Professional Boundaries

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What can lawyers do that paralegals cannot?

  1. They can establish the attorney-client relationship
  2. They can offer legal advice
  3. They can sign papers and pleadings on behalf of a client
  4. They can appear in court on behalf of a client
  5. They can set and collect fees
  6. They can earn a national average salary of $133,000, as compared to an average paralegal salary of about $52,000.

What can RNs do that LPNs cannot? Basically, they can enter your body through any natural or artificial opening, and I’m going to leave it at that. Except that they can earn a national average salary of about $70,000, as compared to an average LPN/LVN salary of $43,400.

So what can faculty do that adjuncts cannot? (Aside from making, on average, $57,000 as assistant professors instead of the national average of $2,700 per course?)

  1. They can participate in the ongoing life of their program or institution, through:
    • Hiring new colleagues
    • Reviewing those colleagues at promotion and tenure time
    • Choosing new graduate students
    • Setting the larger course of the curriculum
    • Engaging in budget deliberations
    • Serving in or being consulted by the faculty senate
  2. They can participate in the ongoing life of their discipline, through
    1. Being supported in the pursuit of their scholarly work
    2. Being supported in presenting and publishing the outcomes of that scholarly work
    3. Serving as mentors to upper division undergraduates doing senior theses or undergraduate research, or serving as doctoral committee members or chairs

These restrictions are often presented as liberations—”You won’t be responsible for research or service, just teaching.” We can also, by so doing, liberate you from decent wages and benefits, liberate you from any sense of permanence or mutual responsibility, and liberate you from any further academic contact with the very best students in your intro course who want to be able to take more classes with you in the future.

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…