My new employer was a well-established law firm, having maintained a presence in the legal community for many years. There were 3 partners, 1 additional shareholder, 3 associates, 1 legal intern, 4 legal assistants, an office manager, a receptionist-bookkeeper and a runner. It was a nice balance. I had a number of resources for getting questions answered. I slowly settled in and became “comfortable”.
To my surprise, my nice “balanced” office began to slowly change. In case you didn’t know, law firms constantly change and evolve. Law firms are almost living, breathing beings. They have personality and style. They bend and they flex with each change in staff and with each client addition.
Paralegals, by nature, tend to anticipate the future so that they can be prepared. Occasionally you are able to foresee a staff change, but often they are totally unexpected. Learn to be flexible and develop your skills at adapting to the unexpected. This is especially helpful if your practice area is litigation!
Numerous staff changes are occurring in law offices in the current recession. Don’t panic when those changes interrupt your workflow. Step back, catch your breath and simply re-evaluate your responsibilities and the big picture. Don’t try to change everything at once. Think baby steps. One small change at a time can make a tremendous difference in the big picture.