Changing roles for support staff

Smart attorneys know that their support staff – secretaries, clerks, and paralegals – play a vital, if often unheralded role in the smooth functioning of a law office. Not only are these professionals often the ones who know and understand the real hows and whys of dealing with court clerks and officials, they can greatly increase the productivity of an attorney (or multiple attorneys) by allowing them to concentrate on those tasks the attorney is best able to handle.

A recent article from North Carolina discussed some of the ways the role of the paraprofessional has changed – technology, of course, changes everything, not least the role of support staff, who, like the attorneys they work for, have to adapt or perish.

As the article discusses, many already have. As old skills, such as taking Dictaphone and shorthand, fall into obscurity, new ones, such as electronic filing and utilizing specialized software, such as case management software, rise to replace them and support staff often is at the forefront of adapting to the change.

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