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Paralegal Peeks at Part-Time Lawyer’s Check, Takes Pay Peeve to Advice Columnist

Posted Jul 10, 2012 7:12 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A paralegal handed the wrong paycheck by mistake wrote to the "Ask Amy" advice column to complain about pay inequity.

The paralegal, who works for a small law firm, writes: “I've made a lot of money for the firm. Because of all my hard work, the firm has hired two new attorneys (one is part-time). By accident my manager gave me the part-time attorney's paycheck, and I was floored. She makes way more than I do!”

The letter, signed “Peeved Paralegal,” complains that it’s just not fair that a part-timer makes more money. The Tulsa World published the column.

Ask Amy replies that it’s possible the firm’s success is due to more than just the paralegal’s efforts, and it’s the marketplace that determines worth. “You are comparing apples to wheelbarrows,” the columnist writes.

She says the paralegal should negotiate for more money by getting a job offer from another firm and leveraging it into more money from the present employer.

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