Do Attorneys Underestimate the Value of Talented Paralegals?

Pennsylvania paralegals recently celebrated “Paralegal Week” by virtue of a proclamation by Pennsylvania Governor Rendell, apparently at the urging of the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations. The proclamation states,

WHEREAS, The practice of law is a demanding, challenging, and complex endeavor – one in which the rights, liberties, and safety of our citizens have been protected and preserved for centuries; and

WHEREAS, member of the bar require knowledgeable and reliable assistance to fulfill the duties of their profession. Paralegals have become an invaluable source of support in law offices, providing lawyers with a variety of skilled professional services throughout their practice; and

WHERES, paralegals are highly educated, trained, and experienced professionals with expertise in legal and case research, interviewing clients and witnesses, legal and correspondence writing, and other critical areas of successful and efficient law practices; and

WHEREAS, the value of talented paralegals is often overlooked by the general public, but their worth is never underestimated by the lawyers and firms for which they work; and

WHEREAS, the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations, along with other associations, is dedicated to the advancement of the paralegal profession through education, a network of support, and raising public awareness and appreciation.

THEREFORE, I, Edward G. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby profclaim July 20-24, 2009, PARALEGAL WEEK,  and July 24, 2009, PARALEGAL DAY throughout our Commonwealth.

This sort of recognition is good for the profession and well deserved. I wonder, though, how many paralegals agree with the statement,

WHEREAS, the value of talented paralegals is often overlooked by the general public, but their worth is never underestimated by the lawyers and firms for which they work. (Emphasis added)

Certainly, my email suggests that lawyers and firms do at time, perhaps with some frequency underestimate the value of talented paralegals. As discussed in a previous post, this is due in part to a lack of understanding as to exactly what that value is.

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