The Paralegal Today listserv has an interesting thread under the title, “To be or not to be . . . . .a Paralegal (in title)‏” covering a topic often considered on this blog – can just anyone call themselves a paralegal?  My next post is likely to delve into some of the comments that directly related to the thread title. However, this post picks up on the turn the thread has taken to the topic of how paralegals are treated within the law office. This issue – basically one of respect – has often been discussed here also.  Some of the stories are quite discouraging.  One comment this morning though responded in terms of an empowered paralegal. Here it is in full:

Steve – Over the years, I have experienced similar treatment.  The first 4.5 years of my career was in a lawfirm that regularly abused the staff.  The place was a revolving door.  All I can say is, continue to work hard and build your skills and you will find something better.  Just keep yourself open to new opportunities and don’t let the negativity permeate your soul.  There are some really bad attorneys (and other professionals) out there who can only feel good about themselves when they are making someone else feel poorly.  To feel power, they must remind the staff that there is a pecking order and the staff is beneath them.  I have to believe that those people will get theirs in the end.  You must rise above it and let the experience strengthen you and empower you.  It has been many years since I have allowed myself to be treated this way by an employer.  When I summoned the courage to leave my abusers, I decided then and there that I would never allot that treatment again.  I remind myself of that experience daily to appreciate the life I have created for myself now.  While there are many bad attorneys out there, there are also many great attorneys and firms.  You have to be open to allowing the positivity in your life.  Sometimes when you are in such a negative environment daily, it’s difficult to separate yourself from it and remain positive.  Positivity begets positivity.  Don’t let them tear you down.  Continue to search for the perfect place.  It IS out there, but it typically won’t come looking for you, so you must look for it.  I am confident that you WILL find a better place.  Just hang in there until you find it.

Kelly K. Corbin, TBLS, ACP
Board Certified Paralegal – Personal Injury Trial Law
  Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Advanced Certified Paralegal
  National Association of Legal Assistants-Paralegals 
“Accentuate the Postitive” often sounds trite – in the “let the smile be your umbrella” vien. It can be if it is spoken without the real understanding of empowerment expressed by Kelly when she says she , “appreciate[s] the life I have created for myself now.”  (Emphasis added.) As noted many times before, empowerment comes from within to those who are willing to take charge of their own empowerment, not from without. As pointed out by Chere Estrin,  this is especially true when applied to ones career.
Enough of the homily. Here it is from Bing and Bette:
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