to achieve that goal. Not every hour at work is billable either. While it varies depending on the ability and efficiency of the associate and the efficiency of those attorneys with whom the associate works, the ratio of billable hours to non-billable hours is usually in the neighborhood of 2:1 to 3:1 which translates into about 3,200-3,600 hours for the year. Associates at big law firms achieve these hours by working late almost every day, coming in on weekends frequently and working while on vacation (hence the term "sweatshop" firm that is attributed to most big law firms). There really are not many jobs in any area where it is reasonable for a person with a professional graduate degree to expect to receive a six figure salary as an entry level employee so the work hour expectation is not that unfair or unrealistic.
As a first year associate, you really have no practical skills as a lawyer to use as a basis for evaluation for most of your first year, so your end of the year performance review relies heavily upon your billable hours. While it is not fatal to your career to fall a hundred hours or so short of 2,400, there is not a lot of flexibility to allow for a favorable performance review if you fall much shorter than that in terms of billable hours.
If those hours seem unpalatable for you then you should seek employment elsewhere such as with a government agency or a smaller firm although there is no guarantee that a smaller firm with lower pay will not have heavy billable hour or work hour requirements, especially given the employment market conditions for lawyers in the current economy which is even worse than the traditionally already bad employment market for entry level attorneys. If you do work at one of these positions your salary will most likely be a fraction of that of a big law firm associate with the median being around 40k (possible lower in this economy).
Property Lawyer Or Major !! I Have A Homework Help!!!?
Susan Has Contracted To Sell Her Home To Bob. Sale Is For $100,000 Cash With No Conditions Except That Title Be Marketable And The Sale To Close On July 20 At Susan’S Attorney’S Office.July 18, Bob Calls Susan And Informs Her That He Had Planned To Buy The Property By A “Loan Assumption” (I.E. Rich Uncle). Rich Uncle, However, Has Refused And Bob Does Not Have The Cash To Go Ahead With The Deal.Bob Further Mentions That He Has Some Other Real Estate Worth About $500,000 And He Could Sell Or Get A Loan Against This Real Estate And Have Enough Cash To Go Ahead With The Deal In The Future.Bob Asks Susan If She Will Extend The Closing For A Month, Until Aug 20.Susan Says No And Informs Bob That She Is Ready, Willing And Able To Perform On July 20.On July 20, No Closing Takes Place.On July 21, Susan Sues Bob For Breach Of Contract.Please Answer :(1) Has Bob Breached The Contract? (B) Does Susan Have The Right To Sue Bob On July 21? (C) If Susan Can Sue Bob On July 21, Any Remedies Availab?
1. Yes, Bob has breached the contract.
2. Yes, Susan DOES have the right to sue BUT must first look to the Restatement 2d (or the laws of her jurisdiction) with respect to contracts for real property & giving the opportunity to cure. Usually, she must give Bob an opportunity to cure of 10 days (sometimes more), but NOT ALWAYS.
3. She can sue for Breach of Contract. But, she will NOT get a remedy that commands Bob to perform - specific performance almost NEVER gets awarded, especially in such a situation. She may be able to settle the debt by either renegotiating the payment terms OR by attaching a security interest in Bob's other property. For this, she must get a written agreement under the new terms AND file a Financing Statement with the local court clerk or county office - the court clerk will know exactly where to file for your jurisdiction. If she does not do BOTH (get a written agreement & file a financing statement) she will not be able to take priority over other creditors who may have an interest in Bob's other property which is not yet perfected.
Looking For A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Who Knows Of A Good Bankruptcy Lawyer In The San Francisco Bay Are California.
Try this website.....has lawyer referral and all for the bay area
You can also try this website link
Or Google...san francisco bay bar assoication....or san francisco bay bankruptcy attorney...they all should give you a start to finding one....Good Luck!
2 Degree Assault Juvenile Charges?
Im 13 Years Old And I Have Been Attacked By One Of The Students In Charles Carroll Middle School,The Scene Was Caught On Camera And That Person Threw The First Punch And It Was Caught On Camera And He Dropped Hes School Id.And I Talked To The Sheriff My Friend Broke Up The Fight,And The Sheriff Said He Will Get My Information And Come To The School Tomorrow ( I Go To That School To) The Boy Who Attacked Me Is 14 Years Of Age.. What Kind Of Charges I Can Press On Him, And How Long Could He Be In Juvenile?
He can be charged without being put in juvenile detention, he will probably be cited (issued a ticket), and be required to show in court. If this is his first offense he may do community service hours and a certain amount of probation. It depends on the amount of damage he did to you as to the charges he will face. Regardless of what you request him to be charged with, he can plea bargain it down with the District Attorney ( well his parents can since he's a minor) if he hasn't made this a history he'll will most likely get unsupervised probation and community service, if it's happened before his charges will go up a notch. I wouldn't hold my breath on him doing time though.