Paralegals Stepping Up Professionally

Somewhat overwhelmed by unexpected Thanksgiving break guests and end of semester grading I, like most attorneys in such circumstances, look to paralegals to take up the slack. Fortunately, Patty Deitz-Selkie on Paralegal Gateway with an assist by Melissa H. at Paralegalese, has stepped up to the plate with a post entitled, “Paralegals Are Professionals.” It’s a long and very good post. Here’s the meat closest to the bone:

It starts on the individual or personal level with how each of us are perceived and what each of us does to promote the “professionalism” of the Paralegal occupation. 

 Next, it goes to the national level and how Paralegals as a group and, in particular, how our national organizations work in cohesion….in unity!… promote our profession. Do we speak with one voice, with one mission/purpose, for the common good of our profession? In that endeavor, the Paralegal profession needs to stop abrogating responsibility for itself – we have to stop relinquishing control to Attorneys, the ABA, and other organizations or professionals!

Paralegals need to step up. We may work for and with Attorneys, but we need to take ownership of our profession starting with the education of our new/prospective members (Paralegal education/certification).  We need to determine our own destiny, set our own course and resolve to approach the legal business/environment from the standpoint of being valuable and significant contributors. When that happens, I believe we will not have this discussion on professionalism again. As ParaMel stated, “stepping off the soap box now” and closing my comments.

Those of you who are regular readers here know that this blog revolves around establishing paralegals as the professionals they are through many of the steps mentioned by Patty. Ultimately paralegals will be treated as professionals when they uniformly present themselves as professionals, take control of their profession and educate both the bar and the public.

So take a few minutes and read Patty’s post. Then ask yourself, “What can I do?”

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