Wait … WHAT?!?!?!

January 30, 2014

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this Craigslist ad under CL >new york >queens >all jobs >legal/paralegal jobs:

Disbarred Attorney wanted

In my head, I hear the voice of Inigo Montoya:

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Back in October 2011, I wrote about an employer seeking “JD Paralegals” – “Qualified applicants will have to have at least a JD.”

Seriously people, I know the public thinks poorly of our industry, but at what point did we, as legal professionals, sink so low as to blur the lines of ethics and common sense??

FTR, the order of disbarment in New York states:

Ordered that pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90, effective immediately__________ is commanded to desist and refrain from (1) practicing law in any form, either as principal or as agent, clerk, or employee of another …

One attorney commented that he sees no problem with a disbarred attorney working as a (hold on to your seat for this one) paralegal. After all, ‘if the work will be will be supervised by an attorney in good standing, what could be the harm?’

Well sir, several state bars actually have rules that prevent disbarred attorneys from acting as paralegals. And, the National Federation of Paralegals (NFPA) has issued its own opinion:


It’s one thing to have a disbarred attorney APPLY for a job, it is outrageous to advertise for one. I worked long and hard to become a damn good, respected, paralegal – I don’t want my industry sullied by the assumption that it’s OK to replace me or my peers with a disbarred attorney.

If an employer wants to take the chance and hire a disbarred attorney, fine – let them; but seriously, why would anyone EVER advertise for one?

What do y’all think?


3 Responses to “Wait … WHAT?!?!?!”

  1. Lyza Sandgren

    And as I said to the “one attorney,” like Pamela, I have a BIG problem with it. We paralegals are not just so much deadwood, lacking in moral and professional fiber, commitment to legal ethics or our work, nor are we the equivalent of a trained monkey. We are Professionals – let me repeat that, PROFESSIONALS – who take great pride in our achievements, accomplishment, skills, and as many of our clients will attest, our indispensability. We have no say in who a law firm hires, but if I were working at that firm, I would be having a chat with the managing partner. Rarely have I felt so professionally insulted.

  2. Pamela J Starr

    BRAVA! Lyza, BRAVA!

  3. Ellen Ochsenbein

    Two words… New York.