Attorneys, educators and students often ask the question: “What qualities make for a good paralegal?” The responses are plentiful, including someone who is organized, detail-oriented and ethical. One area, however, that is often overlooked is following up on drafted assignments and pending cases. The failure of a paralegal to take initiative in following up can result in potential pitfalls in a case and place undue stress upon the legal team. However, recognizing the importance of follow-up will not only serve to bolster the success of a case, but also open the door to potential new business and strengthen existing relationships with your supervising attorney, firm and client.

The successful paralegal is one who completes assignments in a thorough and timely manner. Being thorough, however, encompasses more than merely completing an initial task. Instead, it is a fundamental part of a paralegal’s responsibilities to follow up on previously drafted assignments and imminent deadlines to avoid tasks falling through the cracks.