The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in nature and are extremely rare. In fact, they are so rare that cultivated pearls are the industry standard for creation and distribution of pearls worldwide.
These highly valued natural pearls are the origin of the pearl’s symbolism of being rare, admirable, valuable and fine.
A fisherman who kept it for good luck discovered the world’s largest and most valuable pearl 10 years ago in the Philippines. It was only exposed after the fisherman’s home burned down. The pearl endured the blaze. The carnage revealed a pearl 26 inches in length, 12 inches in width and weighing nearly 75 pounds with an estimated value of $100 Million!
In the law firm litigation environment, paralegal support can be the “hidden pearl” of any case. Tucked away behind the scenes, the resource of a high quality paralegal lends a value often unseen and sometimes underappreciated.
But, what makes a paralegal exceptional and precious to be likened to the natural pearl?
After spending the last twenty-plus years in the legal field, I’ve observed the following traits that I believe reveal that valuable pearl:
Persistent– The degree to which an individual is self-motivated, demonstrating a tenacious attitude and persists until work is completed, despite a heavy and diverse workload, long hours and high-pressure situations. Can do-attitude that is meticulous, thorough, dependable and hard working ((both in their personal and professional lives.)
Professional– The capacity to demonstrate patience, decorum and a positive attitude at all times regardless of stressful situations and/or difficult personalities.
Purposeful– Aptitude to visualize the end goal and create a workflow to facilitate that optimal goal. Anticipate road bumps and problems that could arise and have solutions ready.
Exact – The devil is in the details and paying attention to the small means not missing the big! The ability to focus on and keep track of multiple tasks requiring heavy concentration on details and keeping the bigger picture in mind. But also, skilled at prioritizing projects to ensure deadlines are met and client needs are handled appropriately.
Ethical– Upholds high moral standards, adheres to personal values and exhibits the highest degree of integrity in all interactions. Always being accountable and willing to accept responsibility for mistakes.
Experienced– William Shakespeare said it best, “Experience is by industry achieved, and perfected by the swift course of time.”
Autonomy– Talent to work independently with minimized supervision or assistance; yet, also be able to work well with others to contribute to the larger team vision or goal.
Analytical– A master problem-solver that brings original and clever solutions to a problem or dilemma, with the ability to “think outside of the box” and not accept only what is presented or obvious.
Au Courant- Exceeds minimum education requirements for the career-field and is willing to invest the time and energy into continuing education, learning new skills, and keeping up with changes in the field and technology.
Resourceful– Utilize instinct and make difficult decisions that are in the best interest of the firm and client. Further, demonstrates the ability to utilize resources (time, people, budget) effectively and efficiently and arranging information and materials in a useful and retrievable manner; which is essential for work flow, document management, case management and time management.
Rational– The gift of being able to carefully, review, consider and contemplate all facts and utilize sound judgment and awareness in making discussion. To include knowing when it is prudent to consult a superior.
Logical– Use of common sense in being able to connect ideas in a sensible way and apply best practice to any situation.
Liaison- Capacity to exchange information verbally & in writing in a way that is clear and concise enhancing understanding and minimizing miscommunication and conflict between individuals or entities.
Cultivation creates a normal standard in every industry. As rare as a spontaneous “hidden pearl” might be, the value is almost always worth the search, especially when that pearl is a paralegal- difficult to find, priceless and sometimes overlooked!