It’s common for professionals to confuse having a job with having a career. In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, host Vicki Voisin defines what it means to have a successful paralegal career and gives 30 tips on how to live out your calling. Some of her tips include setting goals, keeping your resume updated, and improving public speaking skills. She concludes the episode with a couple of bonus suggestions, including how to handle unforeseen challenges within your calling and what to consider when changing your career.
In this episode of The Robert Half Legal Report, attorney Charles Volkert, senior district president of Robert Half Legal, and Carl Morrison, certified paralegal at Foran Glennon in Las Vegas, Nev., and NALS board member, examine the changing roles of paralegals and other support professionals in today’s legal workplace. They discuss the expanding skill set and expertise required of paralegals, legal assistants and legal secretaries and new legal staffing models being deployed. They also share insights on how legal support personnel can strengthen their capabilities to be successful in the evolving legal environment.
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, host Vicki Voisin chats with NALA President Cassandra Oliver about the organization and the significance of paralegal certification. Cassandra opens the interview with a brief history of NALA starting with its incorporation back in 1975, and shares that they recently celebrated their 40th anniversary last year. She touches on the importance of continuing education in the profession, how it allows paralegals the opportunity to manage their careers, and lists the self-study courses and on-demand webinars that NALA offers to assist paralegals toward that aim. The bi-monthly “Facts & Findings” publication also provides educational articles written by paralegals, attorneys, and experts to help working paralegals stay abreast of trends, current events, court rules, cases, and recent developments in the field. Cassandra offers insight into her decision to continue her career development and lists values, like providing a set of distinguishing standards that create more opportunity for advanced promotions, that a paralegal certification program brings to the industry. She explains how integral participating in Toastmasters International has been for her success in the field and closes the interview with her thoughts on the biggest challenges paralegals face today and the future of the profession.
Cassandra Oliver is the president of NALA and a paralegal in the legal department at the Williams Company in Tulsa where she works with litigators and assists the environmental attorney.
The American Bar Association is one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations, with nearly 400,000 members and more than 3,500 entities. It is committed to doing what only a national association of attorneys can do: serve members, improve the legal profession, eliminate bias and enhance diversity, and advance the rule of law throughout the United States and around the world.
On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join Linda Klein, president-elect of the American Bar Association, as she takes a look back at the past year as president-elect and looks ahead to her initiatives and mission under her presidency at the American Bar Association.
Linda Klein is president-elect of the American Bar Association. Linda, senior managing shareholder at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, assumed the role of president-elect of the American Bar Association in August 2015 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. She is presently serving a one-year term as president-elect then will become ABA president in August 2016.
A heavily discussed question among legal professionals today is how can we help to increase access to justice for the most economically vulnerable among us? The state of Washington sought to address this problem through its Limited License Legal Technician Program (which licenses non-attorneys who meet certain educational and experience requirements to advise and assist people going through divorce, child custody and other family-law matters in Washington). For paralegals seeking this type of work, what examples are there of career path options that provide an opportunity to work with this demographic, and what services can they provide?
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, host Vicki Voisin sits down with the first Limited Licensed Legal Technician, Michelle Cummings, to discuss the LLLT program and what this license provides to low income communities and the law firms that serve them. Michelle reflects on her experience applying for the LLLT license, which is currently only available in Washington State, and gives some background on the program. She also provides prospective legal professionals insight into the requirements, such as acquiring 3,000 hours of substantive law work experience supervised by a licensed attorney and potential costs incurred by pursuing this license. Michelle also takes an in-depth look at what happens once you pass your exam and gives a breakdown of the services (like assisting clients with e-filing, paternity actions, or the child support administrative process) that limited licensed legal technicians can provide at a significantly reduced rate. She closes the interview by discussing how this license can benefit practicing paralegals and, knowing that this program is being considered by other states, peers into the potential future of the LLLT.
Michelle Cummings works for Fiori Law Office and graduated from Kentridge High School. She received her AAS from Highline Community College’s Paralegal Studies Program and earned her Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Program Certificate in the area of family law (domestic relations) from U.W. School of Law. She was admitted to the limited practice of law pursuant to Rule 28 of the Admission and Practice Rules in Washington by the Supreme Court of Washington on June 25, 2015.
Going paperless seems to be one of the top new trends among law firms due to cheaper and better hardware and software, refined processes, and effective consulting. And it is especially important for paralegals to know the do’s and don’ts of implementing a paperless office as they may be the ones in charge. So why are so many firms going paperless and how is it done effectively?
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews practice management advisor and former paralegal JoAnn Hathaway about why law firms should go paperless, the risks and perils of improper execution, and the important role paralegals play in this process.
JoAnn’s journey from paralegal to practice management advisor
Can a law firm or business actually go completely paperless?
Gaining the competitive edge with efficiency and organization
What hardware, software, and processes you need
Mobile lawyering and cloud computing options
Implementation risks and the ten perils of bad policy
Assigning specific tasks to law firm staff members
Why and how to get everyone on board
The importance of having a paralegal intricately involved
Synchronization and compatibility of hardware and software
JoAnn L. Hathaway works for the State Bar of Michigan as a practice management advisor. She previously worked as a litigation paralegal, a legal liability claims director and risk manager, and a legal administrator. JoAnn is an Adobe Acrobat Certified Expert, and holds software certifications in LexisNexis Time Matters and Billing Matters software. She is active in the ABA Law Practice Management Division, serving on the Publications Board and the State and Local Bar Outreach Committee. JoAnn is a frequent speaker on law firm technology, insurance, and risk and practice management topics.
Some people who need to use the legal system want to go it alone, and a lot of those people call Mike Vraa’s free tenant hotline. On today’s podcast, some of his best tips for helping people represent themselves. Plus, we chat about our new guide, How to Set Up Your New Windows Computer.
Preparing people to represent themselves in court is challenging for a number of reasons, some of which aren’t obvious. Among the things Mike talks about on today’s podcast are how to build up your client’s comfort level with the legal system, how to teach them to make their case, and how to talk to clients who “just want their day in court.” Plus, when should you tell someone they are probably going to lose or they really shouldn’t go it alone?
Similarly to most organizations and companies, social media can be very beneficial for nonprofits. They use Facebook, Twitter, and similar platforms as tools for communication, networking, and engagement with their audiences. Social media facilitates fundraising, volunteer recruitment, spreading a message, advocacy and awareness, and transparency about current events and actions. But it is particularly important for employees of nonprofits to take care when posting certain content, as they are subject to the federal tax classification 501(c)(3). But what does this mean and what should paralegals working in these organizations watch out for?
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Kate Redman, who practices community enterprise law, about organizations that have the 501(c)(3) status and how they can implement an effective social media policy in accordance with the law.
How nonprofits benefit from using social media.
Rules for fundraising, representation, content disbursement, and monitoring
Regulations for organizations with 501(c)(3) status
Restrictions including board member benefits and candidate endorsement
Solicitation rules and being transparent to donors
Avoiding allegations of fraud, defamation, or copyright/intellectual property violations
Creating and implementing an effective social media policy
What to watch out for with investment fundraising
What to do if you are a paralegal or other employee in a nonprofit organization
Kate Redman is a partner with Olson, Bzdok & Howard in Traverse City, Michigan, where she practices community enterprise law. She specializes in working with small businesses, nonprofits, social enterprises, and other mission-driven organizations. She’s a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and holds a master of public policy from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Kate was selected as one of Traverse City’s most influential professionals under 40 in 2015.
It’s not always easy to serve process on individuals. This is especially true if they move around a lot or are otherwise difficult to find. So what do you do when traditional methods fail? The answer: try social media. Initially, the social media serve was only allowed with foreign defendants who were difficult to locate. Today, it is becoming more widely accepted.
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, host Vicki Voisin interviews Erdal Turnacioglu from Weber Gallagher. Together they discuss the history of, when to use, and predictions for the social media serve. As always, stay tuned for Vicki’s practice tips where she discusses what to read to keep up with trends.
Erdal Turnacioglu is an attorney with Weber Gallagher in Warren, New Jersey, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of general liability, medical malpractice, and employment. He received his JD from New York Law School in 2006 and is admitted to both the New York and New Jersey bars.
In 2012, the Washington Supreme Court adopted the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Rule, making it the first state to authorize non-attorneys who meet certain educational requirements to advise clients on specific areas of law. This concept of non-lawyer consultation is a new way to address the gap in access to legal services, but many lawyers are wary of the change. So what was the response in Washington?
Lawyer 2 Lawyer host Bob Ambrogi interviews Patrick Palace, immediate past-president of the Washington State Bar Association, about how the LLLT licensing and certification works, why they are able to provide cheaper services than lawyers, and collaboration opportunities that have emerged.
Patrick Palace is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer with an emphasis on workers’ compensation, personal injury, civil rights and social security matters. Patrick served as the president of the Washington State Bar Association from 2013 to 2014 and has received both national and regional accolades for his work.