Where Do the World’s Best Paralegals Work?

I was applying for my first immigration paralegal job after college.  During my job interview, my future boss said to me point blank, “But you don’t even have any legal experience. Why should I hire you?” With a bit of moxie and wit, I landed the job and so began my career in immigration law.

shutterstock_72459604Many years have passed and I have had the honor of observing and interacting with some of the best paralegals in the industry (both private and public). This post is dedicated to all the wonderful paralegals out there. They are your friends, your colleagues, your subordinates and even your mentors. This article is a compilation of only a fraction of the many wonderful characteristics I have witnessed over the years.  I’m sure my readers will have more to add. By all means, please send me as many comments as you wish!

1. The Consummate Professional: The Star Paralegal returned calls very quickly and always responded to emails.  Even foreign national clients who need extra attention receive her polite and stellar service.  Her demeanor and tone is always pleasant and reassuring.  Clients just love her!

2. The Swiss Approach: Office politics is about as common as the cold virus.  The Star Paralegal is a great confidant while providing neutral, objective perspectives rather than adding fuel to the fire.  She understands a harmonious office is a productive office.

3. To Forgive is Divine: To err is human and we all make mistakes.  The Star Paralegal learns from mistakes and moves on.  When foreign national clients (or colleagues) are the cause of any undue stress, past wrongs are forgiven and forgotten.  The word “grudge” is not part of The Star Paralegal’s vocabulary.

4. A Sage at Heart: The Star Paralegal passes on her wisdom and shares her knowledge freely with her colleagues. In fact, she’s usually asked to lead trainings or provide guidance to staff members.

5. Always Diligent: The most important characteristic of all for this line of profession is The Star Paralegal’s diligence in culling all necessary information from multiple sources.  She is relentless in making sure no rock is left unturned.  Her forms are thoroughly populated.  Her documents are accurately prepared.  Her processes are reliable and effective.  She remembers the little things(see my earlier post) about her clients (and co-workers) that make her so valuable to the whole team.

Star Paralegal Contest Does your immigration law office, non-profit or community-based organization or company have an immigration Star Paralegal that possesses all the characteristics above?  Maybe your Star Paralegal is a coordinator, a legal assistant or a clerk instead of a paralegal.  Let’s give them the recognition they deserve! Enter my February 2012 Star Paralegal Contest!  The top three winners (as judged by how awesome the submissions are) will be featured in early March in my Top Three Star Paralegalsarticle.  The winning nominees and the nominating individuals will also each receive a giftcard to Starbucks. To qualify as a Star Paralegal Nominee, the nominee must be a legal professional (paralegals, coordinators, managers, clerks, assistant, etc.) currently working in the immigration arena.  The nominating individual (attorneys are eligible) must also work with the Star Paralegal Nominee. The submission deadline is end of business day on February 29, 2012Winners will be selected in early March.