It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying, and hearing, again. has a good article by Mary L. Creekmore, a practicing paralegal entitled, “Top Essential Skills and Assets for Paralegals.” It describes the standard skills discussed in most paralegal textbooks, but goes on to discuss areas like time and workplace management that are the focus of “The Empowered Paralegal.”

With my current focus on professionalism and the paralegal profession I was particularly taken by this passage especially as it too echoes The Empowered Paralegal:

The last asset is the ability to be self-motivated and work with minimal supervision. This means knowing what has to be done and doing it without having to be reminded. Managing your workflow, keeping track of assignments and deadlines, assertively asking when a project needs to be completed, asking for more responsibilities and being willing to do more than what is expected all fall within this category. These actions are all indicative of your work ethic and desire to be a success.

Let’s not forget perhaps the most important aspect of being a paralegal: being a professional. The national and local paralegal organizations have fought long and hard to get our profession recognized. The paralegal profession is still relatively young, and we need to continue to fight the battle, not only on a local and national level, but every day at our jobs, to be recognized and respected as professionals.

This places a huge responsibility on each and every one of us every day. Being a professional means acting like one. Your demeanor, the way you speak, the way you dress, the way you act, how you tackle the challenges that you face and your attitude are all indicative of whether or not you take being a professional seriously.

Follow the link above for the whole article. ALM Media, Inc., who published it thinks highly of it also. According to its “Permissions and Reprints” link if you want to make 30 copies for educational purposes it will cost you $60! (I didn’t check to see what the price would be if you were trying to make money off of it.) In any case, my students will have to read it online.

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