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Your First 100 Days On The Job As A Paralegal

published January 10, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 436 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Your first 100 days as a new paralegal will be a whirlwind of activity and learning. Not only will you be getting used to a new office, new people, new procedures, and a new boss, but also you will be trying on your career "for real" for the first time. You may never have been a "boss" yourself before, so you may be unsure of how to treat the secretary who has been assigned to you. The best advice is to take a deep breath, keep calm, keep your ears open, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.
 
Your First 100 Days On The Job As A Paralegal

SAMPLE DIARY OF A FIRST DAY ON THE JOB AT a MID-SIZED FIRM
 
  • 8:00 Arriving in the reception area, you are greeted by the office manager and shown to your office. You are introduced to your secretary.
  • 8:10 You are taken on a tour of the firm and introduced to all available personnel. You are shown the various departments, including the file room, library, employee lounge, bookkeeping, word-processing department, and mail room.
  • 8:30 The personnel manager takes you to his or her office, where you fill out all necessary legal and tax papers and are given a copy of the firm's employee manual.
  • 8:45 You are turned over to your secretary, who helps you equip your desk with supplies and shows you how to log onto the firm's computer network.
  • 9:15 Your supervising attorney pokes her head in the door and welcomes you. She sits down and gives you an idea of what she expects from you and asks you what your goals and interests are. She gives you your first assignment, a small research project.
  • 10:00 You go to the library to start working on your research project. You are interrupted by the office manager, who wants to show you how to work the firm's telephone system.
  • 10:30 You get back to work on your research project.
  • 10:45 One of the firm's associates comes into the library to work on his research project. The two of you chat for a little while, and then he asks you to come down to his office so he can give you some depositions to summarize for him.
  • 11:00 You get back to work on your research project.
  • 12:00 You retire to the employee lounge with your brown-bag lunch.
  • 12:45 You resume your research project in the library.
  • 1:30 You complete your research project and go back to your office to prepare a memo. You realize that you don't know the proper format for the firm's memos or which directory you are supposed to save the document in. You call your secretary, who comes in and gives you a rundown of protocols on how information is stored in the firm's computers.
  • 2:00 You are working on your memo when you are interrupted by the office bookkeeper, who wants to show you how you are supposed to keep your time sheets.
  • 2:30 You are interrupted from working on your memo by yet another of the firm's attorneys, who comes in and introduces herself. She asks if you know how to use the firm's database program so that you can enter some documents for her on a case she is working on. You tell her you have used similar programs in school but not that particular one. She tells you to call the office manager and arrange to get some training on this database so you can help her with her case.
  • 2:45 You finish your report and begin working on the deposition summaries. You realize that you don't have a sample of how this attorney likes his summaries done. You contact the word- processing department and have them print out some samples of previous summaries that have been done for this particular attorney.
  • 3:15 The supervising attorney comes in and asks if you have finished your research memo yet. You tell her you have and that you have given it to your secretary for finalization and copying.
  • 3:20 You call the office manager and ask her to get you trained on the firm's database program. She puts you down for Thursday at 10:00.
  • 3:45 While working on the deposition summaries, you have a ques tion on something that happened in the case. You realize you don't know the name of the client or where the file is kept. You contact your secretary, who shows you how to look up a client on the firm's computer printout and learn the file location.
  • 4:30 One of the firm's other paralegals pokes his head in and invites you to a welcome lunch the next day so that you can meet all the paralegals. He has a large project due the next day and asks you if you'll have time to help him tomorrow.
  • 5:00 Your secretary pops in to see if you need anything else for the day and tell you good-bye. She gives you a copy of the research memo that has been finalized.
  • 5:15 You get a call from one of the attorneys in the firm asking if you have time to come down and see him first thing in the morning for a project.
  • 5:30 You prepare your time sheet for the day's work. Realizing you are going to have a busy day tomorrow, you take one of the depositions home with you to summarize that evening.

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

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