Home » Daily Dose » You might be a legal secretary if…

You might be a legal secretary if…

…you alphabetize your spices and arrange your clothes in order of the color spectrum (not to mention your paperclips).

OCD much?  You too can be a legal secretary!  Your attention to detail is vital to your role in supporting attorneys.  If you are compelled to dot every I, cross every T and re-read to be sure you did so – TWELVE times – you might be a legal secretary! 

…if you want to meet the men in white coats sooner rather than later.

Do you possess sound mental health?  Not for long!  Working with anal attorneys and picky paralegals will quickly drive you around the bend.  The attorney will instruct you to complete a task one way while the paralegal is advising that you have it all wrong.  Your best option is to put them both in a locked conference room and whoever exits victorious can tell you how it’s supposed to be done.

…you find yourself proofreading e v e r y t h i n g.

 Seriously.  Every frakking thing!  Cereal boxes.  Junk mail.  Billboards.  Bumper stickers.  Tee shirts.  A little advice: do not try to dot the I on someone’s shirt!

…you don’t mind being a mind reader.

Mind reading is an expected requirement to work with lawyers.  Unfortunately, determining whether the mind reading is successful often requires its own element of mind reading.  Yeah, just try to figure that out!

…you actually know how to replace paper in the copier.

and the printer too.  You can also load the dishwasher, start a new pot of coffee and redline a motion for summary judgment with one arm tied behind your back. 

…you agree with the punch line of every lawyer joke you’ve ever heard.

            ‘nuf said.

 …you know how to spell some really odd words, like habeas corpus, amicus curiae, certiorari.

While this is a required trait for a legal secretary it does nothing for your social interactions.  Go ahead, just try to work certiorari into a non-work related conversation.  I dare you. 

This post was a joint effort among the legal secretaries I work with at BIG LAW.

8 thoughts on “You might be a legal secretary if…

    • Hahahahahaha! You and my co-worker would SOOO get along! My own closet is a bit more … um … convention shall we say. Yeah, conventional works. (muttering about piles of crap on floor of closet that won’t fit anywhere)…..

  1. As a reformed lawyer myself, of course I agree with punchline of every lawyer joke I’ve ever heard! But my state bar association has actually published columns asking us to refute any we hear in a social or family setting, because they are bad for business. Seriously? And is the lack of any sense of humor also bad for business?

    However, a grammarian nitpick: If you’re really going to proofread every frakking thing, you might want to have another go at the “men in the white coats” paragraph. Specifically, “Your best option is to put them both in a locked conference room and whomever exits victorious can tell you how it’s supposed to be done.” “Whomever” makes no sense here, because it is not acting as the object of either a verb or a preposition. The pronoun you need is “whoever,” sans “m,” because it is the SUBJECT [don’t mean to shout, but don’t know how to bold or underline here] of the verb “exits.” [And the phrase “whoever exits victorious” is the subject of the compound verb “can tell.”] Who and Whomever=subjective case, whom and whomever=objective case.

    And even then, one has to be careful not to incorrectly use “whom/whomever,” in assuming that it is an object of a preposition, when in fact it is an entire clause that is the subject. Take, for example, the sentence “If I ever get my hands on whoever gave this grammar obsessed nudgenik the name of my blog, I’ll file a writ of certiorari right up his corpus delicti!” There, “whoever” is NOT the object of the preposition “on,” but the SUBJECT of the verb “gave.” The object of the preposition “on” is the entire objective clause, “whoever gave … blog.”

    Oh, and ’twas on a comment thread to Wil Wheaton’s blog where I was intrigued by the name of your blog, given my own bi-lingual screen handle and being quite given to blathering myself, as you can see;-/ It was an added bonus that the your link brought me to such an amusing post about my former bailiwick [I was but a member of the lowly administrative support staff, so I, too, know how to change the paper and toner, and clear paper jams, in a copy machine. And likewise have torn out my hair at conflicting directives from attorneys who seemed oblivious to being but one among hundreds.

    • Love your comment! Thanks for stopping by. I never did get that whole who/whom deal, but I only took one English class in college before I had to quit. Thanks for the clarity, I’ll fix that right up. 🙂

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