Is being a paralegal stressful?

by Sandy
(Michigan)

I'm in school right now studying to become a paralegal. I find the legal research class to be tedious and stressful because I'm not sure I get it. Will working as a paralegal be stressful?

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May 01, 2012
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Is paralegal work stressful?
by: Elaine

Hi Sandy,

Your question is a great one since it is true paralegal work can be stressful. Every job or profession has some level of stress involved with it on some level. Naturally some jobs are more stressful than others.

Consider that new attorneys starting out in a law practice are very stressed because they've just earned their law degree and license and they want to make a great impression on their new employer. This also don't want to mess up and get sued for malpractice and be disbarred. They are stressed out because a lot is expected of them in terms of the quality of their work and the hours they need to bill each year.

Attorneys burn out. It is true that paralegals can burn out as well depending on the pace of the specialty they are in and their attitude. Keep in mind some people thrive on stress and fast paced enviroments where juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities is what motivates them to succeed. That's not true for all of us, however.

There are more stressful legal specialties than others, but all have some level of stress involved. It's inescapable.

The short answer is: yes, paralegal work can be stressful. However, as you become more familiar with the demands of your position and learn the software, expectations and manage deadlines, you'll find that you get into your own groove.

Stress in the law office is manageable. You can always get help from your attorney as to how to manage tasks and understand how long they expect specific tasks to be completed.

Keeping the lines of communication always open with your attorney will build your credibility and trust. You want your attorney to know he/she can rely on you and that you'll follow through and follow up with them about everything. They can't do it all and so attorneys need you to help them.

Once you've built that rapport with your bosses you'll find the stress is manageable.

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