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Hoping To Bend The Law

| Right | March 9, 2014

Me: “Good morning. [Law Firm].”

Caller: “I was wondering if [Lawyer] could give me some advice on getting alimony after my divorce.”

Me: “I’m sorry. [Lawyer] does not offer free legal advice. Her hourly rate is [rate], and I can schedule you a meeting for [set price].”

Caller: “I’m not really looking to pay. Can you give me advice?”

Me: “I am not a lawyer, thus am not qualified to give legal advice. I would hate to steer you wrong.”

Caller: “Well, what if I told you what I wanted to know, you asked [Lawyer], took notes, and then you called me back?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I will not do that.”

Caller: “This is very poor customer service!” *hangs up*

The Key To Copying

| Working | March 5, 2014

(I am the private secretary for a very wealthy and prestigious attorney. He works in entertainment law and has many famous clients. He also owns a fabulous house on the Malibu coastline and will frequently loan it out to dignitaries visiting California. It is just before a major holiday, and he is instructing the new girl who has JUST been hired.)

Attorney: “Senator [Name] is visiting. I’ve given him permission to use the condo while I’m out of town.”

(He hands the new girl the front door key.)

Attorney: “I need you to have a copy made of this key to give to him. Since he is arriving late Friday, he knows he can pick up the key at the building security desk. Copy the key and leave it with the guard when you leave tonight. Put the key back in my desk drawer. I have a plane to catch. I’ll be gone the rest of next week.”

New Girl: “Yes, sir.”

Me: “I can take care of that if you like.”

New Girl: “Oh, no, it’s easy. I’ll do it.”

(It wasn’t until Monday morning that I heard what had actually happened. The senator had arrived late that night and the security guard had obligingly handed him an envelope with the law firm’s address on it and his name neatly written on the front. Inside was a sheet of paper with a PHOTOCOPIED image of the attorney’s Malibu condo key!)

He’s Telling A Shaggy Dog Story

| Right | January 6, 2014

(I work for a major attorney service firm. Our job is to go out to businesses (usually medical) to copy records. I am a ‘stop setter,’ meaning that I set the appointments for our field agents. One of the field agents comes dashing into the office, his clothing disheveled, and panting.)

Me: “What happened?!”

Field Agent: “You wouldn’t believe it! I went to serve Doctor [Name] with a subpoena for records. I went to his home in Malibu, drove up the hill, and parked. Just as I got out of my convertible to go serve him, four huge Dobermans came charging around the corner and tried to kill me! I ran back, jumped into my car, zoomed down the hill and back here!”

Me: “Okay. I’ll call him.”

(I do just that.)

Me: “Dr. [Name]. This is [My Name] from [Copy Service]. Our field agent says he went to your home to serve a subpoena for the records on [legal case] and—”

Doctor: “Listen to me you dirty little s***! That field agent is LYING! My gate’s closed. NOBODY can get in. He was never chased by any dogs because I don’t HAVE any! I’m not home, so he couldn’t have found me. Besides, the dogs were TIED UP! I can see them right now from my WINDOW!”

Job Unap-para-ent

| Right | July 25, 2013

(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

| Right | June 6, 2013

(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.”