Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Open Thread: One Thing Paralegals Can't Live Without

This week it was plaintiff's exhibit stickers. Our firm is involved in two trials, a fine time to run out of these hot ticket items. I've always hidden an emergency set in my - well if I tell you where I'll have to kill you - but foolishly fell for a co-worker's quivering lip and [possibly crocodile] tears a few weeks ago, and handed over the highly prized and nearly extinct stickers, secure in the knowledge that I could raid my boss's secret stash if I had to.

Only he had fallen for that same co-worker's quivering lip and [possibly crocodile] tears, too, and could only come up with lint and some old business cards with a post office box address we haven't used in nearly a decade.

(I suggested printing some with our new color printer and then sticking them on with double-sided tape but no one thought that was funny. Kidding, peeps! Jeez, no one can take a joke the first day of trial.)

So, tonight, I was hoping you guys would help me out. No, no, you don't have to overnight us any plaintiff's exhibit stickers 'cause "somebody" (there's a whole post coming on the role of this magical mythical legal staff member, kind of a stalwart and chirpier hybrid of Flo the Progressive Girl and Bewitched's Samantha, who can pull anything out of her...purse) had to run out and buy some.

I was hoping you guys (lurkers, too - the anonymous comment option is truly anonymous, because not only do I lack the technological know-how but I also lack the inclination to track you down) would leave your comments at this post, listing one thing that you think paralegals can't live without.

Partly because I have a really sick headache and probably shouldn't have posted at all - perhaps brought on from Glee over-stimulation tonight (Yentl! John Lennon! Baby Cheesus!) or more likely just seasonal allergies aggravated by the fact that no one in my house knows how the vacuum cleaner works except me.

And partly because I like hearing from you; it's the closest that unpaid bloggers get to payday.

I can tell you this much. I'm movin' my secret plaintiff's exhibit sticker stash.


  1. Well... it might seem silly to some but there are two things I can't live without.

    1. My compact Black's Law Dictionary (dog-eared from carrying it all through paralegal school and all the offices I've worked at)

    2. My grammar/punctuation guide titled "The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need" (my new favorite tool and I picked it up at Half Price Books for about $3.00)

  2. Mine is simple as well. White notepads with pens. I have about 30 of these all over the place. In files. In drawers. On the corner of my desk. Next to my telephone. By the copy machine. You never know where the boss will catch you to assign you some work. Although I draw the line at the bathroom!

  3. 1. Chocolate to get through the trial prep in a happy mood. Also gives me energy to still be putting exhibit binders together at 11pm.(Touch my chocolate and I will slap your hand with a ruler old school style)

    2. a blue pen because the attorneys always seem to lose their supply (actually I find that the pens just move from office to office. Eventually it will end up back in your office). Be careful of the attorney who will sign with whatever pen they find lying on your desk. One almost signed a pleading in purple once because it was just sitting on my desk.

    In California I used to say exhibit tabs, but DC appears to not use those on pleadings and motions so I'll have to find something else to say.

  4. Absolutely, without a doubt, Post-Its. I think I have about 6 sizes of post its laying on my desk now.

    And manilla folders. Super easy to sort out client paperwork that inevitably gets stacked on my desk and chair. I just sort and work one folder at a time.

  5. Copier paper. Yes, a prior employer actually ran out of white 8.5 x 11 paper.

  6. Amanda ~ Gotta luv a $3 grammar guide :)

    Jen ~ I usually run when the boss tries to talk to me ;) Seriously, good tip :)

    Kris - Check on the chocolate. Having it in your desk also makes you the most popular person in the office. It's funny you mentioned blue pens, because my boss and I both love blue felt tip pens and have a secret supply of those, too.

    A - I remember a world without Post-Its (I'm old). It sucked :P

    Grumpy ~ With printer-copiers on three floors, we have to haul reams of copy paper at a time up several flights of stairs. It's definitely another hot ticket item at our firm.

  7. The one thing I always keep handy is a shorthand pad. Am I telling my age? Seriously, no, I don't use it to take shorthand. (I haven't done that in years!) I jot down instructions, phone numbers, notes -- you name it. It goes into the shorthand pad. I can even go back and find my notes months later to confirm what someone told me. Very handy indeed.

  8. Tammy - It's funny you love a shorthand pad. I don't use much paper these days, but I paid for one of those little steno pads myself and keep it on my desk. It's just the right size :)

  9. Nobody has mentioned coffee?

  10. A - I think we consider coffee to be the equivalent of the blood in our veins and the air we breathe. Like breathing in and out, and blood circulation, maybe we consider coffee-drinking to be an involuntary reflex :P

    But you're right. What is wrong with us?



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