As people return to their desks this January, nursing the usual New Year’s hangover, after concluding cases left over from 2013, the first batch of cases and the related workload about to descend upon paralegals could well be litigation or other legal matters arising from the recent bad weather.
The damage to property and businesses caused by power cuts, floods and similar will be immeasurable, as will the disruption to families and businesses caused by the storms veering in from the Atlantic over the last few weeks. That omits the great many contracts that were unavoidably breacged or otgerwise not fulfilled due to practicalities with the bad weather.
All of sudden, paralegals will have to deal with a variety of claims, ranging from insurance to personal injury, to disrupted travel arrangements. Once again, the sheer variety of work encountered by paralegals is evident. Given that fee earners will be relying on their paralegals to advise them of tbe various applicable legal issues inter alia, once again the importance of a good paralegal cannot be stressed enough.
Tbe legal issues arising from the recent storms and floods, be it broken contracts or personal injury, illustrates the need for paralegals to be up to date and knowledgeable about many varied areas of law, so that they can effectively tackle any claim or case that crosses their desk.
Similarly, the recent weather also demonstrates the need for paralegals not to be so narrowly focussed on their legal work, their firm, their area of expertise, and related. Taking time to look out of the office, and to keep up with current affairs and ongoing major events, can be more than just a diversion from drafting another case. It can be your next case.
Expecting a regular January workload upon returning to the law offices, nany paralegals were probably confronted with an increased, or at keast varied, workload due to legal matters arusubg from the weather and flooding. At time of writing, the weather and flooding is not letting up- and neither will the legal workload needed in the aftermath.
The weather and subsequent legal work also shows the need for paralegals to be flexible and adaptable- be it to last minute submissions, new evidence that turns up- or rainfall that turns the West Coast into a vast lake.
It is easy to neglect or ignore the world around you at large, due to the pressures, pace, demands and 24 hour lifestyle of paralegals. Take the effort not to be so neglectful, and to take an interest. It can be very useful, if only to break up the routines and tasks of the average paralegal’s working day, working on endless legal actions, be they brought on the recent bad weather or not. Indeed, those happenings in the world around you can end up in your office, on your desk, to be assessed and a case file opened within the hour. Of such is life as a paralegal.