Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

As we near Thanksgiving Day and all the joys it brings - among them family, football and turkey - it is time that we remind ourselves of what we are thankful for as attorneys.  Lawyers are a sarcastic, pessimistic bunch so I would not be surprised to hear that the knee jerk response is "not much" in light of the fragile, anemic state of the economy.  True, these are challenging times.

Though we remain uncertain of our futures, we still have work to do and this work we cannot complete without the invaluable assistance of the paralegals and assistants who staff our projects.  This is especially true in litigation where often the assistants and paralegals have been filing briefs and building relationships with court staff longer than we have been practicing.  

I am especially reminded of the help I received when I read this tribute on The Volokh Conspiracy to Emily Spadoni, a long-time assistant in the United States Solicitor General's Office.  Spadoni, who recently retired, was apparently one of those dedicated assistants who had amassed a deep institutional knowledge of the details surrounding Supreme Court practice, and who brought that knowledge to bear in her daily work, ultimately benefiting the august office she served. 

For my part, I have lost count of the number of occasions a paralegal or assistant helped me out of a jam.  So, on this Thanksgiving Day, be thankful for the paralegal or assistant who has supported you on a project and who went the extra mile to ensure you filed your brief met the court's formatting requirements.  Without their help, we would have even less work than we have now.     

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