Law from a legal assistant’s point of view, week 12: Perfection
By Quinton Lister, Legal Assistant
It doesn’t take a lawyer to discover, and it doesn’t take long to realize, that the legal profession is by no means perfect. The legal system is nowhere close to perfect either. So, why, as a legal assistant, am I concerned with my emails and my documents being perfect? I suppose it’s because I have started to see how the slightest error gives your enemies an opening to make a mountain out of a molehill. For instance, a simple, honest mistake resulting in miscalculating the child custody schedule, child support, or alimony awards can be disastrous, if one wants to try to capitalize on those mistakes.
Simply put, mistakes are costly, especially in practicing law. The repercussions of legal mistakes can be irreversible and have lasting impact. That explains why lawyers are exact in their words and actions, and why legal documents are often so long. Good lawyers and bad one too know a mistake could cost them a case and a job (not to mention exposure to a malpractice suit). My job is to learn to be exact and thorough. Sometimes this pushes me out of my comfort zone, but that is part of learning any profession, trade, or craft. I am grateful to be learning these things now, well before I am an attorney myself.
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