Podcast category: Best Legal Practices

Robert Half Legal Report

Making Succession Planning an Ongoing Priority

In this episode of The Robert Half Legal Report, attorney Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal and Sandra J. Boyer, Boyer & Greene principal, examine the importance of succession planning and why it is imperative to the future viability of law firms. They discuss best practices and potential obstacles that law firm management may encounter when implementing a succession plan.

Paralegal Voice

Results of the 2015 NALA Utilization and Compensation Survey for Paralegals

Every 2 years, the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) conducts a survey of paralegals to establish current trends in the paralegal industry. Among those surveyed are NALA members, non-members, and members of affiliated organizations. Topics include the duties and responsibilities of paralegals, where they work, common practice areas, and the changes in billing rates and compensation. What is the meaning of survey results and how should paralegals use this information to improve their practice?

In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews NALA President Kelly LaGrave, ACP about the results of the 2015 NALA Utilization and Compensation Survey, ways in which paralegals achieve professional growth, and the importance of certification to a paralegal career. LaGrave talks about the trends in the paralegal industry according to the survey, including more paralegals working in corporate legal departments, banks, government entities, the medical field, as well as private law firms. Popular practice areas, she says, include litigation, corporate law, real estate, administrative law, trust and estates, and increasingly commercial law. In order to keep up with trends, she explains, continuing education in unfamiliar areas and certifications are valuable to all paralegals. Voisin and LaGrave then discuss what it means to be certified, how to choose a qualified certification program, and ways to promote certification when looking for a job or promotion.

Kelly LaGrave, ACP joined Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC in Lansing, Michigan in 1993. She is a member of their business and corporate practice group. A successful passionate paralegal, LaGrave works in a wide variety of matters such as mergers and acquisitions, entity selection, and organizational planning for profit and nonprofit corporate planning and tax-exempt applications, loan transactions, real estate transactions, insurance regulations, and intellectual property. The current president of the National Association of Legal Assistants, she has served in many NALA leadership positions throughout the organization. She most enjoys helping develop and deliver training to other paralegals.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and ServeNow.

ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

How can attorneys get help without harming their careers?

With such a stressful profession, many attorneys face addiction and other mental health issues. If you find yourself struggling–or know another lawyer who is–what resources are out there? Does admitting a problem have to harm your career? What are your ethical duties if you do know that a colleague is battling an addiction or suffering from mental health problems?

In this month’s Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward speaks with Patrick Krill of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s legal professionals program to find out more. Krill is currently finishing a study in conjunction with the ABA to research substance abuse, depression, and anxiety in legal profession.

Digital Detectives

Forensic Science in the Criminal Justice System: What is Admissible?

There have been several programs looking at exoneration of people previously convicted of crimes. This includes The Innocence Project, currently boasting 325 DNA exonerations, and a project of the University of Michigan Law School that works on cases in which DNA is unavailable. The latter project has exonerated 1,553 individuals when we recorded this podcast. As it turns out, many of these people were convicted based on forensic science that was later proved to not be scientifically valid. So, what particular forensic disciplines are actually valid in the criminal justice system?

In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview Judge David Waxse about the 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the relationship between bad science and wrongful convictions, and how to improve the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system. The NAS report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, found that with the exception of DNA, no forms of forensic science comply with scientific methodology. Waxse discusses the jury’s confidence in unproven science experts and witness testimony and the resulting wrongful convictions. He explains why people are just now becoming concerned with the 2009 report and discusses why The Willingham Case is relevant. Waxse plans to hold a symposium in April 2015 at Northwestern Law School in Chicago to consider with experts how to educate judges and lawyers in the criminal justice system about this issue.

Judge David Waxse is a United States magistrate judge for the United States District Court in Kansas City, Kansas. He received his BA Degree from the University of Kansas and his JD from the Columbia University School of Law. He is a past president of the Kansas Bar Association and current chair of the American Bar Association Judicial Division.

In-House Legal

Verizon’s Randy Milch on Being General Counsel and Running the In-House Legal Department

In-House Legal returns with new host Randy Milch, the executive vice president and strategic policy advisor to the chair and CEO for Verizon Communications. Formerly the general counsel for Verizon, Randy has worked nearly his entire legal career in the telecom industry.

In this episode of In-House Legal, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews host Randy Milch as he takes the reins of the show. Together, they discuss Randy’s path to becoming Verizon’s GC, the importance of having talented attorneys on your team, and the challenges faced in regulatory environments. In addition, they talk about the cost of patent trolls, the necessity of support staff, and relentlessly weathering pressure and uncertainty. Tune in to hear what Randy’s plans are for the show’s future as well as his advice for in-house legal departments.

Randy Milch is the executive vice president and strategic policy advisor to the chair and CEO for Verizon Communications. Prior to that, he was the company’s executive vice president and general counsel. Mr. Milch has worked a career in the telecom industry and brings decades of legal experience to the In-House Legal show.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: Judicial Division with Judge Waxse

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews Judge David Waxse, chair of the Judicial Division at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Judge Waxse discusses how the Judicial Division is comprised of six conferences and how they interact. As chair, he has chosen a project to focus on concerning forensic science and the criminal justice system. His interview includes a chilling case of proven false execution. Judge David Waxse is a federal magistrate judge at the Robert J. Knoll Courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas. He has been a judge for 16 years after having practiced law in Kansas for about 30 years.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: Law Student Division with Aaron Sohaski

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews Law Student Division Chair Aaron Sohaski at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Sohaski discusses member benefits of the Law Student Division, their connection with the Young Lawyers Division, and their popular competitions: arbitration competition, negotiations competition, and the client counseling competition. He also explains their future plans to strip away Interpretation 305-2, an accreditation standard banning paid externships. Aaron Sohaski is a 3L at Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: House of Delegates with Trish Refo

The Digital Edge podcast Host Jim Calloway interviews Trish Refo, chair of the ABA House of Delegates, at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Refo equates the House of Delegates to the Legislative branch; it makes and sets policy for the entire association. She discusses the various future issues that may be brought to the house including unaccompanied minor immigrants, consumer data privacy, possession and ownership of wild animals, stand your ground laws, and roadmaps to making Native Americans safer, among other legal concerns. Trish Refo is a partner at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix where she practices commercial litigation with an emphasis on business tort disputes and legal malpractice defense.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: Section on Real Property, Trusts and Estates Law with Orlando Lucero

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews Orlando Lucero, vice-chair for the Section of Real Property Trusts and Estates Law at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Lucero discusses his Hispanic homebuyer video, a project focusing on providing valuable information for the Latino community about selecting good advisors, the risks and benefits associated with different financing options, and key points to consider when selling and buying a home. Orlando Lucero is vice president/escrow officer at Stewart Title in Albuquerque, where his work includes commercial and residential transactions.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: ABA Leisure

Legal Talk Network Hosts Jason Marsh and Adriana Linares interview Christine Gregorio, Kate Noble, Lee Swanson, and Larry Gil about ABA Leisure at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Together they discuss the concept of ABA Leisure, a program involving networking and educational opportunities for lawyers within their recreational time rather than in a professional context. Some of the main activities include golf, wine, and travel.

Larry Gill is the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Revenue Officer of the American Bar Association. He is in charge of the ABA Leisure project.

Kristine Gregorio is the director of communications and special projects at the ABA.

Lee Swanson is the associate director of member leisure communities at the ABA.

Kate Noble is the community marketing manager at the ABA.

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