The Paralegal Shuffle – When the Attorney is Abrasive

I have worked as a paralegal in both large and small law firms. Depending on a firm’s culture, a paralegal can be treated respectfully, or – you guessed it – abrasively by a boss who is perceived to be uncaring and unrepentant with his or her demands. If you talk to other paralegals who work in your area of law, word spreads quickly as to which firms have the worst offenders when it comes to abrasive behavior meted out by attorneys. If you are a paralegal who deals with an abrasive boss on a daily basis, take heart: leaving is no longer the only option. Instead, help is available in the form of specialized coaching for abrasive individuals in your organization. If you are an attorney whose behavior is abrasive, consider this: even though you may enjoy a sterling reputation with your clients and managing partners, your staff may find your management style sorely lacking in respect and appreciation. If you don’t understand why a steady stream of paralegals and support staff seems to parade through your office, it may be time for an honest evaluation about how you are perceived by those who work for you.

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