Introducing Myself


Richard Hershberger

Richard Hershberger is a paralegal working in Maryland. When he isn't doing whatever it is that paralegals do, or taking his daughters to Girl Scouts, he is dedicated to the collection and analysis of useless and unremunerative information.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph says:

    Well, that’s an obscure blurb on the FP.


    • Avatar richardhershberger in reply to Glyph says:

      Think of Victorian gentry, who of course cannot speak to one another if they haven’t been introduced. But under certain circumstances, such as being at a respectable party, where they presumably have acquaintances in common who could in theory make the introduction, the rule is relaxed. The roof, it is said, serves as an introduction.Report

  2. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Welcome. Excited to have you on board.Report

  3. Avatar LeeEsq says:


    Paralegals do the boring aspects of lawyering for lawyers. They also get us coffee. In living memory they were called secretaries.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Some of them do that. Others undertake more advanced assignments. Our newest front-pager sounds like what I call a “mini-lawyer” who basically works up a whole case except for court appearances and trials. This is way more than secretarial-level work, although secretarial-level work, when done well, is itself a valuable contribution to a lawyer’s work product and therefore also not to be sneezed at.

      But really, I’m looking forward to more baseball posts and the insights into American history that will necessarily follow them. I’m thrilled to have you on the team, Richard.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:


        This is not the first time I have heard of such entrapments happening.Report

      • Avatar richardhershberger in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Alas, batting my eyes at senior attorneys rarely has much of an effect. Or perhaps that is just as well. (This could lead to an interesting discussion of whether paralegal is a pink collar profession. It wasn’t formerly, but I do get the sense it is has moved in that direction. I’m not sure why.)

        In the world of paralegals, let us not forget the ever-poplar disbarred attorney who “works for” his former partner as a “paralegal.”

        But seriously, my role is hard to briefly summarize. I work in a small shop, and it isn’t correct to say that I work up the file myself, but then again I may well have my hands on the file more than the attorney does. And I was serious about drafting pleadings. There is an upper limit to what I can do, but I draft a lot of motions and responses and memoranda of points and authorities, and do my own legal research for them. I just drafted a twelve page complaint, virtually none of it boilerplate.

        If your paralegal is just doing secretarial work, you are paying too much. Hire a legal secretary. There is overlap between what a secretary and a paralegal do, but then again there is overlap between what a paralegal and a lawyer does. So yeah, I also do a lot of boring stuff. But so do lawyers. But we won’t tell, keeping it our little secret.

        Oh, and a good secretary is the person who helps you keep your law license. It would be so easy for your calendar to accidentally, or perhaps “accidentally,” be missing some important deadline. Remember that.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to richardhershberger says:


          Interesting. If anything, I would say that being a paralegal has moved from being a pink-collar profession to more of a junior white-collar profession.

          Here is my reasoning. Being a paralegal used to be something you did without college. You needed a high school degree or a GED and then you went to vocational training program for a paralegal certificate.

          Now it seems like all the firms I know are making it mandatory for people to have college degrees before being paralegals. Older paralegals tend to be working-class people and usually (but not always women). Now I see a lot of paralegals are young college graduates who are trying the legal industry out for a year or two before going to law school, law school graduates who never took or passed the bar exam, and sometimes more tragically barred lawyers who could not find a lawyer job because of the recent law industry recession/ongoing mess.

          Bigger firms also might have a few people with advanced degrees of some kind as paralegals doing a bit more specialized work.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I think the proper term for does everything but appearing before the Court is solicitor.Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I went through a certificate program, but I only give that stuff away for free at my charity gig.
        More interested in lobbying now.
        Might go to work for a state legislator doing pre-session research, red-lining and crap.

        I feel bad for the guy with that organ exchange account. He’s got an uphill climb.
        (And he could have more legs to do it with, if only he could convince a few more people . . . )Report

  4. Avatar Miss Mary says:


  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:


  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Also all of my freelance lawyer career has been in plaintiff side work. So I welcome an ally 🙂Report

  7. Welcome! The baseball post have bee fascinating, and I’m looking forward to the rest of it as well.Report

  8. Avatar CK MacLeod says:

    A para-academic para-legal with a pair a kids.

    Was just giving a rundown to a lifelong baseball fan, based on your piece (and subsequent discussion) on the Red Stockings and early development of professional baseball, esp as pertains to evolution of fielding. Led to speculation on general level of play during so-called Golden Age (or I guess High Golden Age since I see people now mean all of 1920-60). We just didn’t know enough about it more than to guess around the questions, but it passed the time, which is critically important for the passtime – so please keep on doing what you’re doing, and thanks!Report

  9. Welcome! I look forward to the syntax and religious history posts, particularly.Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Good to have you aboard!Report

  11. Avatar James K says:

    Welcome to the party.Report

  12. Avatar aaron david says: