Summons Winter 2019 | Page 2

I’ve been pondering how to start this article for quite some time. It’s March in North Dakota – Christmas is over; it’s still dark when I go to work and when I leave work; it’s cold most of the time; the WDALA spring seminar still needs a lot more planning; and the NALA convention is four months way.

What do I have to impart to the members of WDALA right now? The funny thing that finally came to my mind was “pants.”

I bought a pair of pants about two months ago. I LOVED them. They were navy blue and had a little bling at the ankles. They were comfy AND slimming (well, at least I believed they were slimming). And about a month ago, they turned up lost.

I wasn’t too worried at first – I assumed they were somewhere in the house: they were under a bed, they were in a hamper, they were in a drawer, they were accidentally hung in my husband’s closet, or they were in a suitcase. But no, they were none of those places. I got out flashlights, I drug things out from under all the beds, I tore apart closets, I got to the bottom of hampers (the bottom!), I ranted and raved, and I checked my Christmas bins just in case my pants had accidentally been confused with Christmas stockings or a tree skirt. But again, the pants were none of those places. Resigned to never seeing them again, I stopped looking for them for a while.

Then today, with renewed energy and ideas, I checked all the same places again. Instead of casually looking through things, I carefully took them apart and sorted as I went. And guess what? I found the pants! They were neatly folded in a stack of mending on my dresser, which I had already looked through at least once (easy to miss – I actually do mending about once every five years in the hopes that people will outgrow clothing before I actually have to attempt to thread a needle. It works well. That’s how much I dislike sewing). Not sure why they were in that stack, because they didn’t need mending, but somehow they got into that pile.

Now, I am sure you are wondering, what do awesome pants have to do with being a paralegal? Well, other than the fact that I personally feel better about myself and the world in general in an outfit I feel good in, nothing. This is a silly little story, but the analogies that turned over in my mind are how important it is to:

~ Stay organized. Good organization can save you a lot of time;

~ Keep looking for resolutions to problems;

~ Take a break when you can’t find the answer;

~ Ask others for help;

~ Try looking at the same things again, in a different way;

~ Retrace your steps;

~ Be willing to get down into the nitty gritty (and lint, dog hair, and dust bunnies) to find a solution; and

~ Have a backup plan, just in case.

This applies whether you are looking for a job, doing legal research, working with difficult co-workers and clients, writing a letter for your boss, trying to find speakers for a seminar, trying to find people willing to serve in positions, or looking for your favorite pants.