Erin Levine is a certified family law specialist, and owner of Oakland’s Levine Family Law Group. In 2016 she launched Hello...
Carl H. Morrison, RP, PP, AACP, is an experienced certified paralegal and paralegal manager and has been in the...
Paralegals’ roles are ever evolving and never slowing. They are the human element needed for successful legal service delivery. In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, host Carl Morrison talks to Erin Levine, a certified family law specialist, about the important roles paralegals play in legal product development and client interaction. Erin talks about her career and what led her to launch Hello Divorce — a platform that allows greater access to justice for those in divorce proceedings. They discuss the utilization of paralegals in her family law practice and highlight the invaluable collaboration that takes place between them.
Stay tuned to 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]
The Paralegal Voice
The Indispensable Paralegal
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.
Before we begin, we would like to thank our sponsor NALA. NALA, the Paralegal Association, is a professional association for paralegals providing continuing education and professional certification programs for paralegals at 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.
And, CourtFiling.net; CourtFiling.net is your solution for electronic filing in California, Illinois, Indiana and Texas and provides a better e-filing experience so you can spend more time helping clients. Visit CourtFiling.net to see how you can e-file court documents with ease.
And also, 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 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 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.
Today, my guest is Erin Levine of hellodivorce.com.
Erin, I am really excited to have you on the show today. I recently ran across this individual, Erin, on Twitter and her Twitter handle was @hellodivorce, with a catchphrase of “Making law more human and accessible”, and I thought, wow, what an eye-catching Twitter handle. I was like, okay, this just — this individual really — I got to follow her, and then of course I started following her and one of her tweets popped up that said, who is the sexiest paralegal we know? By sexy I mean charming, smart, engaging and convincing? It’s time for a spokesperson for that profession. We got to convince the young ones that it’s still viable and paralegals are still needed, even with AI and Auto and their job is more fun these days.
Of course, I was like, well, she must be talking about me, right? She can’t be talking about me; well actually, no, she’s not talking about me, she’s talking about all of us. And I was really blown away. And I say that Erin is a woman after my own heart. She’s what I think is a fellow law nerd. She may correct me on that, but she loves the concept of technology assisting and really working for the legal professional and not the other way around and I knew I had to have Erin on the show. So I mean we reached out to Erin and of course, any paralegal worth their weight and salt is going to know to do the research on the person they want to connect with, and of course I had to start doing a deep dive on you, uh-oh, right Erin? But don’t worry, I didn’t contact any of your sorority sisters and get all the dirt. So, I’m really excited to have you on the show today. So thank you Erin for being here.
Erin Levine: Thank you, Carl. I am very happy to be here. Thank you for that generous introduction and I am definitely a fellow law nerd.
Carl Morrison: Oh good, yay. I just think most lawyers and legal professionals, paralegals like myself, we’re just all law nerds and I have found that not everybody’s quite as nerdy or geeks out on law as some of us. So glad to hear you are a fellow law nerd, so great, perfect.
Erin Levine: Yeah, absolutely.
Carl Morrison: So instead of me sharing with the listeners all about you and hearing it from my voice, why don’t you share with the listeners a little bit about yourself. So tell us your background and tell us, who is Erin Levine?
Erin Levine: Sure. Well, I am a family law attorney. I have been practicing for almost 15 years, which I think Carl would consider a newbie, but I have some experience behind me. I am a certified family law specialist in the State of California and I own a law firm in the Bay Area, it’s called Levine Family Law Group. We have seven awesome attorneys and a whole team of paralegals and staff.
And I recently as in about 18 months ago launched an online divorce platform, as you mentioned, hellodivorce.com, where we offer a range of cost-effective flat fee and subscription services to at this point Californians who are going through the divorce process, but we have an app launching in just about a week and it will set me up to be able to launch in other states as well. So a lot happening right now.
Carl Morrison: Wow.
Erin Levine: Like I said I am a total nerd when it comes to law, but the same thing applies for technology too. And I’m also a mom of two girls Mia and Zoey who are four and seven.
Carl Morrison: Oh fantastic. I’m sure they keep you very occupied at that age.
Erin Levine: Oh yeah, they are busy. We call Zoey instead of bossy, we tell people that she is practicing her executive leadership skills and that usually gets people to shut up pretty quickly, so.
Carl Morrison: So she is going to be a lawyer, right?
Erin Levine: Probably.
Carl Morrison: You are just going to go ahead and — so okay, so you mentioned a little bit about hellodivorce.com, so what was the concept, what kind of drove you to create this online platform called hellodivorce.com?
Erin Levine: Right. Well, there were a lot of motivations. One was that I was just simply bored. I got pretty good at practicing law and litigating and I was definitely looking for a new challenge.
Another big driver was I think the cost of legal has gotten out of hand. The average divorce in the US cost $18,000 per person if you don’t have children and $27,000 per person if you do.
Carl Morrison: Wow.
Erin Levine: So most people as we know can’t afford that or don’t want to leverage everything they have to be able to pay those kinds of fees and I don’t blame lawyers, or at least not entirely, because it’s how we were taught to practice or actually we weren’t really taught how to practice in law school. And so we didn’t understand how we can do this in a cost-effective way. And I had clients and people in our community who were asking for more do-it-yourself services or they wanted to play a bigger role in the legal process, and the way we had the law firm set up it would not have been cost-effective for them and it wouldn’t have been a big moneymaker for us because of our overhead.
And so I had to take a bigger dive and to seeing how we could provide these services in a way that made sense for everyone, so that’s kind of the impetus for Hello Divorce.
The other strong motivator for me was that I myself was involved in a criminal action not as the defendant but as a witness, as a teen, I was also a plaintiff in an action. I found the legal process to be dis-empowering, confusing, scary, all of these terrible things, and I really wanted to serve more as a tour guide of sorts. I wanted to figure out a way where I could capitalize on what I’m best at, which is really helping people navigate a very tricky process and move on to that next better version of themselves.
So it seems like a good time especially with so much attention on legal technology to try something new.
Carl Morrison: It’s really, it sounds a lot like the big push across the country, and what you hear and what I’ve heard a lot especially on the west coast here, is a lot about the better access to justice, am I right?
Erin Levine: Yes, absolutely.
Carl Morrison: Yeah.
Erin Levine: I think that we want to provide more bang for the buck, that we are so used to lawyers being able to drive the process and the price and what’s happening is consumers are getting much more demanding, they are getting much more wise and they are saying, hey, I’m going to push back a little bit on this billable hour, I want to see what more you can provide me, and that got me very interested.
Carl Morrison: Which is fantastic, I love it, and I love the concept of your online platform. So let me ask you, I’m assuming when you have a potential client that utilizes your services through the platform, that there’s a conflict check of course that ever present ethical issue of attorney-client privilege, I’m assuming that you have some sort of conflict check to ensure that you’re not representing or assisting both sides of a divorce, am I right?
Erin Levine: You are right. Ethical issues is not just the attorney-client potential conflict, but ethical issues in general are what keep me up at night and wake me up in the morning, because as you know anytime you try something new or outside the box or that challenges, the status quo especially in the legal profession, all eyes are on you to ensure that you are complying.
So I think to answer this question I think what would be helpful is that I back up a little bit and tell you a little bit more about how the platform works.
Carl Morrison: Okay.
Erin Levine: So what happens is that users come to the platform and they can sign up for a free account and with that free account they get access to loads of resources and tools. So as an example and this is all free, there is a glossary which translates legal ease into plain English. There are legal flowcharts, there is a child support calculator, and lots of articles written by lots of very smart professionals especially paralegals that users can take a look at.
With that free membership they get a 15-minute consultation and that consultation is not necessarily done by a lawyer, it’s done by someone a staff member oftentimes on the Hello Divorce team.
Carl Morrison: Okay.
Erin Levine: In that consultation we learn a little bit about the person whether they’re the one who is filing for divorce or whether they’re responding to a divorce, whether they think the action is going to be amicable, whether they are a good candidate for mediation, and we get a good sense for whether or not Hello Divorce is going to be able to help them, because we do not offer full representation through the platform.
And so, somebody who is experiencing violence from their spouse or when there’s like a very big power imbalance, that would not be a good candidate for Hello Divorce.
Fortunately, we seem to be attracting pretty much the exact clientele that we should be working with. So we’re doing something right on that level. I’d love to see a lot more people come to the site, but we’re working on that too.
So once they have had that consultation they get the opportunity to choose what level of service they want, and the most popular service is what we call the Divorce with Benefits, and that service is done by a legal document assistant.
So in California and some other states there are legal document assistants, who actually don’t practice or aren’t regulated by the State Bar Association, rather they are regulated by the business and professionals code. So what we did there is we took my paralegals, one of whom has been working with me since I started practicing law for the last 14 years.
Carl Morrison: That’s great.
Erin Levine: And we had them certified as Legal Document Assistants, and they are able to walk the client through the entire divorce process and prepare and file all of the divorce documents.
Another service that we have which is also quite popular is our DIY Divorce. This is the divorce where people are using our platform, our form generating software, our instructional videos and tune our application to walk themselves through the divorce process.
So with that DIY Divorce we actually don’t need to do a conflict check. Both parties can be using the DIY Divorce, because no lawyer or no staff member has contact with them, except in the rare instance where there’s a technical issue.
When we get to a paralegal or a lawyer-assisted divorce or if someone purchases an ala carte service let’s say to have us review and revise their divorce judgment as an example, that’s when we do a conflict check.
And we’re checking both within the Hello Divorce system but also within the law firms or within the records of the law firms and the contract lawyers that work with Hello Divorce clientele.
Carl Morrison: So it sounds like the — and correct me if I’m wrong, the process of the hellodivorce.com is really not a filter, but it’s there to help guide the litigant in the direction and you’re there and your staff, your paralegals are there to help guide the individual in the route that they need to go and sometimes it sounds like they will need an actual attorney to help them with the more complicated divorce matters.
Erin Levine: Exactly. What we’re trying to do is allow lawyers to do what they enjoy and what they are best at, which is problem-solving, and determining if there are any real legal issues that the client needs to be aware of. But the forms themselves, those are best handled by our paralegals and our document assistants. And the processing in the filing is best done by our paralegals and document assistants, partially because they are the ones who have now developed relationships with the court clerks and the process servers and the notaries and all of the other professionals that go into divorce.
So it makes it far more cost-effective and far more efficient for in most cases the clients to start with the paralegal and then move to the lawyer if necessary and if they can afford it.
Carl Morrison: Right. Great, I love it. So — and I love the fact that you’re using the word paralegals a lot and utilizing paralegals and it makes my heart leap. So you mentioned a little bit about how you utilize your paralegals in your family law practice. So you were also mentioning about your app, that you’ve got, this particular app that you’re developing. While you have been working out the process and I’ll tell you I have seen some of your photos on your Twitter thread of how you were working out giant board with post-it notes, it was very impressive I have to say.
So have you collaborated with your paralegals on the app and the best processes that you’re developing for these clients that will use the app?
Erin Levine: Oh yeah, absolutely a 100%. In fact, I think I have collaborated more with my paralegals than other lawyers, and at least when it comes to the development of the app and the form generating software and the instructional videos and there’s a few reasons for that.
Number one is, and I don’t know if this is a characteristic across the profession or just the paralegals that I happen to surround myself with, but they have this incredible attention to detail and I’m a big picture person.
So they’re catching spelling and grammatical errors and they are also catching when I’m missing stuff or like I’m getting too complicated and not thinking about how a consumer who knows nothing about law would understand or be able to work through the process. So that’s number one.
Number two is, at least with the paralegals I surround myself with, they tend to have really type-A personalities. So they are driven to try something new, to stay committed and to finish it. And one of the most frustrating complaints I had about some lawyers is that they love to start big projects but get too distracted with all the day-to-day work on cases that it never actually gets done.
So my paralegals have kept me on task and they have just done an excellent job at helping me to simplify the divorce process, which is not easy given the fact that it’s quite complicated in most states.
And then finally, I think we underutilized paralegals, which was part of my comment on Twitter, why I was saying, hey, we need someone sexy and cool to come out and speak on behalf of paralegals. This is of course before I knew that you had your podcast which I’m now a huge fan of.
Carl Morrison: Oh thank you.
Erin Levine: Yeah, absolutely. This is — it’s funny because I mentioned it to Shelley, one of my paralegals and she’s like of course I know about it, and I was like what, what is the secret that we don’t get to know like you talk about us and like I never get to hear, but it was really cute that she like had known about it and that she’s a listener. I suspect Kim, my other paralegal who has been practicing for decades is also familiar with it.
But in terms of being underutilized, I think that with law taking a turn and with people and lawyers really trying to develop consumer facing products that are not just services but have a product component to them, there’s no better resource than a paralegal.
I really like to see paralegals thinking beyond the faxing and paperwork, because yes we still do a lot of faxing and the scanning and sending letters or filing away documents. Like paralegals know our clients and they know the lawyers.
So they really have this huge opportunity to help in the creation of this new legal system and legal service delivery.
Carl Morrison: It’s another way to help individuals navigate the waters of the legal system and paralegals do play a huge part in it, and you were mentioning that you don’t know if it’s all paralegals or the paralegals you surround yourself with, but I’ll tell you most paralegals are very detail-driven, they are way type-A personalities. I’m a way A, when it becomes to that type personality.
Erin Levine: I love it.
Carl Morrison: And that’s what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to be the support to attorneys to help you guys not get lost in the forest, to show you the trees, to help you understand when you get bogged down with the detail that’s not relevant, and that’s a huge portion and a big thing that paralegals are trained to do. And any program that a paralegal goes through, those are a lot of the skill sets that are kind of beat into their head.
And you’re mentioning about the profession as a whole and its viability, what do you think makes our profession still a very viable profession? I think it is, but I kind of want to hear you as an attorney, what do you think makes our profession still a very viable?
Erin Levine: Yeah, and I am sure I am going to forget something here and then kick myself later, but let me get started.
Okay, so when I was getting ready to start the Hello Divorce project, I did a design sprint where I interviewed hundreds of people that had either just been through the divorce process or were in the divorce process or they were thinking about divorce. And one of the questions I asked them was what is most important to you, and while technology was important to them there’s no doubt, no doubt in any of their minds, and this actually surprised me that they needed human interaction and human touch.
And I suspect this goes long beyond divorce, but that if you look at other consumer facing areas of law like bankruptcy or landlord tenant, while form generating software is going to be great, it’s not enough. The system is just too complicated and the emotions are just too high to expect that a computer is going to do enough.
So I think one very important role of paralegals is to — is wellness to a certain extent, is to walk the client through the process and be there to answer questions and to spot when there is or might be a legal issue that a lawyer, that they should be talking to a lawyer about.
So that’s the first piece. I think yes, technology is changing and yes, we are getting a lot more law-based applications that consumers can use, but at least in consumer facing areas of law, I don’t see human interaction going away anytime soon if at all.
Another area that I think is going to be very important is something we touched on a little bit earlier, which is that more and more form generating software and other AI tools are coming out and most of them, at least many of the ones that I have tried aren’t working. They aren’t asking the right types of questions to elicit answers that are going to fill out a form in a way that won’t get rejected by the court.
And so I see paralegals taking a very big role if not the lead in helping to develop these products.
Carl Morrison: I agree with you, 100%.
Erin Levine: Yeah. I mean I just — I think that paralegals are more important than ever especially because we have spent a lot of time focusing on the billable hour attorney and these technology-driven solutions. When I say solutions, what’s the word I’m looking for, I don’t necessarily know that they are solutions.
Carl Morrison: Yeah.
Erin Levine: But most people as I said earlier fall somewhere in between. They might not be able to afford a lawyer for full representation or they might not want to spend that kind of money, but a software is not going to get them from point A to point B.
And so we need paralegals and we need them more than ever and not just for the legal help and the processing and filing, but as I said earlier to help communicate with the client, to help spot legal issues, to help the lawyers be able to focus on what they need to be doing and what clients need to be spending their money on, which is actually doing the problem-solving, actually doing the legal work.
The rest of it I think we can all start to be outsourcing more to paralegals especially as consumer demand pushes more and more on us lawyers to provide flat fee or cost-effective services.
Carl Morrison: I agree, a 100% that technology is not there and a little bit too much of what I see in Bar journals and magazines, anything legal news-related, where some people are kind of getting up in arms over AI replacing legal professionals and technology is taking over the job.
I disagree 100% to that, because you’re never going to get rid of the human interaction that is necessary in our particular profession and technology is a tool. It’s not a replacement of an individual in our profession and you can’t automate it 110%. You still have to have a trained legal professional, paralegal attorney to help an individual navigate the legal system.
Erin Levine: Yeah.
Carl Morrison: So let’s take a short commercial break and when we come back, we’ll continue our conversation with Erin. So don’t turn that dial.
Carl Morrison: 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.
This episode of The Paralegal Voice is brought to you by CourtFiling.net, your solution for electronic filing in California, Illinois, Indiana and Texas. CourtFiling.net provides a better e-filing experience so you can spend more time helping clients. Because they know that work sometimes happens after hours, CourtFiling.net offers 24/7 phone, email, and chat support. Visit CourtFiling.net to receive 30 days of unlimited free electronic filings and see how you too can e-file court documents with ease.
Carl Morrison: Welcome back. We’re talking with Erin Levine from hellodivorce.com, and all about the paralegal industry and some impacts that we’re seeing in the industry. And so what do you think, we were just talking before the break about technology and its impact. So Erin, I am going to ask you to gaze into your crystal ball and when it comes to Artificial Intelligence and the legal industry, what do you see, what do you foresee the future be?
Erin Levine: That is a loaded question and I could probably opine on it for hours, and since I’m told I need to speed up my answers, let me just make a couple comments on it.
Carl Morrison: Okay.
Erin Levine: So as I said earlier, I’m really leery of anyone who thinks that they can solve a legal problem with technology only. We are utilizing AI in our app to ensure that we are not asking people questions that don’t pertain to them or having them fill out forms that would be rejected by the court.
And so I think it is very, very important to have this technology, but I think for the most part it’s just not going to be enough, and I’m very leery of any app especially in the divorce world or the bankruptcy or even landlord tenant, that says, hey, you can get through this legal issue start to finish with just an app, because what we’re talking about with those kind of situations, those kind of legal issues, is not just a form, we are talking about a complicated legal process.
And so while some people I do believe are going to be able to get through our app, start to finish, if they have a very, very easy uncontested divorce, I think the majority of people are going to take us up on our offer to access legal services either with a paralegal or a lawyer.
I don’t think that we need to be using lawyers and paralegals as much as we are. I think that this is a great time in both of our professions to start looking about how we can streamline, how we can be more efficient, how we can incorporate wellness into how we talk to our clients, but I really don’t believe that technology is going to take our job.
Carl Morrison: I agree. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. So our industry, ours meaning the paralegal profession, we’re still considered a relatively young profession, we’ve really only been around formally for 45-plus years. Do you think — do you see with other attorneys that you work with or on the other side of cases, do you think that attorneys still don’t see the benefit of fully utilizing a paralegal or fully understanding what a paralegal does?
Erin Levine: Yes, and I think I’m — I’ve probably been guilty of that as well. I think that there is so much more that paralegals can be offering our practices, and we don’t necessarily take advantage of that. I think the best example of lawyers who have done a good job at really utilizing paralegals to the best of their abilities are solo attorneys, right, who are trying to practice law and run a business and they have a million things that need to get done and so generally in those offices what we see our paralegals jumping in and doing everything from the bookkeeping to reception, answering the phones and their actual paralegal work.
But I think where we’re missing especially in light of the fact as you said that so many paralegals are so detail-oriented and so type-A is that they can be helping us to build standard operating procedures within our practices. And those procedures allow for a couple things.
Number one is, if a staff member takes a leave of absence or leave for whatever reason, having standard operating procedures really helps us to bring someone on fairly quickly.
And the second is by paralegals helping us to develop systems it allows us as an office to be more of a team, to be able to pick up when someone is overwhelmed. And I really like to encourage that within my own office that we all know a little bit of everything, such that no one person is handling all of one task, because that puts an extraordinary amount of pressure on that person, but also an extraordinary amount of pressure on the office. Because we’re really reliant on that one person and if they need to step out for whatever reason, we are in trouble.
Carl Morrison: Right, it’s — you can’t work in a silo, and I agree with you a 100% when it comes to working in, especially in smaller offices you have to have a really strong team environment, and I’ve worked in large law firms and departments of large law firms, I’ve worked in midsize, and I’ve worked in small. And one thing that I’ve been blessed in every position I’ve ever had, and now I work in a corporate environment, which is really focuses in on this, is I’ve been blessed to have really strong team environments, everyone from the senior partner down to the receptionist understands that they have roles in an office, but they don’t work in a silo.
And that someone else may need to be cross-trained on how to answer the phones, someone else may be needed to be cross-trained on preparing a FedEx label, whatever the case maybe, because like you said it puts a lot of pressure on one person, that when they’re out and God forbid they’re out because they’re ill, then work comes to a grinding halt because no one knows how to do fill in the blanks.
So, yeah, I agree with you 100% there, you really have to have a really good strong team environment in an office.
Erin Levine: But it’s just so great that you have that unique perspective of having worked in solo, small, midsize, corporate, I mean you bring such a great perspective to the industry and I love it.
One thing I was going to say is that I really encourage paralegals who oftentimes are used to taking the back seat, to step forward, and if there’s a skill that you enjoy or that you’re good at or both, to share that with the lawyers in your firm.
Because as lawyers we are so busy with cases and trying to get that last bit of work done, we’re not necessarily thinking about how we can further your career and when we further your career, it helps us all on so many different levels.
And so make yourself indispensable and remind us about the talent that you bring, which is far more important than just focusing on knowing one law or how to argue that law in court. When you can bring in new perspective and think creatively about things like marketing, that’s going to be incredibly important for the office.
Carl Morrison: You know, Erin, I think you and I need to do a CLE for a Bar, County Bar, State Bar, where we’ve got a captive audience of attorneys on how to properly use a paralegal. I think that’s how we can maybe rectify that problem, so I am going to have to think about that. That’s some way that to get out the message to attorneys on there’s a lot more on properly utilizing a paralegal. So, okay —
Erin Levine: I love that. I love that idea. I think we should do it, and it will allow me to think more about it, so I think that’s great.
Carl Morrison: Yeah.
Erin Levine: Plus I need to start connecting with paralegals in other states, so it’s a win-win.
Carl Morrison: Good, yay.
Erin Levine: Yeah.
Carl Morrison: So I am going to circle back to the app, your Hello Divorce app, and okay, listeners, I’m not a paid spokesperson, so don’t think I’m selling it, but I want to talk about a little bit about this DIY type software, self-serve websites. Do you think it’s going to have a positive impact on the paralegal profession instead of a negative, what do you think it will have a positive impact?
Erin Levine: I do, personally I do, and I can tell you that the lawyers are spending a lot more hate mails than paralegals, because at least, at least the way Hello Divorce works and I want to let you know that the vast majority, just like the vast majority of the people who use Hello Divorce are getting through their divorce start to finish.
So we are not like most divorce technology sites where really we’re covering as a lawyer-referral service. That’s not it at all. We really want people to be able to use our site start to finish, and the vast majority of our services that we offer at Hello Divorce are do it for you, and they’re done by paralegals.
So I’ve actually had to increase the number of paralegals that I have in my office not decrease, even though I’ve brought on form generating software and other things that you would ordinarily think that a paralegal would do.
So I do think there’s going to be fear. I do think it’s going to take a time of adjustment, but this is precisely why I went on Twitter and did this huge call-out for paralegals, because I think they are more important than ever I really do.
Carl Morrison: Totally, when I saw that tweet, I was just like I fell in love with you, Erin, I thought oh my gosh, this is fantastic. An attorney is out there putting out a major call to my profession and putting a call out to the rest of the attorneys across the Twitterverse that you got to use paralegals, which I just I can’t say enough.
So thank you for on behalf of my — what I call my brothers and sisters in law, in law, thank you very much for that.
Erin Levine: Yes.
Carl Morrison: So as to your soon to be released app that you’ve got coming out, do you have plans to broaden the horizons in the way of expanding into other areas of law? Do you practice only in family? I know you said you have a specialty in family law, do you work in any other areas? Do you foresee broadening or collaborating with other attorneys, paralegals in other areas in California?
Erin Levine: Yeah. Well, I would love to. Right now I have my hands full with divorce, because I definitely want to expand into other states and I’m finding that it’s quite challenging. But I also am working on another platform which is called Love in Real Life, and it’s a platform that people can go to, to learn and understand the laws that pertain you when you get married, and if people want to opt out of the default marital laws they can craft their own prenup on the site that is ultimately reviewed and revised by a lawyer and certified.
Carl Morrison: I love that.
Erin Levine: So that is another project I’m working on, but I don’t think you’ll see me launch anything outside of the family law world, but you may see me collaborating or consulting on something else.
Carl Morrison: I love it, I love it and I love that concept of doing the before marriage, the prenup aspect, I think that’s also an underrepresented, underutilized area that definitely certain individuals could use help with. So I love it, that’s fantastic.
Erin Levine: Thank you.
Carl Morrison: So I know we’re kind of running out of time. You and I could — I can tell, if you and I were in person right now we would be probably talking for the next four hours non-stop.
Erin Levine: It’s true, it’s totally true, yeah.
Carl Morrison: So I have one last question and I always have to have a fun question for my guests on the show and so I have to ask you, when I was looking at your full little description on Twitter it said, “Ghost out of parties.” So I have to know, does that mean, are you the first to disappear after you’ve arrived at a party? What does that mean?
Erin Levine: Not necessarily the first. I call myself an extroverted introvert. I love time on my own and I love socializing but like I get to a point where I just can’t do it anymore and so oftentimes people — I’ll be there for a few hours and then somebody will turn around and it’s like where’s Erin and I have just kind of taken off usually because somebody’s like engrossed in conversation and I don’t want to bother them or I just need to get out of there because that’s who I am. So, yeah, on occasion I ghost out of parties.
Carl Morrison: I love that phrase, I never heard it before and I love it. People probably say I’m an extrovert, I’m not, I’m an introvert extrovert. I mean I can do well in a social setting and I do like to engage in conversation. I can Yammer on forever. People that know me that are listening are going, oh yeah, Carl can go on forever. I don’t ghost out our parties. I almost wind up living at a party because when I’m trying to say goodbye, I’m trying to say goodbye to everybody. So my goodbyes last about an hour. So it’s like everyone’s already leaving and I’m still there trying to say goodbyes.
Erin Levine: Well, that’s probably a much more healthier, social way to be, yeah, I think that’s great.
Carl Morrison: I think I’m going to take a leaf out of your notebook and try the ghosting out, see if I can like quietly just leave but I don’t know, not me I can’t do it.
Erin Levine: You got to leave, you want people to leave wanting more —
Carl Morrison: Yeah, there you go.
Erin Levine: And so you ghost out, they’re going to say where’s Carl? I didn’t get to finish that conversation. I want to see that guy again.
Carl Morrison: There you go. I love that, okay, I am going to do that. Well, Erin, thank you so much for joining me today on our show. I’ve really enjoyed it. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If a listener wanted to get in touch with you, how would they do it?
Erin Levine: Yeah, so I’m so glad you asked and I am really interested in meeting and connecting with paralegals in other states especially as we start to plan our launch in different states. So you can find me on Twitter and Instagram at the @hellodivorce. You can also email me [email protected] or find me on LinkedIn.
Carl Morrison: Fantastic, and Erin, I’m going to tell you, you have to send at least one or two of your paralegals to the NALA Conference that’s in July in Phoenix so I can meet them because I want to hear all the stories about Erin.
Erin Levine: Awesome. Well, one of my best friends lives in Phoenix so I might just have to be there but I’d love to –
Carl Morrison: Then you need to come, yeah, definitely. Okay, great.
Erin Levine: Yeah, so maybe we will all make that conference. I’ll take a look at it, and yeah, it sounds great.
Carl Morrison: Great, great. Thanks again Erin and stay tuned after the break for the Listener’s Voice, that’s your segment to share with me and my listeners, your questions and comments, so stay tuned, we’ll be right back.
NALA offers continuing education, professional development and voluntary certification for all paralegals. The Certified Paralegal credential has been awarded to more than 19,000 paralegals. The Certified Paralegal Program is also the first paralegal certification program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. NALA works actively with all those in the legal field to promote the value of paralegals and to advance paralegal professionalism. Learn more about NALA at www.nala.org.
Looking for a process server you can trust, serve-now.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 services to 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 www.serve-now.com.
Carl Morrison: Welcome back. First I wanted to share with you some information about NALA’s upcoming conference. Join over 300 NALA’s members for the 2019 NALA Conference and Expo. That’s July 11th through the 13th. This year’s conference will be held at the luxurious Westin Kierland Resort & Spa located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
This three-day educational event will provide attendees with superior networking opportunities, a chance to earn up to 13 hours of CLE and over 30 sessions developed to help elevate your paralegal and professional skills.
So definitely come find me at the conference. I’m going to be there, I’m planning a little bit something up my sleeve, so don’t miss out. Send me a message that you’re coming. I would love to hear that you’re coming and love to — if I haven’t met you, I’d love to meet you. So definitely come to NALA’s Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, July 11th through 13th.
So I also want to give out a little bit of a shout-out to the listeners. Of recent, I’ve been getting a lot of emails, and tweets, and messages, direct messages through LinkedIn. About the Listener’s Voice and how much you guys are enjoying the show and it really, it makes me so excited to know that you guys love the show and love what we’re doing, and so I’m thrilled you find it exciting and engaging and it’s really because of you guys, the listeners that our show made the ABA Journal’s top 100 web in the category of one of the best law podcasts out there. So thank you listeners for making the show an ABA Journal top 100.
So, for those that are new to the show, maybe this is the first time you’ve been listening to. The Listener’s Voice is an opportunity for you as a listener, you know, send me an email with any of your questions or your career celebrations, anything like that, I’ll read those that want them to be read online and if there’s a particular topic that you want to question for me that you want to answer and you’d like for it to be answered on the show or maybe a prior guest you had listened to, you have a question for them, send me an email and make your voice the listener’s voice known and heard.
So send your email to me at [email protected] and I will read through them and we’ll get those answered for you. So keep them coming, keep the questions coming, keep the great words of encouragement and messages coming, we really love to see them.
And that’s all the time we have today for The Paralegal Voice. Again, if you have questions about today’s show please email them to me or maybe you have a question for Erin Levine, send them to me at [email protected], and of course, stay tuned for more information in upcoming podcast for exciting paralegal trends, news and engaging in fun interviews from leading paralegals and other leading legal professionals.
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.
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.
Ken & Anna Buchner give insights into the area of motor vehicle accident recording and reconstruction.