Fictional Paralegals – A Sunday Morning Challenge

I continue to be interested in the way paralegals are portrayed especially in movies and TV programs. While roaming the online “pages” of the Maine Sunday Telegram , (I continue to follow the news from up there although I’ve now lived in Mississippi for about three full years!) I found a review of “The Secret of Joy” by Melissa Senate. According to the review, “The main character, Rebecca Strand, is a 28-year-old paralegal working for a New York law firm specializing in divorce mediation. She lives with her boyfriend in a Manhattan high-rise, and friends expect them to marry. Rebecca’s not convinced it’s a good idea, and she’s grown to dislike paralegal work.”

With so few portrayals of paralegals available to the public in any form, it is unfortunate that Rebecca no longer likes working as a paralegal. However, the more important point, if the portrayal of Rebecca as a paralegal is accurate is that it will increase the public’s understanding of the paralegal profession. Of course, it will have the opposite effect if the portrayal is not accurate. This is a precarious situation for a profession still struggling to establish a professional identity.

Of course, the fact that the main character of the book is a paralegal does not mean that she is ever portrayed in her capacity as a paralegal. So here’s the challenge: Some of you talented paralegals must be able to write fiction. (In fact, one of my former paralegals is a fairly famous, award winning mystery novelist. Congratulations, Julia!) While I write (second book, Working with the Elderly Client, is almost done), I am totally inept at fiction. So, I’m looking to you to inform the public about your profession in what you write – much easier said than done, I know! Let me know if any of you are working on this!

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