Last week I reported that I am a complete neophyte when it comes to the practice of law (this is my second week as a legal assistant), and that remains true this week. There have been several surprises as to the ins and outs of the legal system. One of the most surprising to me is the amount of paperwork that goes into a legal proceeding.
The sheer number of papers that must be piled up (and continue to pile up) in the record rooms of courts, law offices, and the storage space on the servers is staggering.
My boss asked me to document my observations during this time (one in a lifetime time) while I see with “fresh eyes”, and it appears to me that the amount of red tape and hoop jumping required is more a matter of accreted conventions than necessity. Many documents or processes that may have had a purpose in the past have outlived their usefulness.
Clearly, there is a need to record and document certain things in almost any important human undertaking. I also concede I don’t know how everything works or why, so there may be reasons for the I don’t understand. But as I am experiencing it, the amount of paperwork seems inexplicably and unnecessarily slow, duplicative, and burdensome (and as a result, unnecessarily expensive).
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