Amy Bowser-Rollins used the NALS LinkedIn discussion listserv to bring an article entitled “5 Most Important Paralegal Traits.” The article, written by Tonya Pierce and posted on AgileLaw.com’s blog has an interesting start in which the author appears to deny the implication of the title:
Can we just choose five traits as the most important paralegal traits that you must possess to succeed in a paralegal career? In my opinion, the answer is “no.” The paralegal profession has grown and expanded over the last few decades to encompass so many different positions and roles that it would be impossible to choose just five traits as the most important traits you need to have in order to be a successful paralegal. Furthermore, paralegals now work in numerous related fields that go far beyond a law firm. Therefore, the skills and paralegal traits a person needs to succeed depends more on the type of job, the industry, and the paralegal’s role than the standard definition of a “good paralegal.”
But it goes on to make a good case for five important personality traits for paralegals – good judgment, ingenuity, logic, persistence [which, I hasten to point out, is not the same as stubbornness,] and patience. A case can be made for other traits and I’d like to hear which you think are the most important.
In any case, the article’s final point is a good one.
However, attorneys will be attorneys and they love paralegals with these traits, skills, and characteristics. They’ll consequently look for paralegals who display these types of skills and personality traits. Learning coping skills to tame my problem with patience improved my efficiency and quality of work, which helped me obtain my position as project manager.
The real trick to becoming a great paralegal is to be honest enough with yourself to identify the areas where you need to improve. Take those necessary steps – that is a true sign of a great paralegal.
Tonya Pierce is a paralegal with over 24 years experience in several areas of the legal field (17 years as a bankruptcy paralegal and trustee paralegal).
The entire article is worth reading. You can see it at the link posted above.