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The Paralegal and The Pandemic: How COVID-19 Is Impacting Your Day-to-Day Work

Athennian – “This year has changed our lives in many ways. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to roll across the world, many of us have been coming to grips with working remotely, mainly from home. Paralegals and their peers are no exception. The days of walking over to a lawyer’s desk for clarifications are gone; legal operations and administrative support workers have had to learn how to communicate and work productively from their own homes. Yet all of the articles and reports out there seem to focus solely on the lawyer’s experience; once again, the paralegal has been pushed into the background. Not for us, though. We wanted to hear about the paralegal experience during the pandemic and consequential lockdowns: What challenges have paralegals and law clerks experienced during this time? What helps them deliver quality service for their team and clients? So we reached out to paralegals across the globe and asked about their role, productivity working and collaborating remotely, the challenges they are facing, and how life in 2020 is affecting their wellbeing. In general, we found that paralegals are experiencing significant pressures, including increasing workloads and anxiety around Covid-19, all of which have had an impact on mental health. They are experiencing family health issues, the loss of colleagues, lost income, and isolation. We all know that paralegals, law clerks, and administrators are a critical, but often undervalued, part of the legal process. They are at the forefront of forging and maintaining strong relationships, both internally and externally, and with stakeholders, clients, and colleagues. The lack of support for paralegals and their fellow legal administration professionals places law firms at risk, including firms managing immense amounts of entity and corporate governance data. The message to employers is loud and clear – it’s time to take notice of employee health, both physical and mental. If your employees’ well-being is not supported, there is likely to be a real business impact on client relationships, talent retention, and the ability of legal teams to work effectively…”

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