News headlines this week proclaimed that Casey Anthony, the Florida resident who was acquitted in the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, wants to be a paralegal.
I am incensed over this because, in my opinion, Casey’s “interest in the justice system” does not qualify her to use the title “paralegal”. The American Bar Association defines a paralegal/legal assistant as
“…a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”
If my Internet research is accurate, Casey did not graduate from high school, let alone attend college or a paralegal program. Her only “experience” is working on her own murder case.
The attorney who represented Casey at her trial, Charles Greene, seems ready to wave a magic wand and bestow the title “paralegal” on her because he thinks she has the “skills” and “desire” to pursue a job in the legal field.
Mr. Green also says he believes she has a lot of skills: she’s very organized, very intelligent, and very computer savvy. Those are all qualities a paralegal needs — but they do not automatically make her a paralegal.
I have no problem with Casey’s ambition to be a paralegal. Everyone should have goals and plans. However, she must first get the necessary education, training and work experience most paralegals have worked so hard to obtain. Serving as the Defendant in a murder trial isn’t in any way adequate training for the paralegal profession.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below and let me know.