Long ago someone wise once said, “Behind every good lawyer, is a great legal assistant.” Or is that just me trying to present my own statements as ancient wisdom? Regardless, any lawyer will tell you that without a good assistant, they would be totally lost. And that is where I come in.
I started my career as a trainee junior legal assistant back in 2015. Over the years, and over many different practice areas, I have assisted in so many personal injury cases that I have lost count.
Thanks to the iconic portrayal of law firms in pop culture (honourable mentions: Dennis Denuto and Denny Crane) we all have a general idea of what happens during the life a lawsuit:
- You present your issue to your lawyer;
- The lawyer buries their nose in a book;
- The lawyer does the hard yakka and fights the good fight;
- You win and we all go home happy. Right?
What you may not see, is the work that is being done day to day on your case by your trusty legal assistant.
What exactly will I do during your case?
Your legal assistant is your first point of contact when it comes to your case. What we do goes far beyond the realms of answering phones and getting coffee. For the record, my lawyer answers his own phone and gets his own coffee (but sometimes I may go get him a coffee, if he shouts me one too obviously).
As your legal assistant, it is my job to ensure that between milestone stages, your matter is running smoothly and without delay. The groundwork in preparing your case starts from the minute we receive your signed agreement.
Working across three practice areas ensures that no two days are the same. Some days are filled with drafting Court documents to issue legal proceedings in a matter. Or I could be arranging an informal conference with the defendant in an attempt to settle a matter early.
I spend a lot of my time requesting and chasing information on your behalf, such as medical records, tax returns and Medicare statements. Trust me when I say that I spend an unenviable amount of time on the phone to Medicare.
You can confidently share anything with your legal assistant
Think of your legal assistant as your mate when it comes to your matter.
- Feeling overwhelmed at the idea of completing a hefty form? Give us a ring and we will run through it with you.
- Know you have a medicolegal exam coming up and can’t remember where it is or what time? No worries, we have got those details right in front of us and we’ll shoot them off to you in an instant.
- Need to speak with your lawyer urgently but he or she is in court? Not a problem. Speak with your legal assistant and they’ll either help you with your query or ensure your lawyer knows you need an urgent call back at their earliest convenience.
At Polaris, no question is silly and no request is ignored. A big part of my role in your matter is to make sure your part is as easy and pain free as it can be. So, if you engage a Polaris lawyer to look after your personal injury matter, you can rest assured you have an entire passionate and determined team working for you, not just one lawyer.
About the author
My name is Rikki. I’m a personal injury legal assistant at Polaris Lawyers Melbourne. I work closely with Nick Mann and Ariella Stephenson on an array of cases involving medical negligence, transport accidents or injuries in public places.
I grew up in a small town in the Yarra Valley, about an hour east of Melbourne. I’m a passionate Richmond Tigers fan and am always up for a chat about the footy. Outside of work, I can usually be found in the gym, going for a run, cooking up a storm or catching up with friends.