Top Qualities of a Great Paralegal

A recent post on the NYCPA LinkedIn discussion board linked to an article entitled “Top 10 Qualities of a Great Paralegal.” The article lists and explains these ten items:

1. Analytical Skills
2. Communication Skills
3. Detail Oriented
4. Ethical Judgment
5. Great Writer
6. Interest in the Law
7. Interpersonal Qualities
8. Organizational Qualities
9. Research Skills
10. Tech Savvy

I agree that all of these are attributes that every good paralegal has, but I’d likely not classify all of them as “qualities,” but as “skills” as some of them are listed. And it is likely that my “top ten” list would be different. Certainly I would add to the list. In terms of skills I would at least add the basic skills of time, workload, calendar, client, and attorney relationship management to the list – the basic set of skills that form the basis for The Empowered Paralegal: Effective, Efficient, and Professional. For example, even the best writer and the best researcher are of little value to a law office if she cannot get the work done on time. In terms of attributes I consider qualities, those such as integrity, reliability, and the other components of professionalism come higher up the list than some of those in this list. Again, a great writer and researcher is a problem rather than an asset to a firm if he is unreliable or lacks integrity. In the end a law firm can teach improved writing and researching skills if necessary to a reliable paralegal with integrity but can do little to improve the reliability of a person with little integrity.

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  • betty shaw says:

    I believe the top 3 qualities of a paralegal is 1. that you have to be very knowledgeable about the job you do.2.that you work together as a team. That you are reliable because the firm is counting on you to do your job well, their reputation is at stake

  • Loraine says:

    I agree. You cannot teach integrity. Life’s not always fair, but a professional finishes the job to the best of his/her ability and never loses focus no matter how hard it gets. Most (if not all) of the “powers that be” appreciate that. That’s the thing to remember, otherwise, you won’t grow.

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