After eight years, the Paralegal Voice is gaining a new host. In this bittersweet episode of the Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin hands the hosting reigns over to Carl Morrison who turns the questions on her. In their discussion they talk about the origins of the Paralegal Voice, notable guests, and the challenges she faced in the making of the podcast.
The Paralegal Voice
A Bittersweet Goodbye to Vicki Voisin
Adam Camras: Hello listeners. This is Adam Camras, Legal Talk Network CEO. Before we play today’s episode, it’s with bittersweet sentiments that I extend my deepest thanks to my friend and our longtime host of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin.
Recently Vicki came to us and announced that she would be hanging up her microphone and headphones and retiring from the Network. This is not the end of the show, because before she left Vicki helped us pick her successor.
You are going to learn about the new host in the episode and before you do, I want to say a few words about working with Vicki.
Vicki embodies everything of what we stand for at Legal Talk Network and more. She is a consummate educator. She is beyond generous with her time. She has gone out of her way to further the professionalism and education and mentor the future leaders, and over the years we have been working together I have heard story after story from people who Vicki helped; paralegals, legal assistants, paralegal managers and admins who shared what they learned from the show or something Vicki personally did to advance their career.
Vicki is also the reason we were able to acquire Legal Talk Network back in 2013. We are eternally grateful. While the show must go on, we want to share our thanks again for everything Vicki has done. I have personally learned a lot and it’s an honor to call you a friend. Thank You Vicki, and now on to the show.
Intro: Welcome to The Paralegal Voice, where you hear the latest issues and trends in the world of paralegals and legal assistants by one of the best-known paralegals in the industry, Vicki Voisin. A paralegal for more than 20 years, Vicki is dedicated to helping legal professionals reach their goals. You are listening to Legal Talk Network.
Vicki Voisin: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Paralegal Voice here on Legal Talk Network. I am Vicki Voisin, The Paralegal Mentor and host of The Paralegal Voice. I am a NALA Advanced Certified paralegal. I publish a newsletter titled ‘Paralegal Strategies’, and I am also the co-author of ‘The Professional Paralegal: A Guide to Finding a Job and Career Success.’ You will find more information at HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalmentor.com/”paralegalmentor.com.
Before we begin, let’s recognize and thank the sponsors of The Paralegal Voice.
NALA, a professional association for paralegals providing continuing education and professional certification programs for paralegals at HYPERLINK “nala.org” nala.org.
NALA is a force in the promotion and advancement of the paralegal profession and has been a sponsor of The Paralegal Voice since our very first show.
Boston University offers an online certificate in paralegal studies. If you are seeking a professional credential or just want to further develop your skills, Boston University provides an affordable, high quality 14-week program. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalonline.bu.edu/”paralegalonline.bu.edu for information. That’s HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalonline.bu.edu/”paralegalonline.bu.edu.
And ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted prescreened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves, embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit HYPERLINK “serve-now.com” serve-now.com to learn more.
This is a bittersweet day for The Paralegal Mentor. The Paralegal Voice debuted on July 7, 2009 with co-host Lynne DeVenny and guest Charles Volkert, Executive Director of Robert Half Legal, discussing new hiring trends in the paralegal world.
After eight years with The Paralegal Voice I have made the decision to step down from my hosting duties, and as I said, it was a difficult decision because of all the tasks I have undertaken as The Paralegal Mentor, The Paralegal Voice has been my favorite.
I have had so many interesting guests. I have made new friends and also I have had the opportunity to work with the wonderful folks at Legal Talk Network. I have to tell you that they are the best.
Now, when I made the announcement to my friends at Legal Talk Network back in March, they asked if I had a recommendation for a new host to take my place, and I did. This was a hand-picked choice. Fortunately, I asked and he said yes, and I am delighted to announce that Carl Morrison will continue my work with the show.
Carl is with me today to transition into this new role. Since I have known Carl for a long time, I am confident that he really is the best choice to carry on as host of The Paralegal Voice. So welcome Carl.
Carl Morrison: Thank you so much Vicki. I have to say I am truly honored and humbled, and it is a bittersweet day, but it is an exciting day as well.
Vicki Voisin: Well Carl, you are probably the most recognized paralegal in our industry, and I think almost everybody knows you, but just in case there’s someone out there who doesn’t, I would like to tell them about your credentials.
First of all, you are a senior certified paralegal for the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, working in the areas of litigation, gaming, employment and corporate law. He has been a paralegal for nearly 25 years and is the immediate past President of NALS… the association for legal professionals and he currently serves on the NALS Board of Directors. He is an active member of the State Bar of Nevada Paralegal Division, the Las Vegas Valley Paralegal Association and NALS of Las Vegas.
He holds three paralegal certifications through NALS, through NFPA, and the American Alliance of Paralegals Incorporated, as well as his professional Paralegal Specialty Certificate in Civil Litigation and E-Discovery.
In addition, Carl is broadcasting live from the NALA Convention in Orlando, Florida, where he is interviewing several paralegals in the industry.
And Carl, I would like to know how is it going at the convention?
Carl Morrison: Well, I will tell you Vicki, it is absolutely exciting down here. We are in the midst of a session that just ended, so you may hear a little bit of background noise going on, but everybody is having a fantastic time.
First and foremost, you are greatly missed down here. Everybody misses you Vicki, and I know people are sending their love and best wishes to you. I will say I am having a blast personally. It’s a little more humid than I am used to, coming from the desert, I now consider myself a desert dweller, but meeting so many new people, networking of course. I am eating well, Vicki in case you are concerned about my eating. You know how conferences work and it seems like I eat more at a conference than I do in a normal day back home.
Vicki Voisin: Absolutely. Have you had chicken yet?
Carl Morrison: I have had chicken. I have had beef. I have had everything that I normally don’t eat at home, I am eating it here.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah, okay.
Carl Morrison: But great education going on. And so for any listeners out there that have never been to a conference, try to get to the next one. NALS is having theirs in Norfolk in October, and NFPA is having theirs in New Orleans and they are both this fall. So get to a conference, I highly recommend it.
Vicki Voisin: And I think NALA is going to St. Louis next year, is that correct?
Carl Morrison: Correct, exactly right, NALA will be in St. Louis. So it will be a little bit closer for me, it will probably still be humid in St. Louis as well, so I will complain about the humidity then.
Vicki Voisin: Now, here is the secret, when paralegals go to a convention, they don’t get outside the hotel for four days, so anyway.
Carl Morrison: Well, you are not supposed to.
Vicki Voisin: Carl, I hope you will tell everyone hello for me. I really miss being there. And I do intend to be in St. Louis next year.
Carl Morrison: Great.
Vicki Voisin: Now Carl, I understand since this is my last podcast with The Paralegal Voice, you have some questions for me, and this is going to be different, because I am usually the one asking questions.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, so I get to be in the driver’s seat this time. So the shoe is on the other foot, right Vicki?
Vicki Voisin: That is right and I will have to see if I like this or not.
Carl Morrison: Okay. Well, I will try not to pepper you with too many questions, so we will go with that. Okay.
Vicki Voisin: Okay.
Carl Morrison: So first question, so how did you get started in the profession, tell the listeners a little bit about how you got into it.
Vicki Voisin: Well Carl, I am a dinosaur in this profession and when I started working in law offices there wasn’t anything, there were no paralegals. Nobody even knew what that word was. I graduated from high school and I felt like that my opportunities or a career that I could actually enter would be either secretary, teacher or nurse. And I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher and I knew I didn’t want to be a nurse, so I chose secretary.
I went off to business school, took an executive secretarial course, I never ever looked back. That laid a really good foundation for my career, although I didn’t know it at the time.
I started working for attorneys while I was still in school and that was the Abood Law Firm. They were great brothers who really gave me a lot of good training.
I married my husband Don. When he finished school we returned to our hometown, which was really a small town, but I continued working as a legal secretary. Eventually we moved to Charlevoix, where we are now, and have been for a long time. We call it Charlevoix, the beautiful, upstate Michigan and very much a resort area.
I started working for Richard Pajtas. He was a really forward-thinking attorney and he knew of the brand-new career, which was paralegal. There wasn’t any paralegal school that I could attend. In fact, there were hardly any then.
So he decided that he would do some in-house training for me, and actually it was really — he was really good, I learned so much, and it just couldn’t have been any better. Thank goodness he asked me to do that.
We are in a small town so I decided that — well, I didn’t decide, it happened. I made my world large. And I always say that the only way to do that is to get out of your comfort zone. I attended a meeting in Detroit and that was like, going from Charlevoix to Detroit would be like traveling to Mars for me.
Anyway, I joined Legal Assistance Association of Michigan, which is now defunct, but was one of NALA’s first affiliates, and one of their largest affiliate at that time.
Carl Morrison: Oh wow.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah. We had about 500 members, and sometime we will talk about why they don’t have — they are not even in business anymore.
Anyway, I took the CLE exam, because I thought I needed that for credibility, and I think really everybody does, it’s just a good thing. I joined NALA. I went to a convention, and at that point I was really hooked.
Eventually I was appointed to the Board. I took my Advanced Specialty Exam. Then, I think they dragged me, kicking and screaming to be NALA President, because I was so sure that it would be just too hard and I just couldn’t do it, but I have to tell you, I loved my two years as President. It was just the best.
I have also served — well, I have served on many NALA board positions before I was President because they really do a great job of training their board members for the higher offices.
I have also been Chair of the State Bar Section for Paralegals, that’s how I got started. I have had a lot of career highlights that I would have never expected. I think we are going to talk about that in a little bit, so I won’t go over those right now. But I worked for four attorneys who became judges and always worked on their campaigns, so it’s been really, really interesting.
In fact, I was at an investiture just yesterday for the latest attorney that I worked for, who became the first female probate judge in Charlevoix and Emmet County, so it’s been exciting. All of those experiences are really exciting.
Carl Morrison: You have had a fantastic career and I know that you have done a lot for the legal community and giving back and truly you are a paralegal mentor to many people across the country. So I say thank you for everything that you have done in your career.
Vicki Voisin: Oh Carl, you are so sweet. Thank you.
Carl Morrison: You have been great. Okay. I have got another question. So how did, speaking of The Paralegal Mentor, how did The Paralegal Mentor and The Paralegal Voice come about? Did one really lead to the other? Is it kind of like a chicken and egg type of deal?
Vicki Voisin: It sounds like it, doesn’t it?
Carl Morrison: Right.
Vicki Voisin: Actually, one led to the other. They didn’t happen at the same time. There’s really no question about how it happened, because when I was through being NALA President in 2000, so it’s been quite a while, I felt that I had a lot more to offer. Many past Presidents ride off into the sunset and do their work and really don’t stay too involved with their association, but I wanted to — I just wanted to do more. I just felt like I had a lot of knowledge I wanted to share. I was still a working paralegal, but because I had taught classes for NALA in their NALA Campus Program, I knew I could do that on my own. The technology was available.
So I decided that I was going to try to make a little spare money, and I was going to offer classes for paralegals, particularly in ethics. And Carl, you even joined me for one of those classes, which is one of our best attended.
Carl Morrison: I did.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah. I had a blog. I did a weekly newsletter, and everything was just going great. This was a fairly new concept for someone to do this, but I was really enjoying myself, and then I realized that Legal Talk Network was out there and they had a yearly program, once a year they devoted a program to paralegals, and they usually had a President from NALA and from the NFPA and just talked about the status of the paralegal profession.
And I decided, I was just sitting at my desk one day and I thought, well, why would they have only one program devoted to paralegals, we should have a monthly program.
So I pitched that to Lu Ann at Legal Talk Network and I thought all she can do is tell me no. But she loved the idea and so that’s where The Paralegal Voice was born. I don’t know, I think I even thought of the name, but it was going to be a lot of fun.
As I said, I started that in 2009. So if you have 12 shows a year for eight years, you have 96 shows. I asked North Carolina Paralegal Lynne DeVenny to be a co-host, and then later, I think it was 2012, Lynne stepped down as co-host and I have done the show solo ever since. It’s just been a great ride. I have totally enjoyed it. As I said, it’s one of the favorite things that I do, really hard to let go, but Carl, I know it’s in good hands, so that makes it easier.
Carl Morrison: Thank you. I have big shoes to fill.
Vicki Voisin: Oh, I don’t have that big a feet.
Carl Morrison: Well, you have done a fantastic job on the show. I will say as a listener who has listened to many of your podcasts, the guests that you have had, you have done fantastic. So thank you for everything you have done with The Paralegal Voice.
Vicki Voisin: Oh, I have had fabulous guests.
Carl Morrison: You have, you have. So tell me what’s your favorite interview? Out of everybody that you have interviewed over the years, do you have a favorite? Do you have one or two?
Vicki Voisin: It’s really hard to say because they were all my favorites. Every interview, as I said, has been a favorite. Every guest was spectacular. I really should say Carl Morrison, because I think you have probably been on more than anyone else. I first interviewed you in May of 2011.
Carl Morrison: I cannot believe it’s been six years since you interviewed me.
Vicki Voisin: I know. It has. I think you have probably been on at least once a year since then, so maybe you have been my one guest that’s been a staple.
I have interviewed other people more than once; Ginny Koerselman has been on several times, great educator in the paralegal field. I have had Deb Sofield, who is just a wonderful inspirational speaker.
But the best-known one probably was Erin Brockovich, which was just a ton of fun. Nobody knows, Erin was the California Paralegal who exposed the, let’s see, what did she — I don’t remember the name of the company.
Carl Morrison: PG&E.
Vicki Voisin: PG&E, that’s right. Anyway, she ultimately was able to help the people of Hinkley, California and they were battling a lot of medical problems, but I will tell you that first of all she was a fabulous guest, and she is such a sincere person, who what you see is what you get. She is very, very interesting.
But we have covered the whole spectrum of topics from working virtually, preserving evidence, ethics is one of my favorite, paralegal education, always certification, because I am really in favor of that; licensure, which I am not in favor of. Men working in the profession, the LGBT issue. We have worked with what attorneys wish paralegals knew and vice versa.
I interviewed Sue Ann Jaffarian, who is — the title was Talking Murder and Mayhem. And she is a paralegal and also a fiction writer. She is in California and has done several books who feature a paralegal named — her name is Odelia Grey, I think. But anyway, that was a lot of fun and she has really been a success at that.
We covered all areas of the law, such as family law, litigation, IP, soft skills and how to acquire them. We talked about paralegal managers, all facets of a paralegal career, you name it and we talked about it on the show, because the show is not about me, and Carl, it’s not going to be about you.
Carl Morrison: Exactly right.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah, right, it’s about paralegals and topics and trends that are important to the paralegal career. And before we move on to the next question I just want to say that all of those episodes are available at HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com. Everyone from year 2009, and even if they are older programs, they will still have important information in them, so I encourage everyone to go there and to listen to those back podcasts.
Carl Morrison: And you are exactly right, I mean they are all still very relevant shows, so definitely you want to — if you haven’t listened to them before, go to HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com and actually download some of those interviews.
Vicki Voisin: Right.
Carl Morrison: So which interviews surprised you the most out of everybody you have interviewed?
Vicki Voisin: Well, let’s see.
Carl Morrison: A tough one, right?
Vicki Voisin: Yeah, it is. I learned something new with every show and I was surprised about how much I learned doing the show, because I would interview people, attorneys, paralegals, professionals, maybe who were placing paralegals, that kind of thing, and in doing my research and finding an appropriate guest, because nobody knows everything, I think that I was surprised at how much I learned from each guest. It was just great.
Carl Morrison: Well, I will tell you that as a listener I have learned so much because of the guests that you have brought on and hope to do the same on the future shows is to educate individuals, legal professionals out there about the paralegal career.
Vicki Voisin: You will do it.
Carl Morrison: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Okay, so here’s a fun question, what is your favorite blooper out of all the shows?
Vicki Voisin: I have to tell you Carl, and you are going to see this, the folks at Legal Talk Network do a fabulous job of covering up your bloopers. So they didn’t make it on air, but I was introducing an attorney one time and for some reason I couldn’t stop laughing, and you know how you start and you just — it was so unprofessional, and I apologized over and over again as I am laughing. So that was — I couldn’t believe I did that, but it turned out okay.
The other thing is, is that you have a lot of tongue twisters, it’s really nice that they help us along with that, so that the world doesn’t know that you are doing it.
And the worst thing is I would forget to turn on the recording. That’s why they ask us a million times now. It’s not a good thing. It’s a real problem when you have to spend the weekend — sometime over the weekend doing a rerecording of your part. So Carl, my advice to you is always turn on the recorder.
Carl Morrison: Note to self, I am going to write this down, push the record button.
Vicki Voisin: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Carl Morrison: Your biggest challenge doing interviews?
Vicki Voisin: Yeah, the biggest one was pronouncing names, because there were a lot of different names and until I actually talked to the person, because much of this is done by email, scheduling and all of that, so I would have to — I would ask them how to pronounce their name right at the beginning of the show and then I had to do it right all the way through, that was a challenge, but again, the folks at Legal Talk Network make you a star.
Carl Morrison: Well, good, because I will have to do a lot, especially those last names or first names that even when you read it, trying to sound it out phonetically, you can’t, and so it’s like, hmm.
Vicki Voisin: Right, right.
Carl Morrison: You have to ask the guest, now, how do you say your name? Say it to me three or four times. So yeah, that will be a challenge for me as well, I can tell.
As a paralegal what are some of the biggest changes you have seen in your career over the years?
Vicki Voisin: I think the biggest thing is technology. I told you I am a dinosaur.
Carl Morrison: Oh, you are not that old.
Vicki Voisin: When I first started working we had IBM Selectric and thought we had gone to heaven. Then through the years, I remember the first time we got our huge — the computer with the huge monitor, remember?
Carl Morrison: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
Vicki Voisin: It was just so big and stuck out so far from the wall. So it would be technology, all the things that are available now. I mean, there weren’t podcasts. You couldn’t do any distance learning. That has been a wonderful thing and I highly recommend that when new technology is offered, the opportunity to work with new technology, no one should ever say I can’t do it. Learn how to do it. That’s really, really important.
The other thing, we have eDiscovery now, which everyone talked about for a long time, but it’s a reality. We can’t hide our heads in the sand. We have got to take care of that.
And what in the heck was the cloud.
Carl Morrison: Besides that white fluffy thing in the sky, right?
Vicki Voisin: Yeah, yeah. So learning all of that was — those have been the biggest changes, and I am happy to say that I always accepted that challenge. It was necessary to do that.
I also learned a lot doing my newsletter and teaching some of the classes online too.
I also think that it’s just been great that the duties and the challenges that are offered to paralegals have increased a lot. We have many more opportunities for education. Certification has grown, and also the recognition of paralegals, that’s all taken place over my time and you say almost 25, I might say more than 20 years in the paralegal profession. You will get to that Carl you will say almost 25. So yeah, I have been a paralegal for a long time, if you think about IBM Selectric and that kind of thing.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, I am going to stop saying that I have been doing this for 25 years. I tell everybody I did it when I was 7.
And I agree with you, even in my tenure as a paralegal, I have seen so much change in the way of technology, it’s a huge thing, and it will continue to change and cause our profession to evolve and to grow in the industry.
Vicki Voisin: For sure.
Carl Morrison: So what do you see for the future of your profession, of our profession really, not just yours, but ours, what do you see the future; I know you don’t have a crystal ball?
Vicki Voisin: I don’t, but I guess hindsight, maybe 2020, so I can see I think what’s going to happen in the future and everything that has happened so far is just going to get bigger.
Carl Morrison: Agreed.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah, I think so. I mean technology is not going to stop. So that’s going to be more and more available, and I think that it’s going to be more difficult to be ethical because of all of the opportunities for leaks of information and that kind of thing, it’s just going to increase, and we have to be careful of that.
Carl Morrison: Correct, I agree.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah. I think there’s going to be increased recognition by both the general public and the legal field as to what paralegals do, their value and all of that. And I hope my crystal ball shows me that every attorney is going to understand the importance of paralegals and is going to employ at least one, and that’s not someone who can come in and be everything, I am talking about a dedicated paralegal.
Carl Morrison: Correct, actually to do that substantive work, yeah.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah. And we are going to see this continued growth in the paralegal field. The importance of certification, that’s not going away, and we are going to be getting even better education.
Now also, there is going to be a lot more information available and so we are going to have to pick and choose how we get that information, and so of course I think The Paralegal Voice is the best way.
Carl Morrison: I agree, and we are not being biased here, it’s the truth, it is.
Vicki Voisin: For sure. For sure.
Carl Morrison: Okay, I have got a fun question for you.
Vicki Voisin: Okay.
Carl Morrison: So what do you do in your spare time? What makes Vicki happy?
Vicki Voisin: Vicki doesn’t sit still and Vicki is not happy if she can’t be doing some kind of creative work. I like to travel with my husband. We have our two children, who are both married, and between the two we have four grandchildren. We just bought a vacation home in the Upper Peninsula, which is like no man’s land, which is wonderful.
I woke up one morning and I thought what do I hear and what I heard was nothing.
Carl Morrison: Oh, it sounds wonderful.
Vicki Voisin: No construction, no traffic, no nothing. So anyway, but really sewing and quilting are my passion. As I said, I need to be creative so I am learning to paint and I am terrible. I have got balloons down, that’s about it.
And I would also like to continue writing for paralegals. I really enjoy writing those articles and I will be maintaining the many friendships that I have made during my career.
So everyday for me consists of learning something new. I love Google. I love to say, oh, I wonder about that, and I am starting to look things up. So that’s what I will be doing. I will not be sitting still, for sure.
Carl Morrison: You sound exactly like me at the point that I get to actually start to taper off in my work life, I won’t just sit down and give up, I have got to learn, got to be creative, got to do things. I think that’s why you and I get along so well Vicki is because I think we are cut from the same cloth or we are cut from the same quilt, let’s put it that way.
Vicki Voisin: Right. You are not a Gemini, are you?
Carl Morrison: No, I am actually a Pisces.
Vicki Voisin: Oh, okay. Geminis are very, very busy. But yeah, there’s never a day when I wonder what I am going to do with my day or that I am ever bored. I am just busy and I like it.
Carl Morrison: That’s wonderful. I love it, love it.
Vicki Voisin: Do you have any more questions Carl?
Carl Morrison: Actually, I think we are going to maybe take a short break.
Vicki Voisin: Okay, got to take care of those sponsors.
Carl Morrison: Exactly right. So it’s time for us to take a short break for word from our sponsors, NALA, the Association for Legal Assistants, Paralegals, Boston University and ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted, prescreened process servers. When we come back, I will continue my conversation with Vicki and I have got a couple of other fun little questions for you, Vicki, so when we come back we will tackle those.
Advertiser: NALA means professional. NALA offers continuing education and professional development for all paralegals. A NALA-Certified Paralegal credential has been a gold standard of professionalism for over 30 years. More than 15,000 paralegals have this certification and nearly 2,000 have achieved the demanding Advanced Certified Paralegal. NALA works actively with all those in the legal field to promote the value of paralegals and to advance paralegal professionalism. See more about why NALA means professional at HYPERLINK “http://www.nala.org” nala.org. That’s HYPERLINK “http://www.nala.org” nala.org.
Are you looking to advance your career? Do you know someone who wants to enter the paralegal profession? Boston University’s fully online Certificate in Paralegal Studies is a fantastic option. It’s affordable, takes just 14 weeks to complete, and is led by accomplished faculty who teach employer-focused skills like legal research, writing, technology, and more. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalonline.bu.edu/”paralegalonline.bu.edu for more information and to download a free brochure. That’s HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalonline.bu.edu/”paralegalonline.bu.edu.
Looking for a process server you can trust? ServeNow.com is a nationwide network of local, prescreened process servers. ServeNow works with the most professional process servers in the industry, connecting your firm with process servers who embrace technology, have experience with high volume serves and understand the litigation process and rules of properly effectuating service. Find a prescreened process server today. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.servenow.com/” www.serve-now.com.
Carl Morrison: So welcome back to The Paralegal Voice. I am Carl Morrison. I am the new host of The Paralegal Voice and Vicki Voisin, she is still current host, I am not going to say you are our retiring host, you are still the host in my eyes. So we are co-hosting today, let’s put it that way.
Vicki Voisin: Okay, thanks Carl. Yeah, I would be the ex-host stepping down.
Carl Morrison: No, I can’t say that.
Vicki Voisin: I hope you will have me back on some day.
Carl Morrison: Well, of course, of course you have got to come back. So I have got a couple of more questions, real quick. So looking back on the start of your career, where do you think it was going to lead you? Did you have any idea or any hopes?
Vicki Voisin: I had no expectations than just being the best legal secretary I could be. I enjoyed that. Actually I think that legal secretaries are probably one of — not one of, the most important part of the law office staff. So I was content with that.
But what’s really interesting is how life events accumulate to form your career and you don’t even realize that those events are — what they are doing for you. So I always say open every door, when someone knocks, open the door.
If we hadn’t moved to Charlevoix and if I hadn’t met, who is now Judge Pajtas, who talked to me about being a paralegal, if I hadn’t joined NALA, if I hadn’t — you don’t just join by the way, you become involved.
Carl Morrison: Exactly.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah. I went to — I was on the board. Being NALA President was just one of the best things. This career would not have happened except for those little events happening. I would have never thought that I would write a book, and which I co-wrote with Charlsye Diaz Smith, who was also a NALA member at the time; she is now a professor at the University of Maine I believe.
I wrote a second book and I think Carl, you even wrote a, what do I want to say, what’s the word I am looking for?
Carl Morrison: I wouldn’t call it a textbook, but yeah, it was a —
Vicki Voisin: It’s an organization. It’s an organization, how to keep your office neat and all of that kind of stuff, which is still available and still viable and all of that. But those were all things that in the beginning I would have never ever thought I would do. So I was going to be a great legal secretary and I am happy to say that I have gone beyond that and I have enjoyed it so much.
Carl Morrison: It’s funny how you get into the beginnings of a career and you have no expectations, no big giant dreams or hopes, you just get in and start working and doors open, windows open. I call it the 6 degrees of separation. When you meet people and those connections connect you to other people that open it, it’s just amazing where your life, your road can take you in your profession.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah, and it’s really, really nice when you can look back and say everything was wonderful. Life is good. I enjoyed every bit of it. So yeah, it’s been nothing but a great ride.
Carl Morrison: That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. What community organizations do you participate in Vicki? Do you do any non-legal related activities?
Vicki Voisin: Well, I do. I think I did a lot more when our children were in school, when I did that. Then my volunteer, what I volunteered in courts was being really active in NALA and in all of that.
I now serve on the Historic District Commission here in Charlevoix and our mission is to preserve Charlevoix’s famous Earl Young Homes, sometimes called the Mushroom Homes if you Google that.
Carl Morrison: Oh yeah.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah. He was a self-taught architect and he just did beautiful work with these stone homes and we want to make sure, until we designated that a historic district, you could do any changes that you wanted to those homes, but they are quite a draw for our town and so we are trying to keep them just as they are.
And now we are moving on into some of the historic buildings downtown. So that’s a pretty big job, but you know what, it’s still sort of legal related, because you use your knowledge for any of the work that you do. So I am really enjoying that.
Carl Morrison: Once a paralegal, always a paralegal.
Vicki Voisin: I think so. I think so.
Carl Morrison: Okay. My very last question for you Vicki, I will make you get off the hot seat. And it’s a really fun question, really, really fun. So who would you want to play you in a movie of your life, any actress?
Vicki Voisin: Carl, that’s really easy. I have always wanted to be Meg Ryan and now Meg Ryan can be me.
Carl Morrison: Really?
Vicki Voisin: Oh yes, I love her. So yes, Meg Ryan, definitely.
Carl Morrison: I could see that actually.
Vicki Voisin: I think so.
Carl Morrison: You and I should like collaborate on a script for Meg Ryan to do a movie about your life. That would be wonderful.
Vicki Voisin: I think so.
Carl Morrison: Let’s do it. Let’s do it.
Vicki Voisin: Okay. All right, all right. Well Carl, we are running out of time I think.
Carl Morrison: We are.
Vicki Voisin: They haven’t pulled us off yet, but I have a question for you. What are your plans for the future of The Paralegal Voice?
Carl Morrison: Well, that’s a really, really good question and since you approached me and offered me this opportunity of a lifetime, I have thought a lot about The Paralegal Voice and probably people who are listening to me, they are thinking, well, who is Carl? What defines Carl as a paralegal?
And I have to tell you, I am a paralegal that’s devoted to helping others. Others enhance their passion and dedication for the profession. I am dedicated to giving back to the community, to those that have helped me succeed, like yourself Vicki, and others and I want to help others and I want others to be devoted to the law as much as I am devoted to the law.
So my goal for the show is I want to have guests that are going to be able to provide the listeners with the topics that cover the current trends and relevant information to all of us legal professionals that are going to be listening to the show. So I want to be able to give back.
And my hope and aspiration for the show is to be engaging. I want people to feel like they are a part of the show. I want it to be fun. I want everyone — I want the guests to have a great time. I want listeners to have a great time listening to the show.
But most importantly, it needs to be informational and educational and really those are my goals for the show.
Vicki Voisin: Lofty goals, but I know you will do it. It sounds wonderful. It sounds wonderful. I know you are going to do a great job. I congratulate you on your new role as host of The Paralegal Voice, and as I said before, I am delighted that when I asked, you said yes, because I can’t think of a better person to carry on what I started, what’s really my baby and I am so proud of this show. And I know that you are just going to do a great job, Carl.
Carl Morrison: Thank you so much Vicki because even though it was an offer I couldn’t refuse, it was one of those type of deals, it is — I recognize that it is truly your baby and that you have nurtured it and to help it grow over the years, and I want to help continue to be a mentor to the show and help the show grow and evolve.
So I just want to say thank you so much. I was honored, like I said before, honored, humbled when you asked me, and as my mentor, and I will always think of you as my mentor.
Vicki Voisin: Carl, I am only an email or a telephone call away. You need any sage advice, I have got it.
Carl Morrison: And I know that you will always be there for me. So thank you so much. Let’s take another short break now, don’t go away, because when we come back, I am going to close today’s show with some upcoming paralegal events and the revelation of something kind of new that I may want to incorporate into the show. We will be right back.
Advertiser: We are glad you are listening to Legal Talk Network. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn too.
Carl Morrison: So welcome back. A couple of upcoming events I want to share with everybody to put on their calendars and be on the look out for. NALS will be having their 66th Annual Education & Networking Conference. That is October 4 through the 7 at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. Great education, several fun events during the course of the conference, so be sure, and if you attend I will be in attendance so come find me and say hi to me. I will be recording a podcast interviewing a guest from there as well. So be sure and seek me out.
NFPA will be having their Annual Convention and Policy Meeting, October 12 through the 15 in New Orleans. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go to that one too, but I hope to attend a NFPA conference as well in the future.
What I wanted to say is I have got kind of a new thing that I am going to try out on the show and it’s what I am calling the Listeners Voice. This is an opportunity for you as a listener to send me an email with any of your questions, your career celebrations, et cetera. I will read through them and I will select those to actually read on the air. So if there’s a particular topic, you have a question that you would like for me to answer or a guest, maybe a prior guest that you have listened to, you have a question, be sure and reach out to me.
I want to say thank you so much to the co-host Vicki Voisin, everything that you have done for the show, everything that you will continue to do for our career, thank you so much for joining me today on this very momentous occasion, so thank you Vicki.
Vicki Voisin: Thank you Carl. You are going to do a great job. I will be listening.
Carl Morrison: Thank you so much. So that’s all the time we have today for The Paralegal Voice. If you have questions about today’s show, please email them to me at HYPERLINK “mailto:[email protected]” [email protected].
This is Carl Morrison thanking you for listening to The Paralegal Voice and reminding you to make your paralegal voice heard.
Outro: The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
Thanks for listening to The Paralegal Voice produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join Vicki Voisin for her next podcast on issues and trends affecting paralegals and legal assistants. Subscribe to the RSS feed on HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com or in iTunes.
The Paralegal Voice provides career-success tips for paralegals of any experience level.
Linda McGrath-Cruz talks about how to get the most out of paralegal conference networking.
April Ferguson explains trial consultants and why they are important roles to play in the courtroom.
Carl Morrison gives his management tips and tricks, current association trends, and his predictions for the future of the paralegal profession.
Lisa Stone talks about paralegal representation in pop culture, whether it’s accurate, and where it could improve.
Lisa Vessels tells all about leadership skills as a paralegal and gives tips on how to improve these skills to the future.
Andrea Grabow talks about her experience as a government employee, what law firm knowledge has prepared her for her current position, and the challenges...