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Monday, Monday
A day in the life of an in-house paralegal.
By Cortland Kirkeby

May/June 1999 Issue

As an in-house paralegal for The Hillman Company, which conducts business in diversified investments and operations, in Pittsburgh, Pa., Deborah Kutzavitch never has a typical day.

It could be argued that she never has an easy day either, but that’s a logical consequence of always being up for a challenge. Kutzavitch has worked in both law firm and corporate settings. She teaches seminars on mergers and acquisitions, does lots of public speaking, and is attending law school at night.
While the corporate pastures might prove greener for paralegals in terms of status, compensation and upward mobility, they are neither pastoral nor serene. If you don’t believe it, take a look at this breakdown of a Kutzavitch Monday in March. (And you thought your Mondays were tough?)

7:45 — Walk through the front door and immediately retrieve voice mail messages people left on Saturday about meetings scheduled for today.

7:55 — Respond to e-mail sent late Friday and early this morning.

8:00 — Revise Professional Services Agreement for consultant to provide elevator inspection services (PSA No. 1); prepare Exhibit A to PSA, which is scope of services to be provided by consultant in connection with the possible purchase of office buildings.

8:20 — Pour first cup of morning coffee.

8:30 — Prepare Professional Services Agreement for Hillman to provide due diligence services (PSA No. 2); reproduce execution copies of PSA No. 2 and obtain corporate officer’s signature.

8:35 — Fax copy of PSA No. 1 to consultant for review and comments.

8:45 — Discuss issues with vice president of real estate for 9 a.m. due diligence meeting.

9:00 — Attend due diligence meeting with in-house and outside counsel, as well as financing, real estate, tax and operational review personnel, to discuss status of document review and efforts to obtain financing.

9:55 — Prepare organizational chart of entities involved in the project, which in-house treasury department will provide to potential lenders for review.

10:05 — Call paralegal at outside counsel’s office to coordinate trip to “war room” (location where all documents to be reviewed by a buyer are organized and filed) to organize documents in accordance with the due diligence checklist.

10:10 — Review fax received from consultant of PSA No. 1; revise Exhibit A (scope of services) to PSA
No. 1; prepare PSA No. 1 in final form and obtain corporate officer’s signature.

10:40 — Respond to request by consultant of PSA No. 1 for a sample insurance certificate copy, which consultant must provide under the terms of PSA No. 1.

10:55 — Listen and lend support to secretaries and other support personnel.   

11:00 — Telephone individuals from the company with time and place details for Island Sports Center project meeting (real estate development of an ice sports complex, restaurant, fitness center, golf driving range and batting cages).

11:10 — Download from Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Web site the form and instructions needed to apply for a sales tax license, enabling collection and remission of state sales tax for Island Sports Center project.

11:20 — E-mail two friends from law school study group about meeting Tuesday and Thursday evenings to study (no classes this week for spring break).

11:25 — Discuss agenda for afternoon war room meeting.

11:45 — Provide a copy of Articles of Incorporation and Fictitious Name Registration to Pennsylvania corporation.

Noon — Organize stock certificate book for newly created Delaware corporation; create specimen stock certificate and issue to sole shareholder.   

12:15 — Telephone company personnel to gather financial and accounting information to complete an application for sales and use tax license for a Pennsylvania corporation selling taxable services and equipment.

12:25 — Take phone call from classmate at school regarding assignment to prepare appellate briefs and oral arguments.

12:45 — Prepare and frantically inhale unremarkable cold sandwich.

12:50 — Call Pennsylvania Department of Revenue regarding application for sales and use tax license; verify the department’s receipt and processing of application.

1:30 — Attend weekly Island Sports Center meeting with company president, general counsel, personnel manager and risk-management personnel.

2:20 — Visit war room to assess the time and supplies needed to organize and index all documents in room.

3:30 — Return call to consultant hired under PSA No. 1 regarding insurance certificate he is required to provide under the agreement.

3:50 — Prepare a sample insurance certificate based on terms and conditions in PSA No. 1; fax to consultant’s insurance agent.

4:15 — Return phone call to paralegal at outside counsel’s firm to confirm that documents (executed and corporate seals affixed) were sent via Federal Express on Friday and that they should receive them today.

4:30 — Speak with outside tax consultant regarding two new entities to be formed in Pennsylvania or Delaware (limited partnership and limited liability company); wait to talk with general counsel on Wednesday to determine what entity names are to be used and whether and when the general counsel wants to proceed.

4:35 — Return call to give permission to have segment of Mergers and Acquisitions Institute for Paralegals videotaped for internal training purposes.

4:45 — Telephone in-house individuals to gather comments on monthly progress report prepared by environmental engineering consultants for Superfund site.   

4:50 — Finish preparation of stock certificates (begun at noon today).

5:00 — Review due diligence checklist.

5:30 — Big sigh! Head home.   

While this would constitute a week’s activity elsewhere, for Kutzavitch, it’s just another Monday — and the adventure continues tomorrow …

Cortland Kirkeby is a freelance writer based in Bellevue, Neb. He also works as a contract paralegal, mainly in the area of plaintiff tort litigation.

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