In order to be more productive it is important to learn how to involve others in how job functions are performed. It is not only important to understand the concept of teamwork so that work can be completed more effectively it is imperative for paralegals to believe that teamwork is a necessary aspect of working within the legal industry. Understanding something and believing is not the same thing. Understanding only requires mentally assenting to something whereas belief requires application of that which is understood.
Going back to the inception of the paralegal role will shed light on why the team approach is integral to someone who works in the paralegal career field. The paralegal role was developed in the 1960's out of the need to provide legal services to more than only the wealthy who could afford high priced attorneys. It was this need that brought together the American Bar Association with other legal organizations to establish the role that would support not just the attorneys in a secretarial capacity but the clients that they served. Although the paralegal role should not only be relegated to that of an attorney's assistant it also must not be considered to be one that stands outside of an attorney's authority. Once a paralegal operates outside of an attorney's authority they are no longer a paralegal. When the role was established it was established as one that would operate under the umbrella of an attorney's authority. Attorneys obtain their authority by the licensure that they obtain when they pass the Bar and remain in compliance with the dictates of the bar association that they are governed by. Without this licensure they are not able to provide the services of an attorney. It is the attorney's licensure that allows a paralegal to provide the services that are provided to clients and to have those services protected by the attorney client privilege, the work product privilege, and so on. Without the application of this understanding a paralegal will simply function as a renegade.
The team approach is a necessary component of being a successful paralegal and any paralegal that works without a team mentality minimizes there ability to function properly within the role. If your career has become stagnated and it feels as though you have hit the glass ceiling consider your approach to your job and career. How do you operate within the role? How do you complete job functions? After asking these questions you will have a clue into who or what is creating the stagnation in your career. To your surprise it may be the person staring back at you in the mirror.
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