Aug 2017
29

Lessons from Our Favourite TV Legal Assistants

Behind every good lawyer is a great paralegal.

Think Law & Order, Ally McBeal, and Judge Judy. In recent years, a new breed of legal dramas has been sweeping our small screens.

From fancy suits to courtroom bustle, the legal profession seems more exciting and glamorous than ever. And although many of these shows revolve around full-fledged lawyers, their assistants always end up stealing the limelight. That’s because legal assistants, such as paralegals, legal secretaries, and legal executives, are pivotal in the legal sphere. While they don’t get to represent clients or engage in courtroom battles, their work can help to make or break a case.

Legal assistants typically work behind the scenes to assist lawyers. Their duties include conducting interviews with clients and witnesses, doing in-depth research, compiling supporting documents, and keeping lawyers organised. These assistants have a notable impact on the lives of both lawyers and clients.

We shine the spotlight on our favourite fictional legal assistants and what we can learn from them. 

1.      The Interns from How to Get Away with Murder

While not official paralegals, the five interns in this popular ABC drama do everything paralegals do – and so much more. Law students Connor, Wes, Laurel, Michaela, and Asher go above and beyond their duties to serve iron-jawed attorney Annalise Keating. They work tirelessly to help Annalise gather evidence, track down leads, and crack cases. The group’s display of hard work and loyalty earns them Annalise’s respect, so much so that she helps them to cover up two murders! 

We’re not saying that bosses will help you scuttle out of misdeeds in the real world, but proving your dedication can go a long way in earning their trust and respect. Paralegals support lawyers in various ways, such as drafting legal documents and trial preparation. If you ensure their success, they are likely to help you attain yours.

2.       Karen Page from Daredevil

As legal secretary to crime-fighting lawyer Matt Murdock, Karen Page is tasked with doing both administrative and investigative work. She not only ensures that the office is stocked with supplies but also collects clues which are vital in supporting a case. 

More often than not, Karen goes to great lengths in search of the truth. She narrowly escapes death twice and comes face-to-face with gun-blazing men. Karen’s initiative, courage, and inquisitiveness had been instrumental in bringing a major villain to justice and uncovering the truth about misunderstood characters.

 3.       Rachel Zane from Suits

In Suits, Rachel Zane is a hardworking and highly capable individual who dreams of becoming a lawyer. Despite her intelligence and skill, Rachel had never been able to secure a spot at Harvard Law School due to anxiety when taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). This led her to pursue a paralegal career at Pearson Hardman, where she excels as one of the best in her field. 

After much encouragement from her colleague, Rachel decides to retake the LSAT, and manages to get a good score. Although she still didn’t make the cut for Harvard, she had been granted acceptance into Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School (she eventually chooses the former). It takes plenty of perseverance, work ethic, and intellect to thrive in the legal industry, and Rachel is testament to that. 

Inspired to follow in the footsteps of these paralegals but don’t know where to start? Gain entry to the legal industry with LSBF in Singapore’s Diploma in Law

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