At the beginning of the year, host Carl Morrison challenged listeners to set professional goals that would help them grow as paralegals. Now he wants to know—how are you doing with your resolutions? There’s still a bit of 2019 left! Carl gives an update on the progress he’s made toward his personal goals and takes the time to highlight the most memorable moments in Paralegal Voice interviews throughout the past year.
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, or to let Carl know how your goals are progressing, email him at devoted2l[email protected]
Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA, ServeNow, CourtFiling.net and Legalinc.
The Paralegal Voice
Highlight Reel: The Paralegal Voice’s Year in Review
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, 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 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 CourtFiling.net; e-file court documents with ease in California, Illinois, Indiana and Texas. To learn more, visit CourtFiling.net to take advantage of a fee 30-day trial.
And 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.
And finally, Legalinc. Legalinc makes it easy for paralegals to digitally automate tasks like business formations, corporate filings and registered agent services nationwide. Visit legalinc.com/podcast today to create your free account.
Well, everyone, it’s that time of the year. I won’t break out into song, but my favorite time of the year, in fact. It’s the holiday season and it is time to really reflect, think about the Year in Review, be thankful, of course, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and be with those who bring you joy and love. And that’s whether it’s your family, being with your family or your friends or hey, even your pets. I call them my fur babies.
And so, this is the time of year that I think it seems to bring up the best in everyone and like I said Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m hoping and wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving Meal and Thanksgiving Holiday. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t say, don’t forget about those who are truly less fortunate than you.
Ask your paralegal friends, please take time to donate, donate to a local homeless shelter, a food bank or a charity of your choice and just share and be with those who are truly in need. So be thankful and give thanks.
Today’s show is what I’m calling a Year in Review, The Highlight Reel. I guess you could call it, or you could even call it and I’m calling it the Thanksgiving Gobbler Show. And so I wanted to share with you some of the best highlights from my other shows this year, talk about some of the hot trends and paralegal news that’s hit the airwaves of recent and just kind of share with you guys if you haven’t been — maybe it’s the first time listener, give you a little bit of highlight and teasers for you to go back and listen to some of the other shows that you’ve missed this year for 2019.
So let’s just dive right in, how about it?
So first up, this year one of my first shows we talked about was the new year and talking about new goals, and do you remember what I asked you the listener to do this year? You probably forgot, maybe you didn’t, maybe you made yourself a note on your bulletin board. That’s right, I asked you if you had set or are going to set any new goal or goals for the year. So did you? Did you go, you know what Carl, I am going to set up a new goal or maybe more than one goal for the year. Did you set them up? Did you actually set a goal for yourself?
I talked about stepping outside of your comfort zone. Did you do that? Did you step out of that comfort zone at work and maybe take on new responsibilities? I will tell you that I did. I stepped outside of my comfort zone a little bit and I won’t tell you exactly what I did, but just know that I did. I set myself a goal to step out of what I had gotten to do for the past two and a half years at this particular job, now it’s three years if you can believe it.
But yeah I did. I set myself a goal and I step to it and I did. Maybe for you it was like learning a new area of law, asking your attorney hey, I want to learn about XYZ. I know attorney X down the hall is doing it, could I maybe help him or her in this new particular area of law?
Maybe your goal was to join an association like NALA or NFPA. Did you join one of those paralegal associations? Did you take a certification exam like the CPA exam from NALA or the RPE from NFPA? I will tell you guys and I’m holding you all — I’m holding myself accountable to you guys. I did set myself the goal of taking the CPA exam this year. I’m getting ready to take it. I’m a little nervous and I don’t know why I’m nervous about taking the exam, but I am.
So just hold me in your thoughts and well wishes to succeed on taking the CP, and I — for you guys that are taking Certification Exam, I’m sending you positive vibes and well wishes to do well on the exam.
So what about the trends for this year? What did you see and some of what was happening. If you remember from my show earlier this year, one of the shows, I talked about the Limited License Legal Technician Program in Washington State. You’ve probably heard it referred to as the LLLT.
Well, some of these other states are coming on board with similar programs and in fact, sister states to where I live Utah. Utah started their, what’s known as the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Program or the LPP. They started that this year and it’s moving along. They’ve got it implemented. It started. The last I saw there were many different paralegals in Utah that were signing up and signing up for the required educational program that you had to go through to become licensed and become a Licensed Paralegal Practitioner in Utah.
And I think if I’m not mistaken, they’ll start actually issuing licenses by the end of the year. I haven’t seen any news about any of the first batch of licenses come out yet. I think they are just finished up their educational program through local university there in Utah, but I think once you go through that then and set for the licensing exam then you get licensed.
So I think we’re just waiting for that first batch of licenses to come through. Maybe I need to find out who becomes Licensed Paralegal Practitioner, may be have them on the show, have them talk about the process and what it’s like in Utah.
I know the areas of law that the Utah’s Licensed Paralegal Practitioner or LPP is covering includes more than just what Washington State was doing. Washington just has family law, but Utah, they are doing family law, landlord-tenant and debt collection and to me, those are three areas that really truly have a desperate need for qualified individuals to really assist a person navigate the court system.
It’s horrible and in fact I just read an article this morning to be honest in Bloomberg News with the headline that said Going to Court Without a Lawyer Is New Normal for U.S. Litigants, and I was like what the heck, how sad is that. That in Bloomberg News that’s the headline. That’s the headline about individuals navigating the court system a litigant without a lawyer.
Well to me, that’s really like the equivalent of saying okay a headline is going to read patient performs own gallbladder surgery or patient removes wisdom tooth with own surgical instruments, are you kidding me. You wouldn’t perform your own medical procedures but here in the United States that seems to be that it’s okay to navigate the legal system without a qualified individual to assist. You can’t afford an attorney and so you’re thinking I need help, I’m being wrongfully evicted from my residence or I’ve got unscrupulous collectors doing things that it’s against the law and I can’t afford an attorney because I’m in the midst of a debt collection.
So okay, I’m going to try to do this myself and the access to justice is a real problem and it’s a problem here in the United States and I think we as paralegals should be doing everything we can to make sure that we’re standing up for those that are less fortunate than us and making sure that there are ethical and legal affordable legal services out there.
And for us even if you are anti-regulation or licensure if that’s your stance, which I will support you in that, I have an opinion, I won’t say what my opinion is, but pro or against but even if that’s you’re in the anti-camp of regulation then you should be doing everything you can as a paralegal to assist even at for example, I don’t know a will clinic with your local County Bar Association. Get out there and do what you can to help those less off navigate the judicial system, the legal system because there is a true need for access, affordable access to justice.
And so, while we’re on the subject of regulation the National Federation of Paralegal Associations or NFPA they just recently released their updated chart of paralegal regulation by State.
Now if you’ve never seen this particular chart you should get out there, go look for it, go pull it up, but I’m asking every listener of the podcast, get out there, go look at the update chart and see what your state is doing or not doing. You can find the chart by navigating to NFPA’s website at paralegals.org or just googling paralegal regulation by state chart and pretty much that’s that first link you’ll see it.
There are many states that are investigating some kind of LLLT program or broadening the scope of access to justice. So look at the chart. If you’re in one of those states that are investigating some sort of LLLT program, get involved whether you’re pro or against, get involved. Make your voice known. If your state isn’t doing anything, then get with your paralegal association and get involved.
Step outside of your comfort zone if that was one of your goals this year, I hope it was, step outside and get involved. It doesn’t matter whether you are for or against regulation it affects us all.
And so the goal is to make sure that all citizens have the right and ability to have equal justice under the law, isn’t that what it says on the United States Supreme Court building up above says, Equal Justice Under Law, yeah, we should be all taking those words to heart and making sure that everyone in the United States has the ability and have equal justice under the law.
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. You are probably going, Carl, all right, we got it, we’ll get involved, please.
All right, let’s see what else did we talk about this year in relation to the trends for 2019, oh yeah, technology.
I want to tell you guys this year I became a member of CLOC, which stands for Corporate Legal Operations Consortium. It’s made up of individuals in the corporate legal operations arena which includes corporate paralegals like myself, which is a topic for another show on how paralegals can transition into legal operations type roles and corporate legal departments, but I digress.
When I attended the CLOC Conference, the conference was actually held in May of this year. It was a huge three-day event and a huge part of the event was about integration of technology into the practice of law in the corporate legal environment but also in a law firm environment.
And it was all about — a lot of the sessions had to deal with streamlining processes within a department, integrating artificial intelligence like into contracts review, eDiscovery, things of that nature.
Guys I can’t tell you the sessions were amazing and there were over 2,000 people in attendance and I was like whoa, I was overwhelmed. It was a little bit of a culture shock for me because I’m used to like attending the NALA Conference with just over 500 attendees. I can pretty much navigate. I know pretty much most of the attendees. This, I was blown out of the water.
The Exhibit Hall was just insane and the sheer number of exhibitors that were there they had over a hundred plus exhibitors and most of the exhibitors at this particular conference were technology type vendors and I couldn’t even visit all of them.
There was not enough time in the day between trying to attend sessions and then going to visit with an exhibitor. It was like insane.
Of course, I’m a swag fiend and I love swag at a conference. So they had a lot of sorts of cool swag, and I of course had to pick up a big chunk of it, but it was also educational for me going into the Exhibit Hall to see what technology is out there and what’s being created to assist us in our jobs and of course, technology is not going to replace us, it can’t. Technology can only enhance our jobs and our services that we provide.
So even if you’re not in corporate legal operations and a member of CLOC; if you’re a member of NALA or NFPA and you go to one of their conferences, even if you’re not a member of one of those which you need to be, go to the conference and go to the Exhibit Hall and visit with those technology exhibitors. You are going to learn so much even if it’s a technology that you don’t use, go learn about it, see what it’s all about because it may affect you at some point.
I have always thought about those corporate type exhibitors at a conference when I was not in corporate legal department and I go oh, I don’t need to visit those. Well yeah, I needed to visit those because that’s how you learn about contracts, management systems and registered agent services and things of that nature.
So learn about, that’s one of the ways that you learn about technology is going and visiting with the exhibitors.
Of course, my final trend that I talked about in the show this year was education and certification.
You know and longtime listeners know those are my favorite subjects. I’m going to always beat the drum of education and certification and these are always going to be trends and without them, we don’t have a profession.
So stay on top of my advice to you guys is to stay on top of attending those CLE sessions, get out there and join NALA or NFPA, get your certification, you don’t have to be like me and get all of them, but at least one of them and make a difference in our profession, make a difference in your own life and I think that’s how you remain relevant, that’s how you grow personally and professionally is continuing to learn and getting your certification.
We’re going to take a short commercial break. Of course, I’ve got lots more to talk about from this year as my review highlight, Thanksgiving Gobbler Show, so don’t turn that dial. I’ll be right back.
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Carl Morrison: Today’s episode is brought to you by Legalinc. Legalinc is empowering paralegals to embrace their inner legal rock star by automating the everyday tasks that hold them back. Through their free dashboard solution, paralegals can quickly and easily automate services like business formations, corporate filings, registered agent services and more. Visit legalinc.com to create a free account and check out legalinc.com/podcast for a chance to win legal rock star swag.
Carl Morrison: Welcome back to The Paralegal Voice, I am Carl Morrison and this is your Thanksgiving Gobbler Show, gobble, gobble. Are you enjoying your Thanksgiving Meal you’re probably not listening to the podcast and eating Thanksgiving, but maybe you are just because you’re trying to tune out your family, just kidding.
So Thanksgiving, what’s your favorite dish? I bet you guys can’t guess what my favorite is, I’m in a million years you’re probably thinking, oh it’s cranberry sauce or it’s dressing, which are all good ones too, but my favorite I’ll tell you and my favorite is green bean casserole.
Okay I’m sure some of you guys are turning green and getting nauseous just hearing me talk about it. I saw this whole thing on Twitter about how disgusting green bean casserole is. I love it it’s my favorite. I know many people either they despise it or absolutely abore that dish, but it’s my favorite. And my sister makes the best.
And I’m going to be going home for Thanksgiving and I hope when I get back home to the great state of Oklahoma, she’s going to have a casserole dish full of it for me because it’s my favorite although, I won’t be able to take any home because it won’t travel very well on a plane. So anyway okay where do we leave off before the commercial break? Oh yeah, we were talking about trends for 2019 and some of the highlights from my interviews this year.
Well, one of my guests I had on this year was Sandy Lavender from Clark Hill in Phoenix and she was talking about recruitment strategies for paralegals. I would love to know if you’re listening and you haven’t written to me in the past, if you change jobs this year send me a note, I’d love to know if there was a lot of changing going on out there in the profession.
If you did change your job let me know. What was your experience like getting out there, submitting your resume, going in for an interview, what was it like? Do you remember what some of the things that Sandy talked about in her interview with interviewing and recruiting and things of that nature? Well proofing. Did you proof and reproof your resume to make sure you didn’t have any spelling errors?
Remember, she talked about and remarked that spelling, punctuation, and grammar can be deal-breakers on a resume. I know for certain attorneys I’ve worked for one that it was a deal breaker, get a resume and he would see one error on it, nope, not even considering. And that’s pretty brutal but yeah it can be, because for me as an individual who has reviewed resumes and interviewed people, it shows a level of attention to detail.
So if you’re not paying attention to your own resume, how do I know that you’re paying attention to a pleading that’s going to be filed? So always make sure that you’re reviewing and proofing your resume. You want to make sure that your resume is tight when it comes to things like that.
Also Sandy talked about interviewing techniques and we talked about — she said go into an interview knowing all about the company or the firm you’re applying to. I always say Google their name before you go into an interview, Google about the firm or the company that you’re going to go interview for. See if there’s any interesting recent news article that may be about them. The more informative you are of the company or the firm or the attorney that you’re interviewing with, the better.
Also when you go into an interview, you want to be confident but you don’t want to be cocky. You don’t want to be like I’m Miss or Mr. Know-it-all and you’re going to hire me because I am awesome. Well, you want to exude confidence but you won’t don’t want to exude oh I know everything and you can’t tell me otherwise, uh-hmm, sorry.
And finally, one of the other things she said was after an interview, be sure that you follow up with the interviewer or the recruiter and let them know that you enjoyed meeting them, that you have a real interest in the position, that in my word just is basically closing the loop or closing the deal.
You want to show them that hey, I really enjoyed our time together. I really have an interest in your company. Let’s go to step two, whether it’s a second round of interviews or what the case might be, you want to show that you’re interested in the job because that means the world to the person that’s doing the interviewing.
I know from experience when I’ve interviewed people and get a thank you note, even a thank you email, I like getting an actual thank you letter sent to me but even an email saying, thank you for the time means the world to the interviewer.
We also got to speak with Erin Levine this year if you remember that particular show, she is an attorney out of California who created a self-help online website and an application, it’s called hellodivorce.com. And it’s a self-help type of thing and it goes to my access — equal access to justice see coming thread here this year.
But it’s about — that interview was about how paralegals can play an integral part, enroll in not only supporting their attorney but in development of legal products such as Erin’s particular website.
She talked about how indispensable a paralegal can be in her practice, but not only with the client management and interaction, but developing the app and the website. When she was developing the workflow process she talked about how her paralegal was very integral in helping figure out the workflow on how it would work through the app.
And like I said it goes back to what I was talking about earlier with the access to justice and being able to help those who can’t afford that $500 an hour attorney and want to do it themselves. And of course it made me feel all giddy when we were talking and I found out she was following me on Twitter and singing praises on my Twitter feed about having a great paralegal in your practice and I was just like, yeah this is so exciting, I love this lady, because I love it when attorneys recognize our worth and talent we bring into the practice of law and sing our praises to the public.
So I mean don’t you — don’t you love it when not our own — even our own attorneys singing our praises of course, it’s an ego boost, but when you see comments by other attorneys about paralegals and about our profession and what a vital part we play in justice, I love it, it makes me all giddy. I can’t explain it in any other way. It’s just something for me it means the world.
Another interview we did and I’ll have to say guys, this was a highlight for me this year personally, was getting to interview the current President of NALA, Jill Francisco. Since the interview I got to meet her in person. I got to hang out with her a little bit at the NALA Conference and her installation dinner, which was a great honor for me to be invited to it, and I tell you guys she is a hoot, Jill is hilarious. I think you guys remember our episode, she and I can talk for hours. And I say she’s a good old southern girl with a big heart and big personality and for me it was a pleasure getting to speak with her.
During my interview with her you probably remember she regaled us with a recent funny story of her walking up to the podium at the NALA Conference in St. Louis, remember that and she was talking about how another member had to bring her up a stepstool to stand on, so she could see over the podium because she’s so, so short. It was funny, it was really funny to hear her talk about that.
But we got to talk about really the importance of joining an association like NALA and really stepping up, talking about stepping up to take on leadership roles. So let me ask you, did you do that this year? Did you volunteer to serve on a committee or even do one little task for your spring seminar that your association does or will clinic or whatever, and if you haven’t, why haven’t you?
You don’t have to volunteer to run for local chapter Association President and I have a very dear friend of mine who was in Phoenix that jokes that, she says I’m going to be President of our local NALA Affiliate Chapter before you know it, and I keep saying no I’m not, no, I’m not. She’s like, oh yes you are.
But you have to run for President, even asking to serve on a committee, really can provide you with so much and not only personally but professionally. I think I said it in the past I would not be where I am today without having served in some position whether it being a national leadership position or serving on a local or national committee. I gained so much personally and professionally from my time in those positions. For me it’s not about leading, but more about giving back and serving others.
I have as a leader — there’s different leadership styles that you can be tested over and so and so forth, and for me my leadership style is a servant’s heart and it means the world to me to be able to give a hand up to those who are coming in behind me. I do that in teaching, I do that in speaking, I do that in leadership positions, is giving back and helping give that hand up to the person behind me to come up and because at some point I will retire and I want them to have the same opportunities and experiences that I had.
So if you’re not serving in any capacity, I hope you take the time and get involved even at a local level. I mean it is important and it’s important to not only your local Association but to the industry as a whole when you step up and serve. It’s important, that’s how we survive as paralegals, that’s how our industry started, where people stepping out of their comfort zones and just taking a willingness to get out there and get their hands dirty.
Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, Jill and I talked about legislation in our profession and how NALA went to bat for the CP certification in Louisiana. You probably remember me talking about when Louisiana – there are a particular legislature they were trying to pass a bill that was basically against all forms of certification in that state not just paralegal certification but any kind of certification. And what it would have done and meant for certified paralegals working at State, so I’m saying thank you to those leaders in NALA and locally in Louisiana for stepping up and protecting what I think is one of our most precious commodities which is certifications.
My favorite, favorite, favorite biggest highlight for me for this year on The Paralegal Voice was getting to do a series of interviews with a variety of individuals from the NALA Conference in Scottsdale. Besides the fact it was miserably hot during the day and mind you, it was like a balmy 115 degrees while we were there. So it was hotter than heck. I still had a fantastic and great time getting to do these interviews and attending the conference.
NALA had their record attendance at this particular conference and they had over 500 attendees and I was like whoa, I couldn’t believe it, and I got to meet so many wonderful new paralegals and even had an impromptu mix and mingle with corporate legals from around the country. About 20 of us got together and we sat in the hotel lobby bar and had a glass of wine and sat and talked about our great things and bad things and what challenges we were encountering as corporate paralegals. So I loved it, absolutely loved it.
One of our sessions that I recorded was with Jeffrey Wolff of ZyLAB and we had what I call was a thrilling conversation about e-discovery trends and the basics of e-discovery. ZyLAB was an exhibitor at the conference, like I said I wouldn’t met them, and Jeff was gracious enough to be a guest on my show and for those that don’t know my specialty certifications in e-discovery. So needless to say, I sort of geeked out with Jeff getting to talk about e-discovery with a fellow technology geek. But it was a great interview, so if you’re new to the world of e-discovery and want to hear some trends in it, I recommend you go listen to that interview. It was a great session.
I also interviewed while at the NALA Conference Accident Reconstructionists and Experts Ken and Anna Buchner. And we got to talk about retaining experts, making sure they have everything they need and just some of the basics of accident reconstruction. Ken was a speaker at the conference. His session on accident reconstruction was fascinating. I loved it. It was a great session and if you’re our NALA member and weren’t able to attend the conference, you can get those recordings of the sessions at the NALA website.
Another great interview while in Scottsdale was talking about the benefits of paralegal certification. And I got to talk with the past National President of NALA Kelly LaGrave and if I haven’t said it enough during this Thanksgiving Gobbler Show, I’ll say it again, certification, I love it. I believe certification is a positive thing. It sets you apart from every paralegal that isn’t certified.
So I — if you didn’t listen to that show, go back and listen to it. If you have an interest in becoming certified, Kelly and I had a great conversation and I highly recommend it and I know that Kelly does too. So definitely go back and listen.
I also spoke with NALA CEO Dr. Greta Zeimetz from NALA and we had a fun and engaging conversation about membership engagement and how to get others involved in an association whether it be at the national level or at a local level, just getting involved. And have I said it enough times, be a member, be a member, be a member, be a member.
Greta has since left the Association and we miss her and wish her all the best in her new endeavors, but we do have a new CEO that will be coming on board soon and maybe I have — we will need to have an interview with her soon.
Remember me talking earlier about corporate legal operations and the advent of that new industry in position. Well, when I was at the NALA Conference, if you remember I sat down with the past National President Vicki Kunz about some of these new and exciting trends and opportunities, which included legal operations. So if you didn’t listen that was a great show. I loved it. Vicki is a great individual too.
And of course, attending the NALA Conference is a great time for me. I love conferences. I love attending conferences. I love to learn, but more importantly it’s like homecoming for me. It’s my time to not only learn with my peers on new legal trends and laws, but it’s my time to get to see people whom I haven’t seen in a year. It’s like going home and I always feel rejuvenated and revived after a conference. I know others do.
One of the other shows I did was with the first timer Sherron and Melissa Hamilton, Vice President of NALA and talking about what it’s like going to a conference. So I’m going to tell you guys don’t miss out on next year’s NALA Conference, which is in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And if you’re an NFPA member you even want to be sure don’t miss out on their conference in Minnesota next October.
I’m hoping to attend both conferences next year. So Minnesota might be a little chilly being October. So I’m not a fan of the cold, but I still want to go and attend it and of course, I’ll be at the NALA Conference in Atlantic City in July next year. So I recommend that you attend one or both of those conferences.
And of course my most recent, the last couple of shows that I did was about becoming that Indispensable Paralegal, I met with Candess Zona-Mendola, and then I also talked about the core basics of ethics for paralegals with Keith Shannon. Candess and I got to talk about her book that she wrote about, becoming the indispensable paralegal, and I’m going to tell you guys that was a great interview. I loved meeting Candess and I think her book should be required, a required reading for paralegal students when they first start a program, even if you’re a first couple of years of coming out of a program, get the book. She had some really great anecdotes and tips on being and surviving the paralegal industry, trial practice, being a litigation paralegal, things of that nature. I think it’s a must read for all, so get her book, Becoming the Indispensable Paralegal and I highly recommend it.
And then of course, Keith Shannon and I, Keith is a paralegal instructor and he and I got to talk about ethics last month and had a great time talking about the very subject that is very near and dear to my heart. Like I tell paralegal students, you’re going to learn ethics if I have to break every bone in your body to do it, you will learn ethics. Okay, that’s a little excessive, but it seriously, without legal ethics our industry is doomed. So it’s not only vital for lawyers to know and learn ethics but paralegals as well.
It looks like we’re running out of time, so I’m going to take a short break and when we return after station identification, we will wrap up the show. So stay tuned.
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Carl Morrison: Welcome back. I wanted to wrap up the show with a little story about a recent experience I got to have.
This past September a very, very dear friend, paralegal friend of mine from Tulsa, law nerd just like me, she and I took a trip to London to celebrate her milestone birthday. Yes, it was her 29th birthday, so stop asking. Anyway, because we’re both law nerds and love everything London, we created a hashtag called the #Parabrits, meaning Paralegals in Great Britain or British Paralegals, so Parabrits that was our hashtag. I know what a bunch of geeks, right.
I even had luggage tags made up for her luggage and my luggage that said #Parabrits, okay I know, over the top, right. Anyway, we mapped out everything we wanted to do before we left the States for months and which included getting to see the Royal Courts of Justice in London. And that’s really the equivalent of going to the United States Supreme Court, it is the highest court in Great Britain.
And so, I mean even two years ago I got to do that and go to the United States Supreme Court and set in on oral arguments, which to me that was like going to — I mean words can’t even describe it, I mean it was the pinnacle of my career as a law nerd because our highest court is the United States Supreme Court. So it was absolutely amazing doing that a couple of years ago, but I digress.
So the day that we wanted to go to the Royal Courts we also wanted to go and sit in on some of the debates at Parliament. And so where our hotel is at and where Parliament was that we had to do a couple of exchanges on the tube and we got all the way over there only to be turned away because they were not opening Parliament to the public that day.
So I was bummed, I was really distraught, well not completely distraught, but I was bummed, because I really wanted to hear and see it in action, but at the time they were having debates on Brexit and they didn’t want public there disrupting proceedings because they had a lot of people there out front picketing and protesting so on and so forth.
So all right, so we decided to move our tour of the Royal Courts of Justice forward, move it up because we’re going to do that in the afternoon. So we were going to see if we could get in to listen to oral arguments, but alas it was not in the stars for us to get to witness United Kingdom law in action, wha-wha again.
So apparently the day of our visit to the courts was the same day that no court was in session as they had it was sort of a National Day to celebrate the judiciary and they had this big pomp and circumstance still at Westminster Chapel, which we got to go to Westminster too, but we didn’t get to do that, that was another day and we absolutely loved it.
I should do a show on my trip to London. You guys probably go, oh boring. But anyway, so we got all the way the Rural Courts of Justice to find out there were no courts in session. Nobody was in the court, virtually it was the security guards with the just like Federal Court System here had to go through security to go in, but that was the only people really there, it was like nobody.
But they did tell us that the court was open and we could take a self-guided tour of the court building. And they had this little pamphlet made out of this little map that you followed and stops and major points about these particular stops, and it was so amazing, so cool. Again, words cannot describe what we saw and got to do. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures, so all I have are just my own personal memories in my little brain of our day at the Royal Courts of Justice. I got to take pictures of the outside of the court, but that was it.
So needless to say, I fell in love with London and I’m trying to figure out how to move over there and afford it, right, but something else that we picked up while we were there the judiciary, they actually are going to have an online program that you go over the course of five or six weeks. It’s like 69 bucks or something like that to learn all about the English Law and the Court System in Great Britain.
And so I’m going to sign up, it starts in January. It’s a new thing they’re doing. So I’m going to do it and I’ll report back to you guys and let you know what I think about it. I love law and I love law in other countries because it’s so different than our judicial system and what it means to have the law in the respective environments and society. So I loved it.
So I just wanted to share that little story with you guys and of course, don’t forget, I have your favorite part of the show, which is The Listener’s Voice. And this is an opportunity for you as a listener, send me your email with any of your questions, your career celebrations, anything, I’ll read through them and I’ll select those to actually read on the air if there’s a particular topic from this past year that you haven’t written about but you want to know, you’ve got a question for me or maybe a prior guests that you’ve listened to and you’ve got a question for them. Send me your email, make your voice, the listener’s voice known and heard.
So send your email to [email protected], that’s [email protected]. So definitely keep those questions coming. I’ve still got another show in December that I’ll be recording so you don’t want to miss out on that and I have a question for you from the listener voice bag as well.
So I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday season, Thanksgiving, like it’s just around the corner and that’s all the time we have today for The Paralegal Voice.
If you have questions again about today’s show, please email them to me at [email protected]. So stay tuned for more information in upcoming podcasts for exciting paralegal trends, news and engaging and fun interviews of course from leading paralegals and other leading legal professionals.
Next month’s show will be a great one as I will actually have two guests with me to discuss a very important topic. And you’re going, ha what’s the topic? Well I can’t tell you, it’s a surprise. So I want you to be sure and tune in to next month’s topic.
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