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  • Courting Disaster

    | Coeur d' Alene, ID, USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

    (It’s my first day working at my new career. I just graduated college and my boss asked me to call a client and remind them their sentencing is tomorrow. It’s the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend. This is my first client call :)

    Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] from [Law Office]. I’m calling to remind you that your sentencing is tomorrow at 1:00 pm. [Lawyer] asks that you meet him in front of the courthouse at 12:45 pm or so.”

    Client: “Oh! Well, I don’t think I can make it.”

    Me: “What?”

    Client: “Yeah, um, I don’t think I can make it. I just gassed up my motorhome and I’m leaving for Memorial Day tomorrow morning.”

    (At this point, I was completely floored and not sure what to do. It’s court… not a choice. Do I explain that she’s going to have a warrant if she doesn’t show? I told her I will talk to my boss and get back to her. He ended up calling her. She did show up for court.)

    Job Unap-para-ent

    | Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I am a paralegal. Paralegals are trained in the law, but they are not lawyers, and are prohibited from giving legal advice. I am also a young woman. I am helping two elderly clients when this happens.)

    Me: “Hello, clients! I’m the attorney’s paralegal, and I will be assisting today.”

    Client: “Oh, I see. So…”

    (The client proceeds to ask a question that would clearly be the practice of law if I answered it.)

    Me: “We’ll have to ask the attorney on that one. That goes out of scope for me as a paralegal.”

    Client: “What do you mean? I thought you were just like him! Why can’t you answer my questions?”

    Me: “I’m a paralegal, sir, not a lawyer.”

    Client: “Oh. I thought that was what they called lady lawyers… paralegals.”

    Me: “Um, nope. Paralegals do a lot of legal work, we set appoints, do research and writing, and a good deal of interviewing, but we don’t represent people in court or give legal advice.”

    Client: “SO you’re basically a glorified secretary?”

    (I breathe a deep sigh, as I have a two year degree in legal studies.)

    Me: “If that helps you understand it, then yes, I suppose so.”

    (Note: A paralegal is NOTHING like a secretary. NOTHING.)

    Rectify The Situation, Part 2

    | FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (I regularly update medical records for our clients. One of my clients is getting angry that his case is taking so long, and has been yelling at me for a few minutes.)

    Client: “Yeah, well this is taking way too long. I bet you don’t even know that I had surgery last week!”

    Me: “Okay, sir, where did you have your surgery?”

    Client: “Up my rectum!”

    (There is a long and awkward silence.)

    Me: “Um, well, I meant at which hospital did you have your surgery, so that I can get your medical records?”

    Client: “…oh.”

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    Rectify The Situation