For most litigators, the idea of handling any type of case without paralegal assistance is probably rather frightening. In fact, partners and senior associates have become so accustomed to having paralegal assistance that they may not realize the relationship isn’t all it could be. Unfortunately, most lawyers are not taught how to properly use paralegals, either in the government or the private sector. (Orientation for new attorneys could include a seminar on the skills and functions of paralegals.) In the fast-paced and high-pressure business of litigation, lawyers have little time to contemplate what they can do to help the paralegal do his or her job better. Yet certain work practices and awareness on the part of attorneys will not only improve paralegal morale and motivation, but also greatly increase productivity and efficiency. The added benefit is a more harmonious relationship.

Here are a few guidelines for moving in that direction.

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