RealJobs: Michael A. Makinde

As a paralegal at Kramer Levin, my role is to support the attorneys in their daily tasks. The most of important of these is hearing preparation. Preparing for a hearing, which usually takes place at the United States Bankruptcy Court down on Bowling Green, is vital to making sure we do the best we can once the judge hears our matters.

The most critical portion is preparing the various motions. These include the first day motions, which will allow the company in bankruptcy to continue to do ordinary course of business while the case moves forward. This includes being afforded the permission to pay their utilities, honor customer programs and most importantly, the permission to compensate all professionals involved in the case. The attorneys draft all of the motions, but it is my duty to file them with the court and ensure all interested parties are served with a copy of the various motions.

Binder preparation is also a large part of getting ready to go to a hearing, and this is where I am the point person. All motions filed by all parties that are to be discussed during the hearing are gathered and organized, along with all objections and replies to the same. This is often an unglamorous and laborious task; however, I believe in the future there will be no need for bulky binders being lugged down to court. Some firms are already moving towards giving their attorneys iPads to take to court with them. Technology revolutionizes everything.

During the hearings that I attend, my duty is to keep track of all documents and to assist the attorneys in locating people and documents in the court room. Sometimes I will be asked to track the progression of the hearing and email reports back to attorneys at the firm. I’ve even been asked to pick up a case of Fiji’s during a particularly intense hearing in the summer.

I feel this portion of my job has been essential to helping me prepare for law school. I have a strong sense of how to write legal documents, how to read and interpret the language, and what judges are looking for in motions and papers. Like I said earlier, I work with brilliant people. I know that the adage is that if you are a paralegal before you go to law school, you will probably rethink attending law school. However, being at Kramer Levin LLP for 2.5 years now has really motivated more to attend law school. I really do admire the people I work with and I look forward to the future.

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