National Paralegal Day celebrates those who do the legal research that enables law firms to function. Paralegals are usually behind the scenes in their work and without their invaluable efforts the show would never go on. Attorneys depend on these amazing men and women to get things done right, the first time. That means these folks have to have a very firm grasp on the facts and the law. Paralegals rarely get the respect or recognition earned in their day to day work. But, on October 23rd it’s their time to shine and receive the gratitude they truly deserve.
When is it?
The holiday is celebrated, annually, on October 23rd.
A Little History on Paralegals
On October 23, 1981 The Paralegal Division of The State Bar of Texas was created. This is where it all started for our Paralegals. The State Bar of Texas created this division, making it the first of its kind for the U.S. bar association.
You might now be wondering why this division was even created? Or, what this division does? After all, for a whole division to be created there must be a laundry list of responsibilities to fulfill. Well, you’d be right. Paralegals routinely draft documents, file motions, interview clients, and prepare retainers. This type of work preformed will often vary depending on the specialty of the employing law firm. But, Paralegals work at the forefront of affordable legal assistance both for their employers and the public. Essentially, they help create equitable access to legal aid.
There are several different kinds of paralegals out there. Here is a quick look at the different roles a paralegal might play.
- Litigation Paralegal
- Estate Planning and Probate Paralegal
- Corporate Paralegal
- Employment/Labor Law Paralegal
- Real Estate Paralegal
- Government Paralegal
With all these different roles to fulfill it takes a lot to be a Paralegal. Their knowledge of law is abundant and ever expanding. Many Paralegals must be well trained and educated in administrative law, ethics, research, dispute resolution and mediation, litigation practice, litigation procedure, real estate law, medical law, family law, torts, partnerships and corporations, and office procedures.
Phew! Those are a lot of hats to wear and a lot of information to hold underneath them. Without our Paralegals in play it’d be hard, if not impossible, to win any case. A holiday dedicated to these amazing individuals is definitely deserved.
Appropriate Ways to Celebrate the Paralegal in Your Life
There is no need to go out and buy something or have everyone in the office chip in for a party. Here are two things to consider when expressing your appreciation on this holiday.
A Thank You Card
If you’ve ever worked with a law office or an attorney, the chances are there was at least one paralegal working on your case until the wee hours of the night is rather probable. Tell them how much you appreciate them and their help with a handwritten thank you note. There’s nothing more personal than something handwritten. And, it doesn’t have to cost you anything. Handwritten cards, letters and notes can easily be created in an office without great expense.
Take a break with your co-workers to pull your paralegal aside and create a moment they’ll never forget. Using materials and programs from within your office, create an award that will represent your paralegal(s) in their best light. In fact, create several awards that suit them. You could create awards that’s are a little more light-hearted and whimsical too. For example, an award for the most dad jokes told at the firm. Paralegals are people too. Celebrate their awesome traits that have helped you in your legal endeavors.
Why is National Paralegal Day Important?
This day serves as a good reminder that it’s a team effort that gets the entire job done. Lawyers may be the leading role on the stage but, it’s the paralegals that make the show go on. Although lawyers make the shots, without the help of paralegals, most attorneys wouldn’t know what to do.
Appreciation Produces Motivation
By having this holiday it shows paralegals that their tasks as assistants, researchers, and interviewers all truly matter. Appreciation traditionally promotes a better work ethic and in turn, better production within a firm.
A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way
Expressing gratitude at the office can improve work relationships and connections. Showing your employee appreciation can help everyone accomplish their goals more efficiently, as a whole.