In the past months, I have been working at the Gene Ramos law office as a legal assistant under the attorney’s office. Primarily, the firm focuses on wrongful termination and personal injury. The legal knowledge accrued from my studies has been instrumental in the cases I have been handling. Further, the guidance I receive from the attorney and the experience I have gained from resolving client’s legal matters continue to inspire me to achieve my dream of becoming an attorney, or as I now refer to as a guardian of the people and custodian of the law.
In position as a legal assistant in the firm, I am expected to use my legal skills on each case. Gene Ramos has numerous clients who are mainly Spanish speaking seeking help. I therefore have to combine my Spanish speaking skill and legal knowledge to assist them. Once a client presents the facts of their case to me, I am responsible for researching on whether the client has possible cause of action and further determining the probability of success in court. I present the facts of the case together with my findings to my supervising attorney and we deliberate on the way forward for the case. If we agree to carry the case forward I will be responsible for writing the lawsuit. In the civil action, I address possible causes of action, jurisdiction, `party’s damages, et al. In addition, in the lawsuit, I attach legal authority, case law and/or statutes, for the causes of action.
In addition, I use my legal research skills to help the attorney’s cases, by helping prepare the clients for depositions and court. I research federal and state law, on Westlaw, to find information for the attorney like jury instructions, case law, civil code of regulations, etc. In addition, when the lawyer is preparing for discovery or trial, I practice with the clients on how to address possible questions and how to handle court procedures.
One of my most inspiring cases to date was that of an elderly woman who had given her youths energy in working at her company. However, the employer on realizing she had aged and slowed down, decided to find a way to discharge her without being liable to pay her terminal dues. The woman chose Gene Ramos to assist her in getting her rights. Having been assigned the case I quickly embarked on investigating the terms of her dismissal. I discovered that our client had diligently worked through the years, earning herself various pay raises. However in the last year, she had been shuffled around departments which had slowed her down. Despite this she was still always able to meet the minimum production required. The slowness earned her various written and verbal warnings
However, under the attorney guidance, I was able to find circumstantial evidence demonstrating that she was wrongfully terminated. The employer strategically moved her around to purposely slow her down. He further discriminated her because of her age. It could be reasonably inferred that they wanted to discharge her so they could hire a younger employee. We were able to discover the employer’s ulterior motive to discharge her. In the end, the employer was forced to settle with her out of court.
This case motivated me because I realized I inherently wanted to assist people that do not understand English or American’s courts procedures. There are many people victimized daily in need of help. The experience gained from working in the law firm and my dedication to the mastery of law has boosted my confidence in assisting such victims. The legal experience I have gained will help me set up my own law practice one day, and my hard work in Trinity Law School will give me the degree to begin my journey as attorney.