One of the readers of my previous article commented: “While I don’t know everything, I do know what I know.” Despite my admission that legal assistants don’t know everything related to law, there are circumstances in which we do know everything.
Legal assistants are the detailers of the legal profession. We make the attorney’s vision of their solution to a client’s problem come to fruition. We get ‘er done.
Many attorneys only understand their part in the process, e.g., doling out legal advice to the client, representing the client in court, and wording documentation to best represent the client, etc.; however, they don’t always understand the details of the process such as proper formatting/dissemination of documentation, which documentation would be most efficient to serve the client’s needs, and so on.
On the flip side of this equation is the client’s misunderstanding of a legal assistant’s role in their case. Clients often only consider us obstacles by questioning us, our knowledge, and our methods – they will sometimes even flat out argue with us. We take into consideration that you’re passionate about your case and want it done how you want it done; however, what you may view as a simple straight line from A to B actually requires detours through A(1), A(2), A(3), and so on.
You have entrusted the attorney you hired to represent you to the best of their ability. The attorney has entrusted the legal assistant(s) they hired to help them accomplish their end goals. Legal assistants are constantly honing their red tape cutting skills to a fine edge and, while individual methods may vary from office to office, we all know what we are doing… at least most of the time.