1-4 of 4All Advice
I worked as a paralegal for 20 years and had a BS degree in Business Administration. I went back to school and got a degree in paralegal and web management for NVCC. This helped me learn things that made me more competetive than the other paralegals in the office.
Finding a Job
As a newly certified Paralegal I found that none of the search firms wanted to talk to me as I do not have any experience. I then sent a cover letter and my resume to 61 Law firms and had a job offer within 2 weeks.
started as a legal assistant
I first started in the firm as a legal assistant because there was not a paralegal position. within one year I was transferred to a paralegal position. I not only am responsible for my work but have to supervise and instruct the legal assistant. I also have to make sure all work is done whether it be mine or not and if it is not done I need to do it.
The Compassionless Firm
In late June, 2006, my father had a massive heart attack. He subsequently had a pacemaker implanted, took a turn for the worse the day after surgery and was placed on life support. I live in Phoenix and my parents live in Wisconsin. The call from family to get to Wisconsin ASAP! Needless to say I was in turmoil, not knowing if he'll make it this time. This was his third heart surgery! It was a Friday. I phoned the office manager to explain the situation, informed the attorneys I reported to and took work to finish. I informed them that I would contact them by either phone or e-mail as to the situation. The prognosis was negative - he was gone - only the body remained alive on machines. Mom was not ready to let go even though Dad made it clear in the previous years that he was not to be kept alive on machines. Dad died on Wednesday, June 28, 2006. I had been in contact with the attorney via e-mail and informed him that since it was July 4th holiday and some county law regarding cremations, the first memorial service was held July 5 and the final to be held on July 8 in Chicago, so I would be back to work on July 10. (Dad was a veteran of the Chicago Police Department and most of the family was in Chicago.) My daughter answered my cell phone on Friday and was asked when I would return and my daughter stated that I would be back on Monday. Since my flight was stand-by I could not get on the plane til Monday night. I called my significant other collect (had no change or battery for cell) and had him call office manager regarding delay. July 11, 2006 at 7:20 a.m. - Office manager calls significant other's CELL phone, asked if I had left for work and if not she needed to speak with me. I got on phone and was promptly informed that the firm had terminated me on July 10 as her claim was that she did not know when I would return! I was in shock! What? Did neither the attorney nor the co-worker who spoke with daughter inform her? Did she NOT receive e-mails. I tried, half-heartedly, to plead my case but quickly saw that the plea would fall on deaf ears. Thanked her for the employment opportunity and hung up! I later found out the firm had been telling everyone who asked about me that I quit on June 23, 2006!!! I was and still dumbfounded by their move! I never had any discipline/performance issues and in fact, I produced more documents than the supervisor, legal assistant and attorney combined! I am curious as to alternate ways to handle a situation like this!! Thanks
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