Lisa Myers is the legal studies program director for Northwest Career College in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lisa began her...
Carl H. Morrison, RP, PP, AACP, is an experienced certified paralegal and paralegal manager and has been in the...
Being a good paralegal requires more than just an eye for detail and an adaptable personality. Quality education is vital to a successful career as a paralegal. In this episode of the Paralegal Voice, host Carl Morrison talks to Lisa Myers about her experience as a paralegal educator, why she’s passionate about teaching, and why it’s vital for aspiring paralegals to obtain a solid educational foundation. Together they discuss how a successful program can explore innovation by enacting hands-on experience and lab-based teaching styles. They also address the hot-button issue of whether or not state licensing should be required for paralegals.
Lisa Myers is the legal studies program director for Northwest Career College in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Paralegal Voice
Why Education is Vital for Paralegals
Carl Morrison: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Paralegal Voice, here on Legal Talk Network. I am Carl Morrison, a certified paralegal, devoted to law, and your host of The Paralegal Voice.
I am a certified paralegal and paralegal educator and I am devoted to not only the paralegal profession but to all legal professionals, from legal support professionals, to paralegals, and to those whom we support, attorneys. I am devoted to helping others enhance their passion and dedication for the paralegal profession through entertaining and engaging interviews.
My guest today is Lisa Myers, JD. Lisa is the Legal Studies Program Director for Northwest Career College in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lisa began her legal career as a paralegal, advancing as a senior paralegal for various family law, personal injury and corporate law firms in the Las Vegas community.
Lisa also had the opportunity of working with various firms in the United Kingdom and Canada, connecting legal research and blogging. She obtained her bachelor’s in criminal justice, continuing on in her education, obtaining her Juris Doctorate and LLM. She further completed her fellowship in Washington DC, Carson City in Las Vegas, Nevada.
She has been actively involved in Nevada’s legal community for nearly 18 years. She has a passion and love for the law, teaching and politics, and continues to be inspired by her students each day.
Lisa began her career at Northwest Career College with a small number of students in a developing paralegal studies program. She is now the Director and an instructor for the Legal Studies Department, which is comprised of both the paralegal studies and criminal justice degree programs, which has maintained a placement rate of 100%. Welcome Lisa.
Lisa Myers: Thank you so much for having me Carl. It’s truly a pleasure to be here discussing this wonderful topic of paralegal education.
Carl Morrison: Before we begin, we would like to thank our sponsor, Thomson Reuters Firm Central’, cloud-based legal practice management that streamlines your day and automates non-billable administrative tasks so you can accomplish more with less.
And also NALA; NALA is a professional association for paralegals providing continuing education, voluntary certification and professional development programs. NALA has been a sponsor of The Paralegal Voice since our very first show.
We would also like to thank Boston University, offering 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 more information.
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The goal of The Paralegal Voice is to discuss a wide range of topics important to the paralegal industry and share with you leading trends, significant developments and resources you will find helpful in your career and everyday job. My guests will be engaging and informational with a little bit of fun thrown in.
Our topic today is Paralegal Education and Legal Education Trends with Lisa Myers, JD, Legal Studies Program Director for the Northwest Career College in Las Vegas, Nevada.
So let’s talk a moment, Lisa. I am glad you are here. I am glad you are talking about very important, very dear to me subjects as paralegal education. And so let’s talk a moment about you Lisa. How did you get into the profession?
Lisa Myers: Thank you Carl. That’s a great question. I have a passion and love for the law and for politics. I was extremely interested in working in a law firm, learning more about the law and truly wanted just to help people with their legal struggles.
Carl Morrison: It was really a drive to help the community, really, the public at large.
Lisa Myers: That’s really what — yeah, that was my driving force.
Carl Morrison: That’s great.
Lisa Myers: Thank you.
Carl Morrison: Wonderful. Wonderful. So looking back on your start in the career, where did you think it was going to lead you? I mean did you have any like, oh, this is where it’s going to take me type of —
Lisa Myers: I honestly thought I would be practicing as an attorney in a law firm, as an elected official in our state legislature, or as a lobbyist, lobbying for important issues for citizens. I fell in love with being a paralegal though and I had the want to continue my education by completing my law degree.
I was provided with an opportunity in a law firm, worked my way up and then was provided with this incredible opportunity at Northwest to teach some incredible young people.
Carl Morrison: You and I are very much cut from the same cloth I think in that the drive and passion for the law, but also to help others, to give back, to see and promote, not only our profession, the paralegal industry, but the law itself.
Lisa Myers: I would agree, absolutely. Yes, you and I have had many conversations and it’s just — it’s very fulfilling to be with our students and to teach them about the law and something that we love very much. Yeah, it’s special.
Carl Morrison: Yeah. So when you first started in the legal industry, what were some of the unexpected hurdles; we all have those little unexpected hurdles that kind of get thrown to us, life loves to throw the curve balls, so what are some of those hurdles that you had to deal with early on?
Lisa Myers: Oh my goodness, there were many, there were many. I was met with some rather strong and interesting personalities, mainly from the attorneys, managing partners. Great demands with condensed specific deadlines, challenging clients, emotional clients. The greatest I would say was the need for actual hands-on experience within my core studies.
Carl Morrison: Great, great. Here’s a fun question I am going to ask you, if you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be as it kind of relates to your passion and drive with the law and the paralegal industry and teaching?
Lisa Myers: That’s a difficult question for me, Carl. Like I said before, I am pretty humble. It’s definitely easy to answer this when it’s in reference to others, but I would have to say caring, passionate and positive.
I would say caring because I try to care as much as possible with everyone, especially our students. I love them incredibly and I want to see them succeed. I am passionate about teaching the law, politics, really anything to do with life itself, I am very driven.
And then I try to remain as positive as possible. Things could always be worse. So I always try to think of the best while still being realistic, but having that energy and that positivity, especially in the classroom, especially with students, you want to bring that energy to them and be as happy as possible.
Carl Morrison: It’s funny when you say and talk about — I am hearing you talk about positivity, as it kind of relates to me in the industry, too many people and as a fellow educator, I see it with students over nearly six years that I have been teaching that students already have kind of a skewed perception of the judicial system and trying to teach students that we have one of the best judicial systems in the world. It’s not without its flaws, but there’s a lot of great things about it.
So yeah, sharing that positivity with students I think, and I agree with you is vitally important.
Lisa Myers: Yeah, it is, because you want to make sure that they don’t have a jaded perception before going into their career. You want to make sure that they stay positive and enthusiastic and clean, fresh attitude and perception about the industry.
And so when you have individuals like you and I going into the classrooms, they catch on, it’s infectious and they are going to integrate into the legal community and have that same attitude, that same mentality.
Carl Morrison: Right. What experiences have best prepared you for your position as the Program Director at Northwest Career College? Over your time in the legal industry, what really has best prepared you?
Lisa Myers: I would say my experiences while being a paralegal at the inception of my legal career, it continues to provide a great perspective as to what is needed to be a successful paralegal and what is to be expected, further aiding in the development of our curriculum. Students also see just how excited I am about paralegal studies and how much I enjoyed being a paralegal.
I also think being an office manager in a law firm was a great experience for me, to assist in managing our department overall.
Carl Morrison: And I share kind of some very similar background, providing seminars and webinars over the years, I have always wanted to give back and being offered a position as a teacher, as an adjunct instructor in a paralegal program, for me, I took all those experiences and what I went through in school and was like, okay, I want students to be able to not have the same things that happened to me in school. So if I can help them in that aspect, that’s — I rely heavily on my experiences as a paralegal in educating them.
Lisa Myers: Absolutely. And I think it helps to give them real life scenarios. When we discuss that in the classroom, they know different circumstances to expect and we can talk through them. So I think it further prepares them and honestly it just makes them kind of feel a little bit more confident and less nervous about going into their career. Yeah, so that definitely helped me prepare.
Carl Morrison: Yeah. As a fellow educator, I love teaching, I love to teach. I am crazy. For me, like I said, I am going to go some way to give back, “pay it forward”, what do you like best about teaching?
Lisa Myers: Oh my goodness, everything. I enjoy witnessing the enthusiasm and progression of our students each and every day. It is absolutely incredible. It’s the most fulfilling experience truly.
I enjoy being able to discuss the law, engage in our classroom, labs and activities with the students and truly just being able to get our students excited about being a paralegal and working in the legal field.
Carl Morrison: Yeah. I love to teach and for me what I love best about teaching is just seeing their faces, knowing that they are just sponges and they are wanting to learn as much as possible. I tell my students like the very first night of each new introduction course, I tell them I am going to crack your skull open and I am just going to pour info in it, so be prepared. I love to see their reaction.
Lisa Myers: Yeah, it’s a pretty incredible experience.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, yeah. So what do you like least about teaching?
Lisa Myers: Well, I love everything. I miss working in a law firm and being in the courtroom from time to time, but I wouldn’t change it honestly for the world. Our students and our college is a special, wonderful and exciting experience each day. I hope I have the pleasure of continuing with teaching, especially at Northwest, forever.
I think I would just have to say or just to add sometimes it’s very trying on the heart to see students struggle with their personal life issues, especially when it affects their core studies, that’s a difficult thing. So I would say it’s not something that I like least; it’s just something that is trying; it’s difficult to see them go through things like that.
Carl Morrison: Right, yeah, it is tough to see them struggle and you just want to help them and hold them and be a support to them, which is great.
What’s your funniest classroom story?
Lisa Myers: Oh my goodness. So I thought a lot about this Carl, because there are so many funny stories. Our students are absolute characters. They have varying personalities and they always bring something new and entertaining to each of our classes every day.
One of our funniest classroom stories I would say most recently was one of our advanced paralegal classes, we were engaged in a mock trial, which are always really fun and engaging with the students, students love those. One student was playing the role of the state, the prosecutor, and he all of a sudden just took on the role, talking in a really deep voice, very deep commanding voice, adjusting his belt all throughout, pacing through the mock courtroom, walking up to the jurors and to the audience, pointing, and being just very direct with his argument.
And I just didn’t expect this from this quiet, very intelligent, but very quiet young man and it was just — it was so exciting to see, to witness. And he did very well, but it was just comical, because he just took on the role. His perception of a very commanding, very seasoned prosecutor trying to win this case for the state, for the good of the people and it was funny, it was just so funny and I can’t forget it.
Carl Morrison: It’s funny because I have over my years as a paralegal being in the courtroom, civil lit, defense side and there are — and I have seen many plaintiff attorneys command and act that over the top, so it’s funny to hear the student just took that on himself and just kind of — because I have seen it many a times.
Lisa Myers: And it’s not something that he made up. I mean this is — yes, this is an absolute in the courtroom, so it was just kind of — it was comical and then I am sitting back thinking of all the different attorneys that are directly like this. Like, oh my goodness. So it was a great experience, a very funny day, but he was great, he won his argument.
Carl Morrison: That’s great. That’s great. Okay, I have got another question. There are many paralegals that have made a career for themselves by working under the tutelage of a supervising attorney, a competent, talented type of attorney without having to go through any type of formal paralegal education and program. Why do you think a paralegal, legal education is important for a prospective paralegal to go through to become a successful paralegal?
Lisa Myers: That’s a great question Carl. That was actually me. I had no formal education or training as a paralegal. My bachelor’s is in criminal justice and I continued on to law school. I was very proactive and just learned as I went in the law firm. I would search through files, ask a lot of questions, carry around my legal pads and just wrote down everything and anything that the attorney was saying and any direction he was giving to me.
I would say legal education is extremely important for paralegals though. It provides education ethics, which is vital to their career, procedures of the court and laws, research, writing skills to better prepare them for their success in their career, they will then be of greater value and therefore more secure in their position.
I do believe legal education, which includes actual practical hands-on experience, researching, drafting legal correspondence, legal pleadings, experiencing guest speakers, field trips in the court for hearings and tours is a great benefit for them and again vital to their success in the industry.
Carl Morrison: It’s time to take a short break for a word from our sponsors. When we come back, we will continue our discussion about paralegal education and legal education trends with Lisa Myers.
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Carl Morrison: Welcome back to the Paralegal Voice. I am Carl Morrison. My guest today is Lisa Myers, Legal Studies Program Director at Northwest Career College.
Lisa, before the commercial break we were discussing formal paralegal education and the importance of having that type of education for a paralegal. Do you believe that paralegal education is important even if a paralegal chooses not to go through a formal certification process through one of the national associations like NALS or NALA or NFPA?
Lisa Myers: I do. Aspiring paralegals and legal professionals need to obtain a great educational foundation to be successful and feel confident as they begin their new legal career. However, I believe we should encourage legal professionals to achieve those certifications to solidify their education and training and again they will be more of a value to a law firm.
Carl Morrison: Certification, I am a huge proponent of a National Paralegal Association. I carry all but one and that’s the next one. I tell my students I am collecting my alphabet soup, so I will add that too. But I am a huge proponent of a certification, having an actual certification; those letters behind your name. Do you think paralegal certification is important for students who do complete formal paralegal educational program? Do you think they should go on and do it?
Lisa Myers: Yes, absolutely. I encourage our students to review the practice tests. I encourage them to attend meetings, get as much information as possible about these certifications, because I honestly think that it’s necessary, it’s vital to their career.
Carl Morrison: Course certification is not mandatory for a paralegal, it’s a voluntary basis, and what better way to demonstrate to an employer, to your peers that you have taken that additional step, because it is voluntary to study, to spend the money, the time, the resources to invest in a certification. So yeah, I am with you, I think it’s vitally important that a certification happen.
So Lisa, the legal industry requires paralegal students who complete a formal legal educational training be skilled and naturally be ready to enter that law office setting or that corporate environment and be ready to handle those real cases, those real clients, those real outcomes that happen immediately upon graduation when they enter the door of their employer.
So how does a paralegal program, an actual program be innovative enough and escape that traditional lecture kind of basis where an instructor stands up and just barks education to the students? How does the program actually develop that innovation to get out of that teaching model and actually do something that ensures students are ready for the “real world”?
Lisa Myers: So that’s a fabulous question, Carl. I have a great answer or rather a solution to this. Hands-on experience within each scheduled class time, that’s vital. Integrate the review of material with actual in-class lab assignments, having students prepare legal correspondence, prepare those various pleadings, review discovery, review deposition transcripts, draft outlines of deposition transcripts, review cases, draft discovery on those cases.
Having students conduct research utilizing various sites as Westlaw Next or drafting IRAC case briefs, breaking down those cases and truly their way of critically thinking. Having them properly cite case law, properly cite statutes and codes and rules and amendments, discuss those amendments. This is a definite proven method to further prepare students to be successful in their legal career. That’s exactly the type of format that we utilize at Northwest and it’s been proven successful and we absolutely love it and the students have just flourished in our program and in their careers.
Carl Morrison: So you are a huge believer in the lab-based teaching model. Lecture is important, but also the hands-on is important as well.
Lisa Myers: I am a huge, absolute proponent of lab-based. We still review. We still have that lecture component, that hasn’t been forgone whatsoever, but what I have found is that you can integrate the two beautifully and it actually works much better. You are further reviewing the material.
I have students that if, let’s say for instance, we are drafting legal correspondence in the class, I am walking around with them discussing each of the components of the legal correspondence, the why and what for, while they are drafting their legal correspondence after reviewing a case.
So again, you are melding the two and it’s like a light bulb goes on in their heads and they just have a better understanding of the material and what it’s utilized for. So that’s going to better prepare them in their career.
Carl Morrison: I totally believe, 100% in lab-based and I have taught in the traditional lecture, but I have always included a “lab component” to my time with the students, whether it be a role-playing exercise, where break them up into teams and each person is either the paralegal or the client and you have to do an interviewing type of process.
One thing that I did that I absolutely loved was actually taking the class and splitting them in half, right down the middle. And each side had a case and each side was plaintiff or defendant. They drafted their interrogatories and request for production and exchanged with the other side, and they had to respond. Doing that hands-on I think is really important to help them reinforce what they are learning and reading, but preparing them for when they get out into the “real world.”
Lisa Myers: Absolutely. I agree.
Carl Morrison: So as a Program Director and a full-time instructor, wearing both hats there, how do you help your students succeed in the legal industry? What resources, skills do you give them to help them succeed?
Lisa Myers: So I would say a similar response to your prior question. I try to give them all of the resources and tools possible.
We review billing with them, we review all the technology, all the trends in technology, various pleadings for various areas of law, criminal, civil litigation, family law, bankruptcy, integrating field trips, guest speakers of actual paralegals or attorneys or legal professionals within the industry, drafting those illegal correspondents, drafting the IRAC case briefs, actually citing cases, researching. Having them actually work on those cases that have went before the Supreme Court, having them follow up with those cases.
So, I think all of those things really helps them to further prepare to be a successful legal professional.
Carl Morrison: Paralegals have to be resourceful. They have to know how to go find the answer. I had a partner that referred to me as his bloodhound, because he would have a problem, a question, an issue with the client, with the law, we did a lot of medical work and he would say, Carl, here’s the question, here’s the issue, now go find.
All right, bloodhound is on the trail and it’s going to figure it out and paralegals have to be, and have to know the resources. So, I think it’s important to help prepare them with that.
Lisa Myers: Absolutely, if I may add to that, we prepare for our students a wonderful introductory e-binder and our e-binder has so many resources, lists of different programs, different associations, different websites for the Supreme Court, the Nevada State Legislature, the courts, anything and everything for them to not only conduct that sort of research within the classroom but also on their own, and then we also encourage them to be proactive. So we’ll give them little exercises or activities where we don’t answer the question right-away, we have them do kind of a search and find or a scavenger hunt, and it really does help for them to locate those answers themselves, because you’re absolutely right. The attorneys look to us as paralegals to figure it out.
Carl Morrison: Right.
Lisa Myers: And find the resolution. So, yes, I agree.
Carl Morrison: So, kind of change a little bit here, kind of our trends that we’re seeing, there’s been many articles that have come out and podcasts here on Legal Talk Network that’s been presented on the subject of access to justice and its importance. There is a need out there that for those that are unable to afford the traditional attorney rates, those fees, but they need services of a legal professional; and there’s a gap, it’s a known fact, there is a gap out there.
Lisa Myers: Absolutely.
Carl Morrison: Do you think paralegal education such as what’s kind of going on Washington State, the Limited License Legal Technician Program or now Utah is developing it, so our neighbors around Nevada are developing it; do you think that paralegal education can help fill the gap in the need for those who can’t afford attorneys, and how do you think paralegal education can evolve and grow to really provide legal paraprofessionals with the necessary education to help the public at large.
Lisa Myers: Well, I’ve been kind of on the fence with this one, because it’s — you have to be delicate with this, because on one hand you’re speaking of a paralegal that assists an attorney that works for a licensed practicing attorney in either a corporate setting or a law firm, and then on the other hand, we have so many individuals in the community that, like you said, cannot afford the attorney’s legal fees and cost; sometimes they are quite exorbitant.
So, I’d like to see us bridge that gap, of course, do I agree with what the State of Washington is doing, and now Utah; I do, but I think that there should be some sort of regulations in that because you want to make certain that the paralegals or these licensed legal technicians are not overstepping the boundaries and giving full legal advice and incorrect advice, and further harming those individuals because then that’s in the end going to cost them more. Now they have to seek out a licensed practicing attorney or some other recourse.
So, I think there needs to be a balance, but I think with the right regulation similar to what the State Bar has within Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct or ABA, I think if we can ensure that that’s being upheld and these paralegals or legal professionals are being monitored, then I think that it would be a great, something really great for our public.
Carl Morrison: And I agree, I mean, it’s a matter of that delicate balance, ensuring that these different regulating bodies that develop these limited licensed paralegal practitioners in Utah get all the terminology all mucked up there, but that these think about fully the ethical ramifications and ensuring that these technicians understand their role.
But, it’s exciting to see that we are in a change that evolutions happening within the legal community and the industry that there may be a new role that does a little bit more than a paralegal but not quite that an attorney does, but help fill the gap; whether it be family law or landlord-tenant, those individuals that really they need some limited help, but they can’t afford an attorney, but they can’t do it on their own, they don’t understand the process. So, having someone help them I think is exciting.
Lisa Myers: I think it is. It’s very exciting like you said, we are evolving and I think we need to. These paralegals or legal professionals will be working in a limited scope, and I think it’s needed. You look at the medical field, we have licensed medical assistants, licensed massage therapists, licensed pharmacy techs. So, in all of those varying fields, we have licensing, so why not for paralegals.
Carl Morrison: So, good topic in segue here to my next question and it’s a hot-button topic and there’s many schools of thought on the subject, but do you think paralegals — as just us I know, we were just talking about the limited licensed legal technicians, but paralegals alone, do you think paralegals should be regulated? Actually licensed or registered or whatever you want to call them within the state that the paralegal resides?
Lisa Myers: I would say, and again, I’m kind of on the fence, but I’m leaning more towards yes. I think it would help paralegals to make certain of what they can and cannot do, what they should and should not be doing. I think it would further solidify their knowledge of the rules of ethics. I think many paralegals head out into the field and they are unsure as to what’s expected of them and what the ethical rules are.
Is this within the code of ethics? Can I do this? Can I not do this? If I do this, what’s going to happen? So, I think if there if there are some regulations, some definitive regulations, I think that would help honestly.
Carl Morrison: I’m on the fence as well, probably get some emails on it, but I think there should be some sort of investigation, further investigation within State Bars, State Supreme Courts, to investigate some level of regulation. I know it is truly a hot-button topic and there are two really big schools of thought; yes, it needs to be regulated; no, it does not need to be regulated. But, I tend to lean on the Yes column more than the No column just for the reasons you said, exactly.
Lisa Myers: Yeah, the fact of the matter is paralegals are working on these files. They are working on these cases, they play an integral role into these clients’ lives. Paralegals are truly the glue that holds everything together for that law firm or that corporate office setting.
So, I think it’s important, but then I would also consider defining what regulating them actually means? So, but I think something, something needs to be accomplished in the years coming.
Carl Morrison: Right. One last quick question here, where do you see the future of legal education in 5-10 years?
Lisa Myers: I would say more hands-on experience, certification, more encouragement to actually be certified as a paralegal, not so much regulations but certifications to again further justify your education and your experience, your knowledge in paralegal studies.
So, yeah, I would definitely say hands-on experience, less of the lecture-based learning and more of the actual practical experience. So again, these paralegals are going to be more successful and confident and head out into the field and accomplish their goals.
Carl Morrison: It’s kind of like a doctor when they go through medical school and actually book knowledge but then they have to start their rotations and rounds and they’re learning more hands-on how to deal with the patient and the same thing I think for paralegal students I think we’ll see more of that hands-on base.
Lisa Myers: Well, absolutely, and just as in law school, we’re not taught to draft pleadings and really the procedures of the court and so many intrical aspects of the legal field that is needed to make us successful. I think if we integrate more hands-on experience period across the Board in all of our studies; regardless, if it’s in the law or medicine or some other field, I think it’s important to really give students that real-world experience.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, yeah, I agree. Last question, if a student or an individual — I should say, before they become a student but if an individual is actually interested in getting into the paralegal industry and they start investigating a paralegal program, what should a prospective student look for in the program?
Lisa Myers: So, the best advice or direction I would provide would be, determine if the program is in fact a degree program — degree or certification program, whether or not those credits are transferable. I know many of our students would like to transfer their credits and further their studies, further to a bachelor’s or even law school; so that’s important.
Whether or not the majority of a program is on-campus or online, that’s huge, and whether or not the program provides that hands-on practical experience within the classroom, and also feedback; is there a professor or instructor that’s going to give that consistent feedback on their work product? That’s important.
Carl Morrison: Right, yeah, I agree, a 100%. Lisa, I can talk for hours on this, but really, thank you so much for joining us today. I think this has been a very great conversation about paralegal education.
If a listener would like to get in touch with you to discuss paralegal education, how would they reach out to you?
Lisa Myers: Well, thank you once again, Carl, for having me. This has been a wonderful experience. If anyone is interested in speaking with me, please feel free to contact me on my direct line at (702)401-4440 or via email at [email protected] I would love to discuss any of these topics with you.
Carl Morrison: Thank you so much, really appreciate you doing this. So, let’s take another short break now, but don’t go away, because when I come back, I’ll have some news and other paralegal tidbits to share with you.
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Carl Morrison: Welcome back. The following are some upcoming paralegal and paralegal-related conferences worth noting, and more importantly, you want to make sure you want to attend. So, be sure and if you haven’t registered for one of these, you do so and truly attend, be an active participant in our industry.
First, the American Association for Paralegal Education will be having their 2018 Super Regional Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, March 9th through the 10th. Come network with fellow paralegal and legal study educators and gain valuable education. For more information go to HYPERLINK “http://www.aafpe.org” www.aafpe.org.
NALS is hosting Adventure Tulsa 2018, April 5th through the 7th at the Hyatt Regency in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Come gain CLE but not in a traditional setting. CLE will be held in various locations including the federal court, local college paralegal classrooms, and other non-traditional settings. But it’s not just CLE, fun events will be mixed in as well.
Seating is limited, so be sure and register at HYPERLINK “http://www.nals.org” www.nals.org. Of course, I’m going to be in attendance and I’m looking forward to networking, learning and having lots of fun.
National Federation of Paralegal Associations is having their 2018 joint conference, “Promoting Paralegals in the Bluegrass”, April 27th through 29th in Lexington, Kentucky.
Attendees have the opportunity to share and network with professionals regarding association leadership, certification and regulation within the paralegal profession. Go to HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegals.org” www.paralegals.org for more information, and of course, save the date.
NALA is having their 2018 Annual Conference and Expo, July 11th through the 13th in St. Louis, Missouri. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to network, learn, and have fun. Of course, I love St. Louis, so I will be in attendance there also, so be sure and attend NALA’s conference.
And finally, we come to the listener’s voice. Our segment of the show where I answer you, the listener’s questions. If you’d like to send me a question or comment to be read on air, please send your e-mail to me at [email protected]
Today’s question comes from a paralegal student in Kansas, they write, “Dear devoted2law, I’m a paralegal student and getting ready to graduate. I have heard about certification, but I’m not sure if I should take the test or not. Will it help me get a job and is it worth it? Thanks. Sincerely, Questioning Certification in Kansas.”
Well, Questioning Certification, I will tell you I get this question asks of me as a paralegal and as a paralegal instructor especially from students, and I tell my students, definitely. You definitely want to get through the program before you even consider setting for a certification exam. They are challenging, they are tough, they are robust, you need to have that knowledge under your belt; but, I’m a huge proponent of certification.
Number one, you are demonstrating to yourself as a student and as an individual that you have gone above and beyond what’s required of you.
Number two, it demonstrates to the employer that same thing and employer is going to look at it and go, hey, this person, because it’s voluntary certification, has done more by having this certification. And also having certification, all certifications require mandatory number of continuing legal education hours in which to maintain your certification and as such it requires you to stay on top of what’s going on in the industry, so you are keeping your knowledge fresh, you are learning new things, and last but not least, because you have to go to associations or go to seminars and you meet others, whether it be attorneys, judges, paralegals, you network, and networking is important.
Keep the questions coming. Definitely, make sure that you send your questions to [email protected]
Stay tuned for more information and upcoming podcasts for exciting paralegal trends, news and engaging and fun interviews from leading paralegals and other leading legal professionals.
Thank you for listening to The Paralegal Voice. Produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network.
If you’d like more information about today’s show please visit HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com, subscribe via Apple Podcasts and RSS and find Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or download Legal Talk Network’s free app in Google Play and iTunes.
And reminding you that I’m here to enhance your passion and dedication to the paralegal profession and 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, or subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
The Paralegal Voice provides career-success tips for paralegals of any experience level.
Keith Shannon offers guidance for paralegal professionals on the importance of diligent compliance with ethical standards.
Candess Zona-Mendola shares insights from her book, “The Indispensable Paralegal: Your Guide to Getting It All Done.”
NALA vice president Melissa Hamilton and conference first-timer Sherron Brightharp talk about the conference experience and its offerings for attendees.
Vicki Kunz shares about the innovative opportunities arising in the paralegal industry.
NALA CEO and Executive Director Greta Zeimetz discusses NALA’s strengths and the challenges it will face in the coming years.
Kelly LaGrave shares the importance of paralegal certification and suggests study tools for the exam.