By: Pamela J. Starr
Reprinted with permission from Pamela the Paralegal – virtual paralegal and blogger extraordinaire: http://pamelatheparalegal.com/
Today we’re bringing the wildly fabulous and incredibly candid Pamela Starr onto the TPS stage to tell you about a ridiculous (it is ridiculous) employment ad she recently came across, which sought – of all things…a “disbarred attorney” to fill a paralegal role. Wait…WHAT? Yep, our thoughts exactly. Keep reading, and if you can’t keep the duct tape securely affixed over the corners of your non-disbarred, highly-competent paralegal mouth after reading today’s post, leave a comment. The free therapy hotline is officially OPEN for business!
(Cue the disbarred attorneys running…)
I’m still trying to wrap my head around this Craigslist ad under CL >new york >queens >all jobs >legal/paralegal jobs:
In my head, I hear the voice of Inigo Montoya:
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Back in October 2011, I wrote about an employer seeking “JD Paralegals” – “Qualified applicants will have to have at least a JD.”
Seriously people, I know the public thinks poorly of our industry, but at what point did we, as legal professionals, sink so low as to blur the lines of ethics and common sense?
For the record, the order of disbarment in New York states:
“Ordered that pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90, effective immediately__________ is commanded to desist and refrain from (1) practicing law in any form, either as principal or as agent, clerk, or employee of another …”
One attorney commented that he sees no problem with a disbarred attorney working as (hold on to your seat for this one) a paralegal. After all, ‘if the work will be will be supervised by an attorney in good standing, what could be the harm?’
Well sir, several state bars actually have rules that prevent disbarred attorneys from acting as paralegals. And, the National Federation of Paralegals (NFPA) has issued its own opinion:
It’s one thing to have a disbarred attorney APPLY for a job, it is outrageous to advertise for one. I worked long and hard to become a damn good, respected, paralegal – I don’t want my industry sullied by the assumption that it’s okay to replace me or my peers with a disbarred attorney.
If an employer wants to take the chance and hire a disbarred attorney, fine – let them; but seriously, why would anyone EVER advertise for one?
What do y’all think?
Pamela J. Starr, CBA, J.S.M., Virtual Paralegal Extraordinaire, tenacious redhead from the GSOT and lead paralegal/owner of StarrParalegals, LLC, Pamela serves on NFPA’s Ethics Board, blogs as her alter ego, ‘Pamela the Paralegal’, attends grad school and has launched ‘Sessions with a Starr’ – a Career Mitigation© platform devoted to helping professionals redefine their career options in an e-based economy. She has been featured in, and written for, several publications (BankruptcyProfessional.com, The Fulton County Daily Report, Law Technology News, GPSolo Magazine) and has presented several webinars on ECF and working virtually.
Since you performed illegal acts that ultimately led to your disbarment from the practice of law, we’d totally like to welcome you aboard as our next paralegal. We feel your scandalous past would make for an ideal fit.
Is this crazy? We think so! We’d love to hear your thoughts…