Podcast category: Legal Support

Paralegal Voice

How to Properly Use Social Media in Your Law Firm

Lawyers and paralegals are likely using social media in law firm marketing and are most likely on social media in their personal lives. As such, they should understand how Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest are affecting their cases, marketing, and ethical responsibilities. Many paralegals work with lawyers to create an attractive online profile that is updated regularly. Additionally, internal hiring and firing policies need to be adapted to ensure compliance with federal labor laws.

In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Ethan Wall, lawyer and authority on the way social media interacts with the law. Wall explains the differences between the main social media channels, where a novice should start, and the posts you can and can’t consider when you are hiring or firing an employee.

Topics include:

  • The effect of new technology on the law
  • Facebook: the personal and family platform
  • Twitter: to connect with people who have similar interests
  • LinkedIn: for professional connection and profile
  • Why you should care about Instagram and Pinterest
  • Picking just one platform to start
  • Using teamwork for social media management
  • What’s illegal under the National Labor Relations Act
  • What to specify on your social media policy

Don’t forget to stay tuned for Vicki’s News and Career Tips segment at the end of the podcast.

Ethan Wall is a social media law attorney, author, professor, consultant, and keynote speaker in Miami. He is a widely recognized authority on the effect of social media on the law. In addition to authoring two books on the subject, he writes a blog about the effect of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media on the law. Ethan has served as a source for social media and the law on several high profile news organizations, including CNN, NPR, and Thomson Reuters.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston UniversityNALA, and ServeNow.

Paralegal Voice

Research and Writing Your Way to a Better Paralegal Career

The National Association of Legal Assistants 40th Annual Convention featured a three-day Essential Skills Institute for paralegals. The institute focused on effective legal research, written communication, and judgement and legal analysis. Any paralegal is likely to further his or her career, become essential in their firm, and improve future job prospects by cultivating these abilities. But where can paralegals learn these skills?

On this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin, interviews Virginia Koerselman Newman, a faculty member on the Essential Skills Institute, about specific ways paralegals can improve their writing and legal research as well as learn to analyze legal cases and increase their own personal value.

Topics Include:

  • Lexis Nexis and Westlaw vs courthouse research
  • Research search parameters and search terms
  • Legal judgement and analysis: connecting facts to the rules
  • Using logic, not emotion, to solve problems
  • Analogical reasoning and inductive reasoning
  • Using (or not using) legalese in writing
  • Dos and don’ts in legal writing
  • How to effectively proofread your own work
  • Using terminology when representing the plaintiff versus the defendant

Virginia Koerselman Newman has been working in the legal profession since about 1970. She started as a legal secretary and then worked as a paralegal for nearly ten years. She was the first Nebraska paralegal to be certified by NALA. Newman then went to law school and practiced law for 26 years and has been teaching and writing about the legal profession ever since. She published the CP review manual, was on the CP certifying board, and then served as a consultant to the board.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston UniversityNALA, and ServeNow.

On the Road

ABA Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services Hearing

In this four-part interview, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti talks with Tom Bolt, Robert Hirshon, Chris Zampogna, and Fred Headon about their contributions and ideas for the ABA Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services Hearing. Together they discuss possible updates to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, non-tech innovations to help the practice of law, how small firms and paralegals are helping with access to justice, and suggestions from the Canadian Bar Association for maintaining a vibrant and relevant legal profession.

Tom Bolt is the chair of the ABA Law Practice Division as well as founder and managing attorney at Bolt Nagi where he focuses on government relations, banking, real estate, real estate finance, and estate planning in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Robert Hirshon is a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services. In addition he is the Professor from Practice and Special Counsel to Developments in the Legal Practice from the University of Michigan Law School as well as internal counsel from Verrill Dana, a regional law firm in New England focusing on management issues.

Chris Zampogna is an ABA Delegate and immediate past president of the Bar Association of District of Columbia. Has his own small firm in D.C. primarily focused on litigation.

Fred Headon is in-house counsel for Air Canada in Quebec and past president of the Canadian Bar Association where he chaired the CBA’s Legal Futures Initiative to encourage more innovation, change regulation of the profession, and educate lawyers differently.

Ringler Radio

Spotlight on a New, Non-Traditional “Structured Settlement” Product


Qualified as well as non-qualified product plans are currently being offered for claimants or contingent fee attorneys to defer receipt of their settlement award or fee on a pre-tax basis. This new fixed investment product can be used for attorney fees, wrongful termination, discrimination and most personal and non-personal injury situations. On Ringler Radio, host, Larry Cohen joins co-host Dennis English with special guest, Lynne P. Martel, Managing Director of Havelet Services, as they spotlight Havelet and their new non-traditional ‘Fixed Annuity Product,’ called Havelet Fixed.

Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.

On the Road

NALA Board of Directors Members Discuss their 40th Annual Convention

The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) recently hosted their 40th Annual Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Legal Talk Network attended with The Paralegal Voice host Vicki Voisin to interview board members, panelists, and attendees about their experience at the conference and what’s happening next year for paralegals.

In this episode, Voisin interviews NALA President Kelly LaGrave, First Vice President Cassandra Oliver, and Second Vice President Jill Francisco about what went into planning the conference, CLEs and other educational programs, and how paralegals and other legal assistants can get involved. As a fun conclusion, each board member gives her advice on keeping your career interesting.

Kelly LaGrave, ACP, is currently president of NALA and a paralegal at the law firm of Foster Swift Collins & Smith in Lansing, Michigan, where she works in the business and tax law.

Jill Francisco is the second vice president of NALA and a paralegal for Dinsmore & Shohl in Huntington, West Virginia.

Cassandra Oliver is the first vice 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.

Paralegal Voice

Legal Staffing Agencies and Your Paralegal Job Search

New paralegal graduates often lack sufficient experience when they encounter job opportunities. Even seasoned paralegals have a hard time standing out from the crowd when applying for positions with thousands of applicants. If you are running into these problems, staffing agencies or recruiters can help you polish a resume, gain legal experience, network with law firms, and ultimately find a job. So what are the top paralegal positions available right now and should you use a recruiter to find them?

In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Katie Clark, J.D., senior legal staffing consultant at Beacon Hill Staffing Group, about how paralegals could benefit from working with a recruiter, the current nature of the paralegal job market, the best resume length, and how to get legal experience. The top paralegal positions are in litigation and corporate law, Clark explains, and those who work with staffing agencies are given exclusive job opportunities and interview consulting for free (the agency is compensated by employers). She goes on to discuss how to balance your resume with the right amount of detail and how to present your skills acquired from non-paralegal jobs and education. Most importantly, she says, job-seeking paralegals should not limit their mindsets to a specific result.

Katie Clark, J.D., is a senior legal staffing consultant at Beacon Hill Legal staffing group in Detroit, Michigan. Beacon Hill Legal actively sources attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants for direct hire and temporary job opportunities within law firms and corporate legal departments. Clark is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston UniversityNALA, and ServeNow.

On the Road

ABA National Summit: A Legal Mentor with Judge Charles Harrington and Mark Britton

Former Legal Talk Network host and Fellow at CodeX Monica Bay interviews Judge Charles Harrington and Avvo CEO Mark Britton at the 2015 ABA National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services. As Britton’s uncle and mentor, Judge Harrington talks about giving advice to a younger lawyer and maintaining balance in his own life. Britton discusses the immense help he had from his support systems and how discussing his decisions led to career and life success. They both advise young lawyers to prepare, consider their options, and work hard. There is no simple formula for success.

Honorable Charles V. Harrington is a judge for the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County, Arizona. He attended Gonzaga University School of Law where he received his J.D. (magna cum laude).

Prior to founding Avvo in 2006, Mark Britton was the Executive Vice President of
Worldwide Corporate Affairs of InterActiveCorp Travel (IACT) and Expedia, Inc. He
was also Expedia’s first general counsel. Mark received his law degree from George Washington University.

On the Road

ATL Converge: The Benefits of Procurement with Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein

Lawyer 2 Lawyer host Bob Ambrogi interviews Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein, a panelist at the ATL Converge conference and executive director of Buying Legal Counsel. Silverstein discusses how procurement helps streamline the purchase of legal (and other) services by making it more objective, transparent, and measurable. Buying Legal Counsel is an organization of procurement and operations professionals tasked with sourcing legal services and managing legal services supplier relationships.

On the Road

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: Section of Litigation with Nancy Degan

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews ABA Section of Litigation Chair Nancy Degan at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Degan discusses how the section helps litigators through programming, publications, and networking opportunities. She explains the Homeless Experience Legal Protection program and their intention to expand it. Nancy Degan is a commercial litigator at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. in New Orleans.

On the Road

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: Family Law Section with Lori Nelson

While in Houston for the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting, Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti does a remote interview with ABA Family Law Section Chair Lori Nelson in Salt Lake City. Nelson discusses the section’s work on legislative initiatives, the benefits of their publications, the various substantive committees that lawyers can join, and programs to help unaccompanied minors get access to representation. Lori Nelson practices family law and is the head of the domestic practice group at Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough, PC.

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