Lyndsey: Week 11 of Being a Legal Assistant

Completely Unnecessary Times I Feel Like I Have to Pull Teeth to Help a Client.


I have officially been a legal assistant for eleven weeks now, and I feel like I had to pull teeth to get some information from clients that the clients know or should know they need to give to me. Clients going through a divorce must compile, complete, and file certain documents with the court as part of the process of divorce. These forms you fill out and the documents to be produced are required by the court. They aren’t busy work. Once in a while we get a client who fully completes forms, completely answers questions, and informatively responds to document and other requests in a timely manner. They are all too rare. I often send out requests to clients two, three, even four weeks before they are due, yet still have to call, nag, and annoy them literally every day into doing what they already know they need to do. If parties to a divorce case don’t complete the forms and produce the documents to the court and to the opposing side, clients can be fined and otherwise severely sanctioned by the court. You would think with those penalties hanging over their heads, clients would carefully, if not eagerly, strive to fill out and give me documents they are required to produce for the court. You would think that after receiving from me the forms to complete and the list of documents to produce that a client would send them back neat and complete and as soon as possible, and at least by the given deadlines. That they would diligently search for and find the supporting documents to send to me and that they would be thanking me for helping them with their divorce and for keeping their case not only alive but strong and for keeping them in the court’s good graces. Unfortunately, and painfully, that is not usually the case. And the clients suffer for it. If you are thinking about going through a divorce or are in the process of a divorce, help your attorney help you. We can’t answer the questions only you can answer. We don’t have copies of your tax refunds, pay stubs, and bank statements. It helps ensure you and your attorney are well prepared, which helps ensure your success in your divorce case. And no, there is no easier or better way to do it.

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