I firmly believe that the legal profession is an honorable profession. It’s not just a job you know it’s a career it’s an honorable profession. There are still people out there every day that need help and every day lawyers are helping them and their supporting staff they’re paralegals are legal assistants are helping people every single day. We hear a lot in the media that America is just too litigious, we sued at the drop of a hat. We sue everybody over everything. Frivolous lawsuits. People rushing to the courtrooms etc. Let me ask you though, what’s the alternative to that? If the big guy is taking advantage of the little guy and I don’t have a court room what’s the alternative? Even if it’s a big guy against another big guy, corporation against corporation and they can’t resolve their differences, what’s the alternative to it?
We see it in the media everyday; Egypt, Syria, the protests, the violence. Every 4 to 8 years we completely change our government. We in bring in a whole new set and we do it peacefully. For over 200 years we’ve been doing it like that. Other nations do it through violence and some of them don’t get to change at all.
When we had a problem how do we resolve our problem? We don’t march in the streets we don’t kill people we don’t have a coup of the military to take over Washington. Lawyers handled it. The Supreme Court of the United States handled it. And too litigious? Fine, I think that’s great because that’s kept us a peaceful and prosperous nation for a long time to come. So paralegals looking to go into this field you know you go into a very honorable field even though attorneys have all kinds of bad reputations part of it’s our fault I mean there are bad attorneys out there and greedy people out there just like in any field. But for paralegals coming into the field no matter which way you go into every day you’re helping people and very important help.
What about the family that simply wants to adopt? Paralegals help get that done. What about the guy who’s going to jail or whatever losing property, money, his life, his time? Paralegals help in criminal law. You name the area of law what about the family who’s having a discussion about what to do about grandma? You know she’s not thinking or not taking care of herself. Eldercare law, social security, disability, workers’ compensation, you know getting hurt on the job and as America is so mobile try to find an area where we don’t have motor vehicle accidents and we need tort attorneys, personal injury attorneys, so if you are coming into this field if you have a passion for helping people for knowing that you’ve done everything you can for somebody this is a an area to be in and I think you’re going to find it fascinating.
I love it because every day it’s something new. I don’t care that the law is black and white you take it and apply the facts, which can get different results every time and I learn something every time because I’m always dealing with a different fact pattern. I do personally workers compensation law representing injured employees. It’s just fascinating, you’re always pretty much doing something different. You’re always dealing with different people and again I think you’re always helping people and so I think you know being a paralegal is a great profession.
When I’m a lawyer and I’m looking for a paralegal and I’ve got several candidates from different programs I don’t have the time or the desire to look at each program to figure out who really was taught something and has just a “fly by night” certificate. I don’t have time for that so when I look at a candidate and they’ve graduated from an ABA approved program well I’m happy with that because you know I understand the American Bar Association. I understand what their standards are. I’m a member of the American Bar Association. So just shooting blind I would take the person with the ABA because we’re not teaching what we want here we’re teaching the way organizations since the 1800s have told us to teach.
It’s always best to learn from licensed practicing attorneys. You’re going to get real world experience. I’m going to tell you things that I’ve seen happen. We talk about depositions, we talk about going to court, real world examples of it not just the textbook reading and memorizing. You’re going to get real world networking with attorneys. I know lawyers like to make contacts and you will make contacts. I really do think that you’re going to enjoy it and I think you’ll find it’s a wonderful career and a rewarding career.