I’m a Miracle Paralegal


QLet me preface this by saying that I am fully aware of the satirical nature of Bitter Lawyer. That’s the reason why I’ve written. The truth is that cynical, humorous viewpoints are often more genuine (and therefore superior) to those secured through purely ratiocinative method.

Cynicism and bitterness stream through these veins, and I don’t fault anyone for feeling the same way I do. So, spice my soup with a merry mélange of misanthropy, but please . . . make your answers genuine.

Background: Paralegal student. Male. Age 33. Sagittarius. Interests: Consumer protection law. Future lawyer?  No, I’d rather be a Certified Fraud Examiner. “Relevant” work experience: Insurance. No real legal experience (except for waging my own consumer protection battles: 1 win, 2 losses). I’ve already arranged to volunteer at Legal Aid (state agency) while I go to school.

But I do have experience working assiduously 12-14 hours daily (& >16 hours about once a week) for sociopathic bosses who wouldn’t cross the street to urinate on me if I was on fire. I have nothing against the all-nighter with no “thank-you” afterward because I know that—whatever the business—sometimes it just can’t wait.  It needs to get done NOW.  Just like invading Iraq. It needed to get done. NOW.

Now for my Question: How has working with paralegals/legal assistants contributed to your bitterness? Have you ever encountered that “miracle paralegal” who made you say, “I am indeed consumed with bitterness. However, this sentiment is somewhat mitigated by the excellent performance of my indispensable paralegal”?

AYes, I worked with several smart, competent paralegals and assistants over the years. But no, they did nothing—ABSOLUTELY NOTHING—to assuage my relentless, all-consuming bitterness toward the legal profession. Nor did they inspire me to become a better boyfriend, son or citizen. Sorry. When someone working for me performed admirably, I was pleasantly surprised and appropriately complimentary. “Great job, Tim. Thanks.”

If you like to change people’s lives, I think you’re in the wrong profession. Perhaps you should create your own TV show.  Touched By A Paralegal. Or maybe The Lawyer Whisperer.

And you may need to start using different words to describe your disposition. You seem more “naïve and optimistic” than “bitter and cynical.” According to your email, cynicism and bitterness really jug through your veins, but, to me, it sounds more like hope and idealism. With a touch of narcissism.

In any event, keep working hard and making your boss’ work-lives better—if not less bitter.  But please stop trying to change their disposition. Remember: Lawyers cling to misery like models cling to rock stars.  So if you really, really need to make a difference in someone’s life . . . get a new job.

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

37 Comments

  1. Alex Hump

    January 27, 2009 at 2:46 am

    WHA DA FA?  “RATIOCINACTIVE?” Say what?  I just learned a new word from this guy (but won’t ever use it, though–that would not be logical).  Anyway, we act for the most part as our own “paralegals” where I work, so I can’t comment one way or another.  If he is waiting to have comments from paralegals praising/condeming lawyers, not sure how many read this website or will comment, but it’s always good to have someone competent working with you, if you’re lucky enough to find someone.  Good luck to this guy.  Maybe others will find more in this post than I did.  Burp.

  2. BL1Y

    January 27, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Why don’t you have anything against the all-nighter?  Are you really just that glad to do your duty?  News flash: You are not a doctor, fireman, or marine.  There is no honor to be gained in proudly manning your post.  You absolutely should have something against pulling all nighters, even if the work needs to be done “NOW!” Do you realize how often “time sensitive” work is only time sensitive because a partner was lazy, incompetent, or just decided to slap an “ASAP” label on for no good reason?  I’ve had “urgent” work forwarded to me where the original e-mail from the partner apologized for forgetting to get started for 11 days.  I’ve had a “time sensitive” assignment get it’s 2 day deadline cut in half a quarter of the way in, and then not even looked at by the partner for two weeks.  And when an urgent assignment isn’t the result of an asshat partner, it’s usually because you have an asshat client who couldn’t make up their mind until 12 hours before a filing deadline.  Now, of course when a “time sensitive” assignment comes in, I get it done within the deadline, but I sure as hell don’t take pride in making up for some jerk’s mistakes.  You make it sound like staying late to do paralegal work is some noble profession.  In truth, it’s a lot closer to being the firm’s janitor, because you really are just staying late to mop up someone else’s shit.

  3. da law

    January 27, 2009 at 6:05 am

    i took a big dump in my partners office once

  4. Pacific Reporter

    January 27, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Everytime my paralegal comes into my office and drops to her knees a little miracle happens.

  5. Alma Federer

    January 27, 2009 at 6:41 am

    What miracle is that?  She actually finds your needle dick?  Get with it, buddy.  No paralegal is going to be able to do much with that withered old thang.

  6. BL1Y

    January 27, 2009 at 6:50 am

    I love how Alma can’t stand the thought of men having enjoyable sex lives.  Also, why does today’s poll not have a 0-3 range?

  7. Alex Hump

    January 27, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Alma does not like sex.  They taught her that in seminary school.  They don’t have a 0-3 category because the majority of men won’t marry a girl they F*** on the first date (or even 2 or 3), because in all likelihood, she’s the opposite of Alma (has f***ed others before and, more importantly, will F***others again, even after marriage.  A good lesson for you BL1Y.  Be careful with the woman you bone.  If you want loyalty, she should not be too loose (i.e. you can marry her if you didn’t F*** her until the 4th date or more).  Dig, Bro?

  8. BL1Y

    January 27, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Alex: On the same train of thought then, why a 10+ category?  Are you really going to consider marrying a woman you went on more than 10 dates with and she never put out?  Well, I guess if you’re willing to go on that 10th date, the answer is probably yes.  I think a man who is willing to go 10+ dates without sex is as dumb as, if not dumber than, the guy who marries a girl he hooked up with on the first night.  The lack of a 0-2 category also misses that traditional-style dates are less common now.  You might see a girl a lot, but never really have a date, especially if you end up with someone from work or your social circle.

  9. Alma Federer

    January 27, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Look at you pathetic guys.  One ass (da law) is busy telling us he crapped in a partner’s office once. Now t is that a guy women will die for ?  Hardly. (ha!).  And you other dorks (including a guy named Hump–give me a break) are debating about how many times you should screw a woman before she is worthy of your hand in marriage?  Get real.  You are hapless tools who went to law school for 3 years to know how to find and cite cases?  What makes you better than the paralegals you are now claiming to have had sex with?  Nothing.  So stop philosophizing about yourselves as god’s gift to us.  We want to exchange such gift, but it has been regifted.

  10. BL1Y

    January 27, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Anyone else think that Alma’s rant sounded a little intoxicated?

  11. Bill Dugan

    January 27, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Is Alma even a female name?  It sounds a lot like Elmo to me.  I’d be real careful before I tried to access her honey hole.

  12. Ace in the Hole

    January 27, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Actually, I don’t think it’s that Alma doesn’t give it up.  I think she’s bitter that she HAS given it up, repeatedly, and it still hasn’t landed her a husband.  Same for most of your “I’m smart and sexy, if they’re not interested it’s because men suck” types.  They don’t understand that sex does not entitle you to ownership of a guy (not a guy worth having, anyway), and that a real man is not going to give you respect or anything else just for that.  It may be a prerequisite, but necessary does not mean sufficient.  Attitude, attitude, attitude – if you think the men you are dating (to the extent there still are any) cannot feel the same hostility and sense of entitlement you express here, you’re very much mistaken.

  13. Anonymous

    January 27, 2009 at 8:29 am

    BL1Y shows us that the name Alma was popular in the 19th Century.  Since this is the 21st century, are we talking about a woman whose cooter is over 100 years old?  No wonder she doesn’t want to have sex!

  14. Alma Federer

    January 27, 2009 at 8:51 am

    I’ll have you BOYS know that my “cooter” is all of 33 years old and it’s too bad none of you will have access thereto.  Your right; I am not married, yet, and won’t settle for any losers like you.  Finally, all of the other women on this site who are reading this probably support me, and think the same way.  I call upon the women to close their knees until such time as they receive the respect they deserve from their men.

  15. Anonymous

    January 27, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Alma, A woman should be smart enough to know when to shut her mouth, and when to open her mouth.  You don’t.

  16. Lady of Law

    January 27, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Oh, Alma.  I want to get your back.  Really, I do.  But I don’t think calling for a female sex strike gets you what you’re looking for.  But keep up the moxie!

  17. BL1Y

    January 27, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Alma needs to get it out of her head that sex is a gift women bestow on men.  As soon as anyone, man or woman, has sex with another person, they have gotten all the respect they deserve.  If you have sex with a guy who doesn’t respect you, then you didn’t deserve any respect from him.  But, kudos to Alma for thinking all women are the same.  This is called “sexism.”

  18. Girl-Lawyer (Alma supporter . . . sort of)

    January 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Dear Alma,
    I was with you the whole time (especially your beautiful rebuttal to the “little miracle happens” comment).  I also think that most men commenting on this website are unworthy losers, who would think that saying “I took a dump in the middle of the partner’s office” is funny. 
    But if I waited for a worthy guy before I opened up my legs, I would probably still be a virgin.  I think there is something to be said about separating out sex-for-the-hell-of-sex, and admitting that we enjoy and sometimes crave it.
    After a long week of deadlines and constant stress, there is nothing better than f***ing someone’s brains out, jokingly (but deep down really meaning it) saying “thank you for your services,” and going to your swanky condo you’ve have worked so hard for and waiting for that worthy guy.
    I am afraid that if I would not allow myself such an outlet, when I DID meet that worthy guy, he would run for the hills as he would have to deal with years of pent up sexual frustrations.

  19. Ace in the Hole

    January 27, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Thank you Alma, for making my point – using sex as a weapon and thinking that entitles you to anything you want.  And other ladies, I hope you’re listening – the attitude you’re hearing is not the attitude of “loser” guys, but of every guy who doesn’t think a little halfhearted sex from a woman who expects a price for it is the be all and end all of living.  (Funny that you try to define a loser as a guy who gets MORE than you are offering, not less.) The truth is, only a loser will fall for this trap, which is not a marriage of equals, but being a henpecked captive.  And trust me, if you ever find a guy who will let you do that to him, he will cheat on you – the resentment you engender with your attitude will demand an outlet, and will have it.

  20. Laura Lin

    January 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    When people ask “why are men such dick’s” I will just point them to these webposts, and that will explain everything.

  21. Anon

    January 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I generally agree that men are dicks, but I think these 4 or 5 tool web posters are kind of giving med a really bad wrap

  22. Lynn P

    January 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I concur with Alma.  Effective immediately and until Feburary 2, I hereby resolve not to give any BJ to my boyfriend.  I will point him to this webpost.  By Feb 2, he will be grovelling.  Power to the people!

  23. regular joe

    January 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    agree with anon. these 4 or 5 tools are making us all look like idiots.

  24. Boy In a Bursting Bubble

    January 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Don’t you mean Regular Jane?  I’ve never met a single guy who disagrees with any of what is being said here when speaking openly with other men.

  25. SDL20

    January 27, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    paralegal is a douche

  26. Andrea

    January 28, 2009 at 3:26 am

    I am going along with Alma too.  There will be no BJs for my boyfriend at halftime on Super Bowl Sunday.  Lets make a statement that they will remember!

  27. Bill Dugan

    January 28, 2009 at 3:58 am

    We men are not a bunch of “tools”.  All we want is a little respect for what we bring to the table.  We went to law school, worked hard, got our degrees, got good jobs where we work long hours to make good money.  Our women are the beneficiaries of our largesse.  So if we expect love, respect and devotion in a relationship, why is this so bad?  Many of us don’t get this, though, and that is the problem.  Speaking personally, I don’t appreciate it when a girl whines if I have to cancel a date because of some work-related conflict, be it planned or last minute.  She can sit there watching her big screen TV, but I must bust my ass.  When I do come over, I don’t expect her to treat me like King Mobutu, but when I get there, I should NOT be forced to either 1) immediately take her out to dinner; 2) immediately service her or 3) listen to all of the issues she has with her girlfriends, with whom she is constantly feuding.  All I expect is to be able to relax, have a beer, and chill in front of the TV, at least for a lousy 1/2 hour before I have to put up with #s 1-3 above.  Is that so demanding of me?  Do I demand too much?  Hardly.  So If that’s being a tool, I plead guilty.  But if I am a tool, what are the women like mine called?

  28. BL1Y

    January 28, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Men are miserable, self-centered, greedy assholes.  Women are the same.

  29. Alma Federer

    January 28, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Get yourself a puppy, Bill Dugan.  Women are more complex than Love, Devotion and Respect.  We have needs too, which are NOT met by you plopping your fat ass down on our couches to drink a beer and fart, just because you have some bucks in your pocket.  We are your girlfriends because they expect more than dinner or sex–they want COMPANIONSHIP.  That means listening to us, appreciating us, providing us with your opinion and outlook on issues of concern to us, and generally being there to understand and nurture us.  I think in many ways you want the same from us, but not always ask for it the same way.  I remember BL1Y said that we should NOT talk during Sportscenter.  It’s fine if we give you a BJ, but don’t talk?  Come on–you guys are so UGH!!!!  I think you and BL1Y need to know that you have to be there for us if you want us to be there for you.  If we want to talk through an issue, don’t just sit there with a beer shooing us away from the TV, and then expect us to pamper you during the commercial breaks.  That, in my words, is being a male dipshit.  And no, we are not computers that can be turned on for sex on demand.  We need to be romanced.  Once you master this, you will learn why European men get their reputations and why American women find them so attractive.  Not because of how much money they make, or where they work, but because they are always focused first on us, and our needs.  Learn this and you will not be so bitter.  And to the other women that support me, thank you.  When you go home to your boyfriends, explain this to them and maybe you won’t have to boycott them sexually.  They can hopefully wake up and smell the coffee.

  30. BL1Y

    January 28, 2009 at 5:48 am

    SportsCenter runs between 60 and 90 minutes.  You can’t be quiet for that long?  You really need to be attended to 24 hours a day? 22.5 isn’t enough?

  31. Ellen

    January 28, 2009 at 6:23 am

    No.  It’s the principal of the matter.  What is so important about Sports Center.  A bunch of washed up has beens talking trash.  I deserve better.

  32. BL1Y

    January 28, 2009 at 7:10 am

    I don’t watch SportsCenter, I just picked that because, yes, it is the principle of the matter.  Just because you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that your man has to rush to fulfill your every need.  Short of an actual emergency, nothing you have to say is so urgent that you need us to respond immediately.  If your man puts off listening for days, then you have a problem.  But, if you can’t wait an hour for him to finish doing something else, there’s also a problem.  If you want someone who will come running the moment you open your mouth, make partner and call up a first year.  But, you’re not the boss (and neither are we), so when you need something, it’ll be taken care of, and it will be done so in a timely manner, but it probably won’t be this very moment.

  33. Bill Dugan

    January 28, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I agree with BL1Y.  You women just don’t know when to shut up.  What you have to say might be important, but guess what, we also have important things on our mind.  We should not jump just because you say so, and your idea to withhold sex is plain stupid.

  34. Anon Female

    January 28, 2009 at 11:18 am

    BD: you couln’t come up with anything better than women don’t know when to shut up!?—not only are you rude and this statement untrue but why don’t you bother to comment on the men that babble and write 200 words a post as they don’t seem to know when to shut their trap.

  35. Xuan Lin

    January 28, 2009 at 11:25 am

    This interchange signifies why there seems to be a huge legal battle of the sexes.  Females don’t appreciate males that have the balls to speak their minds (Bill Dugan and BL1Y).  Males, on the other hand, do not appreciate women that open their mouths, or in this case, tap the keyboards; (here Alma Federer and Lady of Law, among others.) I think that until men and women learn to coexist peacefully, there will always be these issues.  Men seem preoccupied with sexual issues, and women emotional issues.

  36. Anon Female

    January 29, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Xuan: thank you, finally a smart & intelligent comment!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>