Patrick Palace is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer with an emphasis on workers’ compensation, personal injury, civil rights and social...
Carl H. Morrison, PP-SC, AACP, is a certified paralegal with a specialty in civil litigation where he concentrates in...
As solutions to the access to justice gap have been proposed, it has been increasingly clear that there will not be a single solution to the issue. Along with a variety of technology solutions, limited license legal technicians (LLLTs) have emerged as a potential answer to solving access to justice issues. In this episode of the Paralegal Voice, host Carl Morrison talks to Patrick Palace about what LLLTs are and how they provide access to justice in a unique and powerful way. LLLTs provide lower costs, better access to rural areas, and wide-ranging services. There are many situations in which a fully qualified lawyer just isn’t necessary; LLLTs can provide legal advice in these cases. Stay tuned until the end for Listener’s Voice, Carl’s recurring segment featuring audio questions or comments from a listener. To send in your own question email Carl at [email protected]
Patrick Palace is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer with an emphasis on workers’ compensation, personal injury, civil rights and social security matters.
The Paralegal Voice
Recap and Update: What are LLLTs and How will they Improve Access to Justice
Carl Morrison: Hey law nerds. There is a brand-new show on Legal Talk Network about the First Amendment called Make No Law. Here is a quick trailer about the show.
Ken White: News and pop culture are full of controversies about free speech and the First Amendment. We hear terms like hate speech and heckler’s veto and a barrage of coverage about campuses, protests, and even wedding cakes. But what does it all mean and how did we get here?
That’s exactly what my new show Make No Law: The First Amendment Podcast from Popehat.com will explore. I am Ken White and I invite you to tune in every month for the history, stories and personalities behind the right to free speech and the most important Supreme Court cases establishing it.
Carl Morrison: You can find Make No Law on HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com, Apple Podcasts, Google Play or wherever you are listening to this podcast, and now, on to The Paralegal Voice.
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 Patrick Palace. Patrick is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer and owner of Palace Law from Tacoma, Washington, with an emphasis on workers’ compensation and personal injury matters.
Patrick was the President of the Washington State Bar Association from 2013 to 2014. He is a member of the National Conference of Bar Presidents that prepares and trains bar leadership nationwide. He also currently serves on the NCBP Executive Council and Co-Chairs the 21st Century Lawyer NCBP Committee.
He Chaired the Washington State Bar Association Future of the Profession Committee and additionally he served on the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors, the Washington State Association of Justice Board of Governors for nine years and was Washington State Bar Association Treasurer.
In 2016, Palace Law was recognized by the Law 500 as one of the top 100 firms nationwide for its growth and innovation. Patrick was the first recipient of the Service to the Legal Profession Award and has been chosen by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Nation’s Top 100 trial lawyers. He was also named as one of the top attorneys in Washington.
He is a regular speaker at Continuing Legal Education Seminars and has chaired CLEs and lectured at the request of the Washington State Bar Association for Justice, the Washington State Bar Association, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association and other organizations.
And I will tell you before the show started, Patrick and I have had some laughs and I am very excited to have him on the show. Welcome Patrick.
Patrick Palace: Carl, thank you. Very nice to be with you.
Carl Morrison: Thank you. 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.
And finally, ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted prescreened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves, who embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.serve-now.com/”serve-now.com to learn more.
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 of course a little bit of fun thrown in.
Our topic today is limited license legal technicians, paralegals and our future with Patrick Palace.
So in 2012, the Washington Supreme Court adopted the limited license legal technician or what’s known as the LLLT Rule, making it the first state to authorize non-attorneys that meet certain educational requirements to advise clients on specific areas of law.
So I will tell you that when I first heard about it I thought what an exciting and new opportunity for non-lawyers to be developed, to help the public at large, and I was really excited, but a little apprehensive because I want to see how well it takes off.
So before we kind of get into the, what I call the meat and potatoes of the topic, Patrick, can you explain to our listeners what is a limited license legal technician?
Patrick Palace: Happy to, but Carl, let me tell you first, I am very impressed that you have managed to spit those out so easily. Everybody stumbles over the limited license legal technician, license legal limited, what is that again, right, so you did well.
In Washington we typically say LLLTs and I heard you say that. Sometimes it’s just legal technicians, you use whatever words you like. LLLT is kind of the nomenclature that we use around Washington. And it’s simply this, it’s a new tier of legal professional. LLLT is a new group of legal professionals that can offer legal services independently from lawyers.
LLLTs can have their own law firms, they can partner with lawyers, they can share legal fees with lawyers. It’s another piece I think that helps us provide access to justice that isn’t being filled in a profession that doesn’t have another tier like LLLTs.
Carl Morrison: Thank you, number one, for giving me the kudos on being able to say all the Ls and I will tell you, I will actually say LLLT because it’s much simpler to say it.
Patrick Palace: Agreed, agreed.
Carl Morrison: So what was the initial catalyst that really created this new legal professional, LLLT in Washington State, what really kind of set it off?
Patrick Palace: Well, I appreciate that question, although I know that you know the answer, because it’s universal, it’s access to justice, right. I mean the problem that we have in Washington is the same problem that we face around the country, that we have this enormous access to justice gap. And in Washington, like I think most places around the country, we have been looking for a way to make that gap a little bit smaller, and I think everyone recognizes there is not a tool, there is not an answer, it’s going to come from a lot of places, and maybe putting together a lot of different tools before we can start to pare down that gap.
And I am sure you have seen these stats, but I think it’s worth at least a moment, if you will bear with me, to just talk about the size of this need, right. So the Legal Services Corporation puts out their annual Civil Legal Needs Study and that came out in June of last year. But the information is kind of shocking, 60 million American families below the 125% poverty level, 1 in 5 Americans fit into that place, 19% of the country.
What’s shocking is just the sheer volume of numbers of people that need access to legal services, 19 million children, 1.7 million vets, 18 million families, 10 million people in rural areas, 11 million people with disabilities, right, and 86, and maybe you have heard that, but I want to say it one more time, 86% of the people who have civil legal need issues, that have legal issues that need help have inadequate or no help at all.
And amongst all the problems that are out there have held to consumer issues, family issues, like custody and child issues are 27% of the problem, and in Washington that national problem is paralleled in our state. So 1.2 million out of close to 7 million people in Washington need legal services, a big piece, a big chunk of that is in family law.
So we sat down to figure out how we can help crack that nut, and LLLTs were one of the spearhead of ideas that came to fruition. But even then it wasn’t easy. It started in 1998 and I am a little embarrassed by that, but it was a long gauntlet that we had to work through. The idea of the LLLTs came up through the unauthorized practice of law discussion that we had and it took until June 2012 for our Supreme Court to finally issue an order and that was after the adoption or suggested adoption of the LLLT came before our Board of Governors in Washington three times and was voted down three times.
Eventually in June 2012 Supreme Court issues the order, then in August 2013 we finally adopt the first rules in the country for APR 28, which is the creation of the LLLTs.
So now finally, we are up and running. And the goal of course is the access to justice, how do we get greater services to that huge body of people that need it so desperately.
Carl Morrison: And that is exactly right. There is a huge body across the country that are in need of having adequate access to justice. And I give props to Washington State for having and taking the initiative to create this particular program.
So what are some of the benefits of really utilizing this LLLT individual or legal professional?
Patrick Palace: Well, I can toss out kind of like the umbrella, that 10,000 foot view and then maybe we can drill down a little bit. But I think at its core, I mean the big view is accessibility. If we have all these people who don’t have lawyers, can’t afford lawyers, and they are doing it all pro se or DIY, man, having a professional who is trained, competent and licensed to practice an area of law like family law is a huge benefit for this huge consumer base, this huge citizenry that so desperately needs the help. So access is key.
Cost is important. If lawyers cost, I don’t know, let’s say $200-400 for a family lawyer, if you average the amount maybe across the country, LLLTs may be more like $50-150, and they can do things like unbundled legal services where they can represent somebody for a limited purpose, and really it’s this creation of this new tier, this new type of legal professional that I think is a huge benefit to people, particularly in rural areas, where maybe there aren’t lawyers and there is a huge market in need and maybe it doesn’t make sense for a lawyer to be there, but boy, it sure may make sense for somebody like a LLLT who doesn’t carry the law school debt load, who can practice law for less to be able to provide their services. So maybe that helps stretch legal services into rural areas.
And there’s one more benefit I think that’s really clear. I mean, there’s a number, but I mean in the top list, LLLTs can practice law with lawyers. So a law firm, it can become a little more like a one-stop shop than they have ever been where you can get the top tier of a trial lawyer to take your case to court or you can get somebody like a LLLT who can come in and do a piece or help you with forms or give you some advice and target what you need to do, which is all so much better than having no resource and no person to help and simply trying to do it on your own pro se and having a hell of a time doing it. So there’s lots of benefit.
Carl Morrison: I agree with that 100% that there’s many benefits to having this type of legal professional as a competent and needed member of the legal team.
So I am going to play a little bit of, and I hate this term, but devil’s advocate, why create a new legal professional? Why not through a State Bar Association, State Supreme Court give current paralegals that are out there the ability to provide these greater limited legal representations to individuals? In other words, basically regulate paralegals, why not go that route? Why create a whole new profession?
Patrick Palace: Yeah. Well, I mean I guess again looking at the bigger step, we are talking about the regulation of legal services. I mean I have my bias. I think we ought to open up the tent, open up that umbrella and bring everybody in. Everybody who wants to provide legal services should be regulated. Let’s bring them all in. We are stuck in this camp right now. We have those that are regulated like lawyers and those that are unregulated like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer, and that group of legal service providers. I think we should have one big tent and everybody should be in it.
But to the degree you are asking specifically about paralegals, in many ways they are regulated because lawyers are responsible for them and they have to supervise them and so they have a degree of regulation that I think everyone is more than comfortable with and they are competent professionally, trained legal providers. But one of the reasons to bring in a LLLT is because I think we recognize that there are tiers and there are different opportunities and different positions in those tiers.
For example, if you think about medicine, you have doctors and then you have nurses, and then somewhere along the way they decided they should have nurse practitioners. And at the other end of the spectrum we have certified nursing assistants. They are all set in a hierarchy of opportunity to provide a different range of legal services that best meet the needs of people that come to them and each can offer a different value and a different scope and a different price so that everybody has something they need.
And I think LLLTs offer some benefits that paralegals can’t, like being able to open up their own firm and being able to share fees, and I don’t see them as competition to paralegals; I see them as another step in the hierarchy of providing scope and opportunity that works hand in hand with lawyers and hand in hand with paralegals.
Carl Morrison: You know and others may disagree with me, but I agree with you Patrick that the legal industry to me is ripe for the development of an individual such as the LLLT professional, like the analogy you gave; nurse practitioner, nurse CNA. I mean every member of the legal team can provide their level of expertise to a point and having this additional layer to provide a little higher than a paralegal service is definitely a need out there. So yeah, I agree with you 100%.
Patrick Palace: Well, and think about what a badass team a paralegal and a LLLT are, right? I mean they could go out and conquer the world at half the cost. There’s lots of opportunities out there. I don’t see them in any way as really being competition, but I see it as super friends unite, we all come together and we can offer any level of service to help any level of people, from pro bono, low bono, to full service, to litigation service.
Carl Morrison: Right. The legal technician and what you are saying and what I am hearing you say is that LLLT individual, that limited license legal technician person is never going to replace the paralegal profession; it’s going to be an additional team member to strengthen our ability to provide access to justice for the public at large.
Patrick Palace: Yeah, well said. Well said.
Carl Morrison: So hearing you talk and I imagine you consider the LLLT playing and you are saying playing a very active role in the legal team, working closely with attorneys, the clients and the judiciary. How do you really envision the legal technician and the paralegal working together in the future? Do you really see us as the super team together? Me, I have an opinion, but I would like to let the listeners hear your thoughts on that.
Patrick Palace: Yeah, I do see them working together and I think they each can offer a level of service and a price that helps this huge unmet need. I mean if you can’t afford a $300 lawyer, but you can afford $100 LLLT, it opens up a market. And sometimes I hear lawyers saying, and it’s lawyers who I think don’t have all of the information they should have to make a good decision, but the argument is they are competing with me. I don’t want LLLTs in my state because they are going to compete with me and take away my business. But LLLTs aren’t taking away any lawyer’s business; LLLTs are getting the business that lawyers could never get.
And by the same token, the same thing can be said of paralegals. They are able to do the level of work that often lawyers do, but they are able to do it at a much lower cost. So we can pass that on to the consumer, pass that on to those in legal need.
So I think about how that builds over time and how LLLTs may greatly expand. I mean there’s not a lot of them right now, but as that expansion occurs and the teams of lawyer, LLLT, paralegal, I think really can provide a one-stop full array of, in this case for now, family law services, but eventually a broad range of legal services so that everybody gets their key to the courthouse, everyone gets their chance to have justice, and I think the paralegals play a really critical role on that team.
Carl Morrison: We are going to take a short break right now and hear a word from our sponsors.
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” www.nala.org.
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: Welcome back to The Paralegal Voice. I am Carl Morrison. My guest today is Patrick Palace, an attorney from Tacoma, Washington.
So Patrick, the ABA Journal just recently wrote, I think it was in their December 8, 2017 issue, an article that was entitled ‘The Limited License Legal Technician Is the Way of the Future of Law’. So let me ask you, do you think and do you agree that LLLTs are the way of the future?
Patrick Palace: Well, I love the concept and I love the energy behind the title, but I think the emphasis there is that they may be a tool for the way of the future. I don’t think they necessarily are the future in and of themselves. I would love to see this tier of legal professional grow and I think if it takes care of a lot of problems is a solution in part.
But I don’t think anyone really believes that the LLLTs will solve the gap, but they are an important piece of it and it’s the think around them, that we have been innovative enough to create a tier that never existed before in the history of law in this country. And there’s probably more jobs, descriptions, opportunities for us to create professionals, preferably regulated, as part of our large profession. And so to the degree that LLLTs are the start of that thought process, the first wave of solutions that are new and innovative, I embrace that title.
Carl Morrison: I agree with you. I couldn’t say it better. It’s just I am excited to see our industry actually start to embrace innovation, to reach out and ensure that all individuals have that equal access to justice.
Patrick Palace: Right.
Carl Morrison: In the article it stated that clients are demanding alternatives to attorneys because they cannot afford lawyers and the forms and the process are too difficult. What do you think is really driving this demand? Do you really think it is attorney’s fees or do you think that the public has really been conditioned to seek out more cost-effective means to get goods and services, the adage cheaper is better, do you agree with that?
Patrick Palace: Well, there’s a really interesting article written by Josh Kings, who is the General Counsel for Avvo and his title was Embrace Mediocrity, with the idea that I think everyone knows the difference between going to a 5-star restaurant and spending hundreds of dollars per plate and the difference between going to McDonald’s. Consumers need their choices and they need to pick the level that fits their pocketbook.
Now, the beauty of the LLLTs is not only do you get somebody who is competent, capable, well-trained, professional, but you also get somebody that can afford to charge less than an attorney.
So the idea that cheaper is better is true when I qualify it with qualified and capable, getting more bang for the buck or for most people, getting some legal knowledge where otherwise they would get none. I am a big believer that any sort of legal assistance is better than none.
And I know there’s some lawyers out there who so staunchly believe that if you are not qualified to take a case from cradle to grave, identify every single issue and litigate it to the nth degree, then you are going to harm people in our society. And I couldn’t disagree more, because there’s so many people that need some help, maybe it’s a question answered, maybe it’s a form, maybe it’s limited representation, unbundled legal services, something done by someone with competence is so much better than nothing.
And so, I really don’t believe that the idea that you have to have the full meal at the highest best restaurant is the only answer when we should have a buffet of opportunities to choose from of legal services. And I think that really is what’s driving public demand. There’s a huge need and it’s not met by the current cost points of lawyers and so the only way that need is going to be met is continue to offer lesser costing services and greater opportunities to get some legal services, whatever that buffet may look like than only requiring them to go to cordon bleu for your meals.
Carl Morrison: Right, exactly right. Patrick, you know, some of the states surrounding Washington, they have taken note of what your state has been doing and they are investigating the concept. And I know Utah is actually very close, I have been watching it very closely to releasing their own version of the LLLT; it’s called the Paralegal Practitioner. And I know that they are actually trying to start more than just family law, landlord-tenant, I think there’s some collection type law as well.
Do you think that more and more states are going to adopt the similar type of program to the LLLT?
Patrick Palace: I do. And I love Utah’s version. They put out, the Supreme Court Task Force Report came out in let’s say November of 2015, and now they have got another group to implement it; Oregon the same way, they have a report and now they have a group that’s looking at what implementation looks like. So I love that states are looking at ways and in each state seems to be coming at it just a little bit differently, as there’s a learning curve. They can look back at Washington and say what did Washington do and how can we improve that and maybe how do we tailor this more to the needs of the people and citizenry of our state.
But I think it will continue. It is a trend and I am seeing it sweeping from the West Coast east. I see the East Coast being a little resistant to some of these things, as you have more of the old guards saying it’s lawyers or nothing. But I think these attitudes and these cultural shifts will continue to occur as people see that the LLLTs do make a difference, that people are being helped. And while it’s not a massive wave, we don’t have hundreds of LLLTs sweeping across the country right now, but that time will come.
But I want to remind you of an old adage that it’s a story about walking on to a beach and there’s starfish in the sun at the low tide and they are all dying and you walk up and a person throws a starfish into the water, and the friends says, well, that didn’t make a difference, and the person responds, well, it made a difference to that one, right?
I mean it’s really a short version of a long story, but the point is that LLLTs are making a difference one person at a time. And the more people we can affect and the more change that we can have, the more successful LLLTs will be. And that’s something that I think no Supreme Court can ignore that we are making a difference, we are cutting back at that gap. And even if it’s one person at a time, one family at a time, one child at a time, we are making a difference. And I think that’s one of these things that’s going to be important as this inertia continues to grow and move across the country.
Carl Morrison: I agree. It’s the same as educators, if I can reach one student, then it’s all been worth it, same concept.
Patrick Palace: Yes, that’s right.
Carl Morrison: Do you think that many states are taking a wait-and-see approach before they really start even investigating a LLLT type program?
Patrick Palace: Yeah. I mean I guess you can make that argument. I think that a bigger barrier to the waiting and seeing is just the bias and maybe the protectionist fear that some lawyers have. There is a belief that lawyers still have a monopoly on legal services. This is our turf. Don’t come into my backyard. And that really is a really old guard and outdated and antiquated idea these days.
I am happy as I sit on the National Conference of Bar Presidents and we have these debates and we have these discussions with the Bar Presidents across the country that I am seeing that attitude slowly diminishing among the bars nationwide. The unauthorized practice of law arguments aren’t holding as much water. The idea that somehow lawyers can claw back all other legal services and maintain this niche monopoly isn’t making sense anymore, not with LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer and the other unregulated legal services that are coming on, this huge tech industry that is now investing money and opportunity in law because there’s this huge unmet need.
So I think that that’s all going to change, but the flipping point — the tipping point there really comes with a shift in lawyer culture to accept another type of professional practicing side by side, not as a threat, but as an opportunity to grow a profession and do what we are supposed to do as legal professionals, which is serve the public. And so as that shift comes I think we will see less waiting and more seeing.
Carl Morrison: You mentioned earlier that early on it took a lot, 1998 I believe you said when it was first being discussed.
Patrick Palace: Right.
Carl Morrison: And so there was a ton of resistance early on. Do you still see that same level of resistance in Washington State or has it decreased since the opening up of the program and actually first round of individuals that have been licensed?
Patrick Palace: It’s been a dramatic, dramatic shift. Yeah, I think when you are on the front end of that wave and you are doing something new, there’s always going to be a lot of resistance. It’s hard to get that buy in.
I mean it’s the reason that the Board of Governors did not adopt the suggested creation of LLLTs on three separate occasions. But there was a big shift when the Supreme Court issued its order and said, guess what, we are going to have LLLTs. Once that happens — and you still have naysayers like, well, we shouldn’t do that, and that’s a bad idea. It’s like, well, the Supreme Court has ordered it and now we are going to do it. And by the way, here’s regulations and now we are implementing it.
And people have just gotten used to the idea and the push back has gotten less and less and less and less, and obviously that logic makes sense, because Utah is heading down that way and Oregon is heading down that way and other states as well. So it’s just the process of change.
People don’t always adapt to change quickly. For everybody who was scared of an iPhone or didn’t see a need for it 10 years ago, guess what, there is no stopping technology or smart ideas; they are going to keep coming.
Carl Morrison: Right, exactly right. When you speak with paralegals and other legal professionals, non-lawyers about LLLT program, what are some of the things that you hear from them? Do you hear many like paralegals, legal secretaries, anybody like that speak negatively about the legal technician profession?
Patrick Palace: Well, I mentioned a few minutes ago that there has been that outspoken voice even in Washington when we started the LLLT program and even though it’s died off there, I still hear it on the national level as we have these discussions about LLLTs in the practice of law, but I do think it’s all changing.
But you know what, I have not heard anything negative from paralegals, and maybe that’s because the paralegals see that it’s an opportunity for them. In my office we had a woman who went through paralegal training and then went in to become a LLLT. And so we had a LLLT in my office and while I don’t practice family law, I had a really competent, well-trained legal technician practicing law with me. But I didn’t see any of my paralegals giving her the evil eye or somehow seeing her as a threat to their profession. Everybody embraced her. She brought another layer of skill and ability into the office.
With the other firms and there’s a number of firms across the state, one of my fellow Governors, Jerry Moberg has taken on LLLTs into his practice. Mike Moceri, and I will give a shout out to him, a family law practitioner, is supervising a LLLT to bring her into his firm. I think that paralegals in those firms embrace the opportunity to have another professional to work with.
So I don’t know, I will leave it to you, I mean have you heard paralegals pushing back against the idea of LLLTs or seeing it as an opportunity for themselves?
Carl Morrison: It’s funny because I belong to all the National Associations. I have gone to numerous conferences and I have brought this topic up to many different paralegals and it’s interesting that most do not have a negative statement to say about the profession.
Now, I will say the individuals I have spoken with are kind of in a watch and see type of look to see how this profession weighs out, but I think many paralegals are looking at this as maybe an additional stepping stone or another rung on the ladder for them to progress forward and take their career and totally open it up.
And I personally look at that as a door opening for our profession, that if you want to proceed on and not quite go to law school or take on that debt, that this type of concept may be the route that you would want to go.
So I haven’t heard much in the way of negativity. Now, I have heard more 50-50 I would say in the way of regulating paralegals; some paralegals embrace the idea of regulation, others do not, but from the LLLT concept, I don’t hear hardly any negative.
Patrick Palace: I would think if you offered a paralegal the opportunity to get more education and open up their own firm or to join groups of them to open up their own firm that they would be ecstatic about that opportunity to have that chance to go out and expand.
I mean there may be — I mean this is probably a little unfair, but theoretically maybe there’s a ceiling over paralegals at how far they can go or what they can do and this just raises that ceiling and gives them another layer of opportunity, if they are the type that want to do that.
Carl Morrison: Right, exactly right. Okay. So Patrick, I always have to have at least one or two fun questions to ask of my guests. So you are not any different than anybody else.
Patrick Palace: All right, I am preparing myself.
Carl Morrison: I understand that you enjoy rock music and that you play rock music much louder than your “non-rocking” kids like to hear. So tell me what are some of the rock bands that you have on your iTunes playlist, I have got to know?
Patrick Palace: Yeah, but isn’t that funny, right? Like so my kids are teenagers and we get in the car and I turn on the radio and they are like, dad, can you turn that down? I am like whose kid are you? I don’t know. I always thought that when I had kids they would be cranking the music and I would be telling them to turn it down and instead somehow I am still that kid and my kids are being more responsible, like turn it down dad, it’s too loud, you are going to hurt our ears.
Anyway, we have a culture of music in this office. We have Sonos in the offices and we have Echoes around and I have another Cortana in my app. We play music everywhere around here. I do like my music kind of loud and people downstairs do remind me, and I am in a three floor building and sometimes people on the bottom floor are like calling, can you turn down the music up there Palace? I am like, sure, sorry.
But I do love things like, well, Pearl Jam, Alter Bridge. I am a huge Chris Cornell fan, Seether, yes, and Guns N’ Roses. But to be fair, lots of it comes along I think — just some of the things looking at my Pandora playlist; Odessa, Hermitude, Maxwell, Jack Johnson, Nathaniel Rateliff. So there’s a lot of stuff that’s a varied amount of stuff, but yes, it can all be played loud and I think it is better that way.
Carl Morrison: I am in the same vein, although I am a child of the 80s, so anything that deals with post-punk, new wave, that style; Cure, those are the bands that I play really loud, but I am a music lover so I love all sorts of types. So the names that you were listing I listen to as well and I would blast it as well.
Patrick Palace: Yeah, I was just talking about louder being better I guess. I don’t know, maybe I will grow out of that when I am old and need new ears, but for now it’s still true that I am all in.
Carl Morrison: You won’t grow out of it, trust me, I am not growing out of it.
Well Patrick, thank you for joining me today. I love the topic. I am thrilled and excited to see the advent of this new and exciting career. Let me ask you, if a listener wanted to get in touch with you and maybe want to discuss via email the LLLT program, how would they reach out to you?
Patrick Palace: Yeah. No, I encourage that discussion. I am happy to have that discussion. Twitter is a great source. So I am @PalaceLaw or @PalaceLawOffice; I have two handles, one is for my office, one is for me. Or people can email me and that’s great too. It’s HYPERLINK “mailto:[email protected]” [email protected] or give me a call, whatever, I am happy to have that dialogue and to share. We have that conversation a lot at the National Conference of Bar Presidents and as I talk around the country engage in that conversation.
Maybe I will see you and have — engage in that discussion at Clio Con or at Lawyernomics or any of the other conferences coming up, but happy to talk to anybody who wants to share.
Carl Morrison: Patrick, thank you so much, really, really appreciate you taking the time to discuss this topic, because it’s one near and dear to me, so thank you very much.
Patrick Palace: It’s an honor and a pleasure. Thank you for inviting me very much.
Carl Morrison: Let’s take another short break now. Don’t go away because when I come back I will have news and other paralegal tidbits to share with you.
Advertiser: Firm Central, cloud-based legal practice management software for solo and small law firms provides a single online location for all of the tools you need to manage client files and perform client work and offers unrivaled integration with Westlaw. With Firm Central, you can securely store and organize documents and case files, manage time tracking and billables, and collaborate with clients through a secure client portal from anywhere there is an Internet connection.
Carl Morrison: Welcome back. The following are some upcoming paralegal and paralegal related conferences worth noting, and more importantly attending. So be sure and if you haven’t registered for one of these you do so soon and attend.
Be sure and save the date for NALA’s 2018 Annual Conference & Expo scheduled for July 11 through July 13 in St. Louis, Missouri. Great education and of course great networking is in store. Plus, you don’t want to miss me, I will be in attendance. Be sure and go to HYPERLINK “http://www.nala.org” www.nala.org for more details and information.
NALS is hosting Adventure Tulsa 2018, April 5 through the 7 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 nontraditional settings. But it’s not just CLE, fun events will be mixed in as well. There are just a couple of slots still available, so be sure and register at HYPERLINK “http://www.nals.org” www.nals.org.
Of course, I will be in attendance and I am looking forward to networking, learning and having a lot of fun.
And finally, we come to the segment of the show called The Listener’s 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. If there’s a particular topic you have a question that you would like for me to answer or maybe a prior guest that you had listened to that you have a question for, be sure and send me an email and make your voice, the listener’s voice, known and heard. Send your email to me at HYPERLINK “mailto:[email protected]” [email protected].
Today’s question comes from Lyndon Ingeman. Lyndon writes, good afternoon Mr. Morrison. I am a fan of the show and think the new listener question segment is a fantastic idea. I have a question that has been on my mind as I finished my ABA-approved paralegal program.
How do you specialize in the paralegal profession? I currently work as a clerk with the Department of Health, but eventually want to work in some capacity with health law. I don’t know what companies to apply for or what skills to master at my current job to specialize in health law. I believe other paralegal students will have the same problem.
Thank you for taking the time to look and read my question. Sincerely, Lyndon Ingeman.
So Lyndon, and to others that are listening, especially paralegal students that are getting ready to branch out from their programs and get started in the industry, I always tell my students, you have a lot of skills that will transfer and that will allow you to specialize in a particular area.
Lyndon, you are actually one that more than likely many different things that you do at the Department of Health where you work, that have already provided you with a lot of skills in order to branch into health law. For those that don’t know, actually my undergraduate is in pre-medicine and a career shift when I graduated got me into the legal industry and becoming a paralegal and getting additional paralegal education.
But my premed experience served me well to work in insurance defense and specifically into medical products and malpractice, things of that nature. And so you have to look at your particular background and job skills that you have currently and recognize that there are many different skills that you have that will transfer.
So if you work in a particular area right now that’s not law, for example, Lyndon, you are working for the Department of Health, like I said, there are more than likely many different things that you do there that will transfer and just having a lot of different experiences and information will serve you well in order to transfer.
So if you don’t, if you are an individual that maybe works in retail or restaurants and want to branch into, say for example, healthcare law, my recommendation is to actually take maybe some additional classes, go through a program, maybe not actually go and get a full additional bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine, but take some additional introduction to medical terminology, things of that nature, that you can actually learn some things that you can put on your résumé that will demonstrate you have gone above and beyond to learn an additional area in which you want to branch into.
So that would be my recommendation, but if others out there listening have additional comments or ideas to give to Lyndon, send them to me, email those to me and I will share those on the air. Because I know this is a topic, I hear it all the time from students that I teach to how do they transition into the particular area in which they want to transition to. So keep the questions coming. I really appreciate it.
Stay tuned for more information in 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 would 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 am 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.
Sandy Lavender, office manager for Clark Hill PLC, talks about recruitment strategies for paralegals and legal support professionals.
Have you considered what goals may help you grow as a professional paralegal? In this episode of the Paralegal Voice, host Carl Morrison reflects...
Carl Morrison shares his top ten tips on law office management.
Tisha Delgado talks about how eFiling works.
The magic of paralegal conferences is that you can learn new things about your profession and make connections that you couldn’t have otherwise, all...
Linda McGrath-Cruz talks about how to get the most out of paralegal conference networking.