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By: Lottie Wathen

What happens when I receive an e-mail from the incredibly funny and talented Lottie Wathen at 1:00 o’clock in the morning? This. That’s what! As far as my sanity and personal opinion are concerned, Lottie needs to start sending me pieces under the cover of darkness and departed sanity far more often. Your first challenge for the day? Take a big drink of that caffeinated beverage sitting desk-side, keep reading, and no matter what happens in this post, do not smirk, smile or laugh. (Seriously). Let’s see if you can do it. Ready…go!

(Cartoon created via Bitstrips. And if you are already smiling, you lose.)

Feeling less than stellar in your pumps today?

Have your efforts at drafting discovery fallen flatter than your hair at 5:35 p.m.?

Is the eloquence gone from your normally superior emotionally charged demands?

Are you struggling to make it from 9 to Noon – forget 9 to 5?

If so, perhaps it is time for a respite from the years of burning the candle at both ends; time to replenish your creativity and remove the rust from the steel trap in your brain. Consider a short stay with us, the Paralegal Rejuvenation for Outstanding Performance Society (“PROPS”), where your skills, enthusiasm and drive will be restored.

How will you know that you are ready for PROPS? The symptoms of paralegal burnout vary and, while you may exhibit some at various times, it is only when you find yourself having ALL of the symptoms in one day (or several, but not necessarily all, of the symptoms on a regular, perhaps even daily basis) that you know you are in need of our services.

Symptoms of paralegal burnout:

Have you typed (and sent) a phony out of office reply to an email from more than 5 colleagues today?

Do you find that you no longer calculate mileage for checks for witnesses (and resort to sending $37.17 to each one)?

Have you lost your notary stamp, your magnetized name badge, or your business card holder?

Do you find yourself avoiding association meetings, lunch-and-learns or webinars?

Have you tried to pass off your house slippers as “corrective” footwear ordered by a medical provider?

Was the last person who made a positive comment about your attire the three (3) year old who lives next door?

Have you confused white out strips with your teeth whitening strips?

Do you volunteer to do the courthouse runs, take the mail down, drop off the bank deposit, and go get coffee / lunch / dry cleaning for the entire office (all in the same day) rather than face the projects on your desk?

Have the conservative hair ties (purchased to closely match your hair color) been replaced by white, yellow, red or blue bread ties?

If you are experiencing at least 4 of these symptoms on a daily basis, you need PROPS – as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you find yourself sitting at the job application table in a tent of the traveling circus to ask for help. You can be saved!

We will meet you at the airport, train station, bus depot, or local truck stop and, once the introductions are out of the way, you will board the Magic Fun Bus, where you will be provided a private bunkicle (think cubicle with a bed) where you will find soothing music, fresh flowers and your favorite beverage to start the recovery process right away. Upon arrival at the facility, you will be shown to your private room where any and all remnants of work will be removed (returned upon your departure of course) and your restoration will continue.

Following a pre-determined number of days (.25 of a normal eight (8) hour day for each year of service to be calculated by the controller of the firm PROPS) of rest and relaxation (during which you will be pampered and your every need attended to by our courteous staff) we will slowly begin to rekindle your paralegal passion in our one of a kind renewal sessions. YOU will be the star of the sessions, regaling the other guests with the tales of your experiences, your brightest contributions to the successes of your supervisors, your fondest memories of the clients you have served and the efforts that you put forth to get a W in the column. Our therapists (the best of the best in paralegal land) will then complete your rejuvenation with our tried and true reaffirmation sessions where you will receive PROPS for all that you do.

Don’t wait until your paralegal mojo becomes paralegal no go, call 555-PARALEGL for a confidential assessment today!!

Lottie Wathen is a litigation paralegal working exclusively in family law at Cohen & Malad, LLP in Indianapolis. She is on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Paralegal Association, sits on the National Federation of Paralegal Associations’ Case Law Review Committee, and the Indianapolis Bar Association Paralegal Executive Committee. You can contact Lottie at: LWathen@cohenandmalad.com.   


(Um, if anyone attempts to call that number listed above, then we’re seriously in worse shape than we initially surmised. Please note – This is an incredibly funny, clever, well-written piece of prose aimed at you, the hardworking paralegal in need of PROPS. If you pick up the phone a/k/a the evil-corded-neck-killer, please immediately dial the number for the nearest insane asylum. We are not joking.)

So, how did you do on the whole not smiling thing? You wanna hear the great news? That coveted paralegal holiday otherwise known as “Friday” is just around the corner! Keep your head up, that caffeine flowing, and your sanity at least partially intact, until that glorious moment you eagerly depart through those law firm doors en route to freedom.

We’ll see you on Monday, when we’ll be announcing the topics for our second official writing contest! Until then, fist bump every paralegal you meet in need of PROPS. (You may want to consider the purchase of a knuckle guard…)