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The Complexities of the Law Firm Peer Order

Working at a law firm is like no other business entity. Law firms are generally a conservative place to work. While many companies have embraced the idiosyncrasies of the younger generation, these firms frown on weird hair color, nose rings, and tattoos. Time has forgotten this world.

Law firms thrive on modern technology such as the Internet and social networking sites. They continue to remain in a world that embraces clean professionalism. However, in this professional world of law it is a well kept secret. For those who decide to enter this world as a paralegal, they quickly realize the strangeness of law firm politics and the secrecy of the pecking order.

Working in a law office is exciting and fast-paced. However, learning and understanding the pecking order is crucial. First, it is important to understand the order among the lawyers. Law office partners are no longer subject to these rules. However, new attorneys must understand the order of attorneys in the firm. Lawyers generally don’t care about the order of paralegals and secretaries.

However, for a paralegal to be successful, they must understand the pecking order of their counterparts and secretaries. The secretaries of a law firm strictly adhere to the rules of the order. A secretary who works for a partner is considered the boss when it comes to other secretaries. The top clerk has the privilege of controlling and dictating the working hours of the other clerk.

As a new paralegal at a law firm, you can expect to get all the work other paralegals would rather not do. As for the other paralegals, you are at the bottom of the pecking order and are subject to the most tedious tasks.

However, understanding the pecking order for secretaries can help you gain recognition for moving up the paralegal pecking order. Nothing offends the general secretary of the law firm more than another member of staff who violates the implied order. Once he understands who is at the top, he can begin to use the system to solidify his position in the law firm.

While it is important for a paralegal to perform their duties accurately and efficiently, it is also important for a paralegal to interact with co-workers. As a legal assistant, the goal is to earn the opportunity to work on the most interesting cases. Additionally, a paralegal may have the opportunity to accompany an attorney into the courtroom.

By developing a professional relationship with the legal partner’s secretary, a paralegal can quickly maneuver through the caseload to get the best assignments. Lawyers rely on their secretaries to help manage cases and, quite often, the lawyer’s personal life. Lawyers value the opinions of their secretaries and often request staff recommendations for important cases.

While the pecking order seems like an archaic tradition, understanding it is imperative if you want a successful career as a paralegal in a law firm. The key is to learn the order quickly and use it to your advantage.

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