The return of Jill Francisco! She’s back after a busy autumn just in time to join co-host Tony Sipp as they wrap up 2023 and take a look at what’s ahead for 2024.
There’s a lot to go through, but you can start with a moment to remember to take care of yourself this holiday season. There’s a natural tendency to put yourself last, behind career, family, and so many other things. Be good to yourself. Mental health is important.
Looking ahead, make 2024 the year you get up to speed on the latest legal tech and take advantage of educational opportunities through NALA.org. Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t going away, and while it won’t steal your job, it will change how you do it. Ethics, research, e-discovery, and many other tasks are changing thanks to AI. You may as well embrace it and become the expert in your firm.
We’re also looking ahead to lots of programming from NALA, The Paralegal Association, in the coming year. The national conference takes place in Louisville, KY, this year, packed again with valuable information.
Thanks for a great 2023, and we look forward to making the coming year even better. If you have insights you’d like to share or a topic you’d like us to take on, please send us a note at [email protected] and [email protected] .
Tony Sipp: Welcome back to The Paralegal Voice. My name is Tony Sipp and guess who’s back? Jill Francisco.
Jill I. Francisco: Hey.
Tony Sipp: Hey. Welcome back. It’s great to have you back.
Jill I. Francisco: Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that and I’m glad everybody’s been patient and you’ve really taken the reins and done awesome job, an awesome job have awesome content since I’ve been on a little hiatus. So, anyway, happy to be back.
Tony Sipp: Happy to have you. So let’s jump into it. We have a lot to discuss. It’s the end of the year. A lot of the segments have been about, well, paralegal stuff, and we just had a show with Sonia Sigler, who was talking about mental health. So this is the season for that. A lot of people have seasonal affective disorder and depression and other things that are happening, but it’s good to take some time and have some self-care.
Jill I. Francisco: I totally agree and it’s funny because, like you said, I forgot even about the point of the seasonal thing. We are getting into that. You’re on the west coast, I’m on the east coast. Our weather has been kind of nice to us so far. Like today, I think it’s supposed to be 66. That’s unheard of on December 7th in West Virginia. But I mean, hey, we’ll take it. It’s great. And the sun’s out. No matter how cold it is if the sun’s out, I think that’s better for you all the way around. But, yeah, mental health, I think as paralegals, I think we put ourselves last. Especially, and nothing against men, but also, when you’re a mom and you’re doing stuff with the family, then you put yourself last there, and you’re just in that groove of putting everybody else first, and maybe, like you said, not taking care of yourself. And I think, especially in our profession, I guess it depends on where you’re at. I mean, you know, I’m in litigation, so I feel like it’s high stress. I feel like it’s all or nothing, maybe, sometimes, but you do need to take that time.
And actually, I think it was, Nyla offered. It was addressing our professional, emotional, and mental health, and I actually took that which maybe that’s something I wouldn’t even paid attention to in the past. But I think at first it was kind of like, how those things become like a buzzword and I think maybe that’s how it was, but now I think it’s being taken much more seriously. It’s acknowledged as being a serious concern, and I’m happy about it. Not just for myself, but for others that have struggled, and now there’s some attention on it, there’s some focus on it, and some guidance on how to get better.
Tony Sipp: I’m in litigation as well, so the pressure is high. Especially now, trials aren’t getting pushed, they’re actually going forward. So perfectionism is something that you must have this right, personally serve this person. If that wasn’t done, all hell breaks loose, right? So, yeah, that pressure is real and people’s personal insecurities come out. So it’s just reminding yourself to take care of yourself. The job is a job, but make sure you take care of you, so that you can do your job. Imagine that. How about that?
Jill I. Francisco: So that’s our first thing that we’re going to say that mental health, like you said, took, I think, a front seat maybe in 2023, and I hope it kind of stays up there going into 2024. So Tony talked about that. I’m going to kind of bring up something else. I feel like it’s been a big year. I mean, it’s always big for technology, but this year we got hit with AI and we had the big scare of, oh my gosh, our paralegal is still going to be needed. Our lawyer is still going to be needed. Everybody’s using it to write all their term papers, writing briefs. I mean, our firm took a position on it. I mean, I’m sure probably your firm said something about it, and it was kind of like, silly maybe when they did like, “Hey, attorneys, don’t use this to write your briefs, if you really were going to.” But I feel like it had to be done, because then you get into the ethics. That’s what I took a CLE on that. So if paralegals are looking for something about AI, I think that’s where maybe it affects us, is the ethics of AI, because just like everything else, there’s probably some good things about it, but I think that’s where in the legal I took. And then you have the kind of along the AI, you had the ChatGPT, which I took some CLE on that, which I’m sure you did, and that also is legal considerations for ChatGPD — GPT. Good Lord, that’s a tongue-twister, but anyway.
It’s like both of those things I think kind of were hand in hand, definitely at the forefront this year, and I’m not so sure if they’re going away or not. I mean, I don’t know about that. I don’t think they’re going away. Did you have to address it out there and have see other firms address it and stuff like that at your place?
Tony Sipp: I’ve been reading a lot about it and reading into it and seeing articles about it and the fact that hiring managers are utilizing AI to screen their potential candidates.
But the problem with that is that the same problem with anything. I know that we had a situation where we wanted to use AI to track certain things, certain individuals, through a video. And one of the challenges was that it didn’t recognize black faces.
Jill I. Francisco: What?
Tony Sipp: It just really did not recognize black faces.
Jill I. Francisco: Oh my Lord.
Tony Sipp: So we couldn’t utilize that tool. White face is great. Black. No. So it needs some work —
Jill I. Francisco: Clearly.
Tony Sipp: — it still needs some work, but it’s something I want to get involved in because of the disparity that exists in that. So I want to make sure that everybody’s treated fairly. I’ve been doing a lot of DEI panels and webinars, and I’m out there doing that, and I enjoy it.
Jill I. Francisco: Making a difference.
Tony Sipp: You have to make a difference. I don’t want to look back and go during these times and go, what did you do or what didn’t you do? So I stay involved because I see things that are important to me that matter, and I want to make sure that I’m getting in that. AI is one of them. I even use AI. It’s a tool. It’s just a tool, and it helps me do a lot of things. But you got to be careful with it because there’s a lot of opportunities where it can fail. You don’t want that hiring manager to screen you or screen you out, because, again, AI is biased. Right? Whoever put that in there, that’s their opinion, that’s their thought process, whatever. But this is why DEI is important. You want to have the voices of everyone involved. So, yeah, to that end, let’s make a difference that way.
Jill I. Francisco: Yeah, and that’s amazing. And like I said, who would have known? It takes somebody like yourself to even investigate. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that it was doing that. So then you might have people using it thinking, like you said, it’s reliable, it’s a good tool, and then they’re excluding.
Tony Sipp: A whole population.
Jill I. Francisco: Yeah, a whole population and well qualified individuals and whatever. I mean, it’s like, what? Well, like I said, amazing, disappointing, but like you said, I hear that over and over again. It’s only as good as what people put in there. It’s still humans putting in the information. And like you said so, you know what the human factor brings.
Tony Sipp: Yeah.
Jill I. Francisco: And you’re just right back.
Tony Sipp: Yeah, they’re not going to lose their job. You can’t replace a paralegal with a computer.
Jill I. Francisco: Right. Attorneys too, I think.
Tony Sipp: Well, attorneys as well. I mean, those briefs, and I’m sure we’ve all heard about the brief that was written.
Jill I. Francisco: Yes.
Tony Sipp: — by AI and the judge caught it, and like, oh, that poor attorney. Gosh.
Jill I. Francisco: He set the example one way or another.
Tony Sipp: Oh, he really did. He really did. He didn’t want to, but he is now.
Jill I. Francisco: Yes, I think that’s another thing. So we saw that emerge and I think we’re going to see more of it. And so, I think like your advice is great. I think it’s something that paralegals need to be aware of. They need to understand it’s out there. If you’re not really familiar, because I wasn’t familiar with it, we had our local attorney talk about ChatGPT, so we could be aware of it. And I think it’s just something that paralegals need to be aware of and know what’s out there. And like you said, possibly different situations, use it to your advantage, but then also be cautious of it and know that everything is not perfect and same with AI. And like I said, there’s a lot of CLE out there and so just make sure the paralegals are aware of it.
Tony Sipp: Oh yeah, for sure. Technology, let’s just tie it into technology. I mean, upgrade your skills, right? You got to make sure that you’re on top of that and know what AI is. If this is a foreign concept to you, do some digging, because this is the future. It’s not going away, it’s going to be here. So just like, if you think you’re behind, you’re not. Get involved. Take some classes. If your firm pays for it, even better. So make sure that you’re on top of that, because technology is the way that the legal field is going anyway, so be a part of it.
Jill I. Francisco: I think we need to take a little break here to thank our sponsors. We’ll be right back.
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Jill I. Francisco: Welcome back to the Paralegal Voice and I’m Jill Francisco with my co-host, Tony. We’re back together and we’re back.
Tony Sipp: Yey!
Jill I. Francisco: And we’re happy that our listeners are tuned in and we’re just trying to discuss today some things that Tony and I have encountered individually on each sides of the country and obviously in all the paralegal world trying to just recap and get our listeners some pointers and things coming up, what happened this year, and then obviously, what’s going to happen next year. So, one thing I wanted to remind everybody because NALA, the Paralegal Association, they have a bunch of good things, and one thing that they have for paralegals is their annual conference and, last year’s conference 2023 which was in Boston, I was there. I presented on the CP review. Tony would have been there, but he had some fun vacation plans —
Tony Sipp: I did.
Jill I. Francisco: — previously scheduled before I roped him into all my paralegal world craziness, but Tony is going to join us soon.
Tony Sipp: Yeah, this year.
Jill I. Francisco: Yes. But we had some really good topics and hot topics that Tony and I kind of have already touched on, but they had the thing that I think Tony and I had a show earlier this year, billing practices. They had a really good CLE on a paralegal’s guide to best billing practice. I think that’s an always and forever, this year, next year, year after that.
Tony Sipp: Every year.
Jill I. Francisco: Every year. So, never can get enough. I mean, obviously, if you’re on the plaintiff’s side, okay, you’re lucky. You don’t need to do that or in-house, but if you’re on the defense side, I don’t know. It’s a forever thing that you got to deal with.
Tony Sipp: Yeah. The adjusters are adjusting to our adjustments.
Jill I. Francisco: Right.
Tony Sipp: It’s harder to bill and use the right language to bill. And then, other vendors are taking over some of the paralegal tasks. It doesn’t pay attention to the billing. It’s super, super important.
Jill I. Francisco: Yes. Because obviously you can be the best paralegal, but if you can’t get it down on paper and get it in the billing, I mean, it’s going to kind of portray that you’re not really as valuable as you in reality are because you can’t get it translated down in the billables. Something, obviously, use of force. I feel like we’ve dealt with that for the past few years, and they had a couple of good CLEs, correctional use of force in prisons, which has obviously been an issue and also obviously the police use of force. So, something different because I know they focus a lot on litigation, and I was happy that they got into criminal and some other things that are useful to paralegals and just, honestly, just useful for general knowledge and to be aware.
Tony Sipp: Yeah.
Jill I. Francisco: So yeah, I was happy to see those. Something that I think is obviously coming more towards the forefront is defending elder fraud law or law fraud because you hear all the scams and you feel so bad. And then, there’s already elder law out there that maybe wasn’t as prevalent, and I feel like that’s really making it bigger than it was. They touched on that and, of course, what you and I were talking about earlier, they had information, governance, data privacy, and in-house compliance. Big one. And then, I thought it was really interesting they chose which they haven’t done this in years. They did a — I think it was four-part series and they did post-pandemic real estate paralegal, and they started out with the basics and then kind of got mid-level and then advanced but all to do with real estate because, obviously, the real estate market, everything has changed with real estate. I mean, just even coming from somebody I don’t do it, I don’t do that type, but I’m well aware that things have changed. And so, those are just a few of the CLEs that were offered last year at 2023 at the NALA Conference. They had just put out the bundle that you can purchase the CLE bundle. And then, you can watch them at your leisure on demand for somebody that needs CLE to maintain certification or if that’s what your state requires or whatever. It’s a really great opportunity and that’s all available, of course, on NALA’s website, NALA.org. Not to sound like a commercial, but Tony and I both feel like that, obviously, NALA is a great paralegal organization, but also that is their main purpose is to provide paralegal education. And so, coming up in 2024, as Tony alluded to, the NALA Conference and Expo July 11th through 13th, downtown Louisville, Kentucky. And for those of you don’t know, if you’re a bourbon lover, not just a paralegal CLE lover, but if you’re a bourbon lover, it is chock full of bourbon distilleries. Maker’s Mark, I mean, I could name a few. Not that I’m familiar. My husband is a little connoisseur. Buffalo trace is down there. It’s a really cool place. It has a lot of different culinary things, historian, museums, musicians, talented artists. It’s really a neat place.
And along with all that stuff, it’s also you’re going to get, of course, as NALA does, top notch CLE that they’ll be offering in this coming year. So, Tony, yes, I hope you’ll make it and we’ll do some fun things and learning too along with it.
Tony Sipp: Oh, absolutely. I am going to be the NALA liaison for LAPA.
Jill I. Francisco: Oh perfect, perfect.
Tony Sipp: Yeah. So, they’re going to send me over that way. So, that’s going to be a great trip. But yeah, I plan on being there. My good friend, Amy McGuigan, she is going to be a speaker. She spoke this year.
Jill I. Francisco: Nice.
Tony Sipp: She’s going to be speaking next year. So, I’m looking forward to the conference. Well, period. I think it’s going to be great. It’s always great. So yeah, if you can download the bundle, I think it’d be great. And then next year, if you can actually come, even better. So, check it out. I mean, it’s great to have an organization that cares and is focused on paralegals.
Jill I. Francisco: Yes. And also, like you said, if you can make it in person, obviously after you’ve attended in person, there’s nothing like it. You get recharged. You make relationships and network, and it’s amazing because then you’re sitting at your desk and you can contact somebody across the country to help you out and, obviously, that’s just points for you in your employer’s eyes. I feel like we want to emphasize that it is a great to go in person, but if you can’t, NALA is still going to offer the virtual component which I don’t think they’ll ever stop and, honestly, I always try to look for the positives from the pandemic. I had to have the first virtual conference when I was President of NALA, but we had the biggest turnout ever. So, you think about it and you’re bummed because you can’t see your friends in person and whatever. But then, I sat there and thought but look at this exposure that people that could never come for whatever reason before. It could have been finances. It could have been time off. It could have been — I mean, who knows what and who cares what the reason was. It’s just now they could. I love that. I mean, we literally were almost at a thousand where we were getting half that, setting records half that in person. And so, in my eyes, I just was like, hey, that’s their goal. And so, that we’re exposing more paralegals to education to further their career and propel the profession, which I think is all of our goals.
Tony Sipp: Yeah.
Jill I. Francisco: And I am going to be speaking in the CP review. They do a CP review kind of track every year. I know you’re familiar with it. I’ve taught civil litigation and torts in prior conferences, and they asked me to do ethics and American Legal System this year which, of course, is ethics is in all of us no matter what type of law you’re in. So, I’m looking forward to doing a couple of new topics in the CP exam and speaking of CP exam —
Tony Sipp: Yeah, it’s very new.
Jill I. Francisco: They’re going to make some changes to the exam starting in January 2024, and I just went on the website because it’s not going to have a list, so to speak, for those who are interested in taking the exam. It’s not going to be a list of, like, okay, this is what’s changed. It’s more of the basis of why it changed. And for those of you who don’t know, which, obviously, I didn’t know this until I was heavily involved in NALA. But NALA conducts that job analysis approximately every five to seven years, and you’ve probably even seen it come across your desk because whether you’re a member of NALA or you’re not, they want to just get it to paralegals, pass it on, to have as much data that they can collect, and they do that to identify and validate the knowledge and the skills measured by the certified paralegal exam. They want to make sure that the results of the job analysis study that it serves as a basis for the specifications of the exam. And so, in May 2022, it’s called the NALA Job Analysis Task Force and the certifying board. They got together, conducted the survey in 2022 and this, like I said, it examines the duties, the responsibilities of paralegals in the workplace. And obviously, their two goals are to validate and update the certified paralegal exam content to ensure that NALA has the current information about the roles and responsibilities of paralegals. And honestly, I think that’s awesome because taking the test, for those of you have taken, I mean, I had a four-year degree basically. I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, concentration, legal studies, and I learned tons of stuff, obviously, to be a paralegal. But when I went on to take the exam, I learned other things.
Tony Sipp: Right.
Jill I. Francisco: And other things that I’m like, oh, okay, I think that’s why is because it’s going to change more than your textbook and probably at a faster rate than your textbook or that your teachers are teaching you because, again, this is hands on people in the field. And so, that’s why this test, I love that it’s going to keep up to date. If you’re a paralegal, that’s up —
— your law office working and you know what’s going on and then you want to take this test that also makes you feel like, okay, I’m going to be testing on stuff that’s going on now, not stuff that was popular and at the forefront ten years ago. And it’s going to be beneficial to you. Anyway, it’s going to change. Go on the website, same thing, NALA.org. NALA.org and check it out. They have a list. They have a little kind of press release, so to speak. Basically, summing up what I just kind of talked about. But look at the outline. It’s still going to be offered electronically. You’re still going to do the skills/exam. Everything’s going to be offered basically the same it was to be the most accessible. But check it out, and if you want to take it, please check it out. You know, get on board because it’s just something else to put on your resume, a feather in your cap when you’re trying to get a job. That might be the one thing that makes you stand out. Who knows? But to me, forever, education, which I know Tony is the same thing. I don’t really care if I feel like I’m going to use it or not. Why not? Just use it. Just do it.
Tony Sipp: It’s yours. Put some letters behind your name.
Jill I. Francisco: Right. So, okay. We got to take another quick break to thank our sponsors and we’ll be back, right back to wrap up and talk about some things in 2024 that we think is going to be an issue in the paralegal profession.
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Jill I. Francisco: Welcome back to the Paralegal Voice. Tony and I were just talking about the changes that are going to come about in the NALA CP exam. And then one other last thing that Tony and I know both feel like is important. It’s about leadership. And when you’re a paralegal, even if you don’t plan on being technically a leader of an association or whatever, it’s great to possess some of those skills. And NALA has come out with a new program. It’s called LEAD, which stands for Leadership Exploration And Development. And they actually did a beta test last year into early this year, and I was a part of that group and I was pleasantly surprised. They had an outside firm that was experienced in leadership, training, executives, things like that. And I thought, how are they going to really tie in the paralegal? You know, really understand the paralegal and the paralegal leadership, and also NALA, because that’s part of it if you want to get into NALA leadership. It also had some modulars on that to teach you. And honestly, they really did their homework. NALA fed them a lot of their information, a lot of their processes, a lot of their history. And so, I was very pleasantly surprised with the program. And I think that even at myself, that’s been, what am I, 27 years as a paralegal and involved with NALA leadership and leadership period, since well before I was pregnant. So, I mean, 2000, maybe. So 23 years in leadership, and I still learned things from that program. So I think if paralegals are on here and they’re listening and they want to get some leadership information, some brush up, and no matter where you’re at in that, like if you think, well, I’ve been there, done that, I think you’re still going to learn something. If you’re brand new, you’re going to probably learn a lot. But definitely check it out. They’re taking classes. It lasts for, I think, six months. I mean, it’s not a five-minute commitment. It’s very reasonably priced. They mostly just put a price tag on it to just kind of validate the commitment part, the responsibility, because it’s a lot of work that goes into the preparation and the teachings. It’s not like it’s an on-demand thing. It’s live interaction. If you definitely want some leadership training, it’s a good place to start. And of course, that’s on their website, too. We just wanted to explore conference, CP exam and leadership program. Those are a lot of neat things that if you’re a paralegal looking to, expand your career in any type of way. Little big, whatever. Check to NALA for it. They’re one of our sponsors of the show since day one, and so we know they know their stuff.
And like Tony said, they really care about you and your career and paralegals. So check them out.
Tony Sipp: That’s definitely something new for me, being in a leadership position as a manager here. Anything I can do to make myself better, I will. I think it’s going to be good for anyone taking that course. Burnout is a real thing and a lot of people are leaving the profession to join alternate careers. So like legal staffing, professional development and training, a lot of these things are transferable skills that paralegals can get into because you have the skill set to do it. And if you’re taking these courses, you can pretty much work anywhere that you want to go. So take advantage of these opportunities that you have.
Jill I. Francisco: And I’m glad you say that. And when you’re talking about burnout, so I always had attorneys, younger attorneys, ask me.
Tony Sipp: How do you do it?
Jill I. Francisco: Yes, how do you do it year after year? Why are you so excited? Why are you so happy? Well, part of it, I’m just crazy. Let’s just get that on the table. But second of all, I honestly, and this is just my personal opinion, you may have another motivation, but it was for me, how I kept at it, is staying involved in professional associations and learning new things. Because even if your job remains the same, that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn new things. Because who knows what tomorrow brings and who knows what opportunity is going to be put in front of you? This past year, I had a job opportunity fall in my lap. I love where I work. I love what I do. I had no desire, but I did it to see if I could do it. Sorry if that employer is listening. I did not take you on a wild goose chase. I might have accepted the position, but it would have taken a lot. And not just money.
I mean, at this point for me, and I’m sure you’re in the same thing, it’s not just money. The biggest thing for me now is respect and reputation that I have developed where when attorneys ask me to do something, they know I’m going to do it. They trust me, they know I’m at that level. I have freedom because of that and I’ve worked hard for it. And so it’s not just paycheck. I mean, that’s part of it, obviously, because that’s why we’re working. But there’s more to it. But burnout is real, and I think that it’s on both sides. I wanted to mention this, that I think employers, and you know better than I, because you’re in the management. I think employers are finally realizing that they have got to take a look at what to do to keep their good employees. And just this year, we had a new leadership at our firm. They do like, you can only serve as like the head partner for 10 years or whatever. So we had something new. He did a survey, a couple of surveys on just everything about the firm and then also about your position, your career, professional. And one of the things that I assume came out of it, they just offered and they’re acknowledging senior paralegals. So they gave us a new title. They gave us an additional bonus. There is criteria. So many years worked, consistent, excellent, evaluations, mentoring, training, the go to person. It’s not just one thing. And I was so flattered and impressed by it because honestly, when asked, there wasn’t any room for advancement. Really. You’re a paralegal. You’re a good paralegal. You get raises every year. Okay? And that’s fine. But I also think, and I think you’ll agree with me, is the paralegal profession is sometimes one that you have to change jobs to get advancement or to get more money, because then you have something under your belt and you can go to that other employer and you can say, hey, I have 15 years’ experience. What are you going to pay me? And then you’re going to get more. But what if you like what you’re doing and where you’re at? That’s a dilemma. I want to be loyal, but I also think I deserve more.
Tony Sipp: I’m laughing because of the truth in it, because —
Jill I. Francisco: I mean, it’s real. It’s real.
Tony Sipp: It’s very real. Like, I’m the manager at my firm, right? There’s no senior, you’re paralegal. So I think what they did is great. Giving you the senior title, bonuses. That’s great. I mean, I think a lot of firms and this firm in New York. I can’t recall the name of the firm, but what they’re doing is they invested in a building down in New York and they expanded their hybrid opportunities for everyone, really. Meaning that they understand that to retain good talent. Let’s just call it talent. That’s what they are, human capital. People want —
Tony Sipp: The pandemic changed a lot of things. When people work from home and they realize the quality of life that they could have and whether it be with their family, their kids, the dog, the cat, whatever it is, they like that opportunity. And when they’re looking for other opportunities, they want to be able to have the same thing that they have, if not better. And a lot of firms, brick and mortar again, but the ones that aren’t and paying their attorneys a higher wage on top of it. The competition is real. Competition is real. So, yeah, upgrade your skills. What I like to do is, it’s funny, I listen to CLEs or podcast or other things, and I bring that back to the paralegals that are on my team, and then I train them on what I learned. I really can’t emphasize this enough. I want you to leave better than you came. So I want that skill set. If you need discovery skills, let’s do it. Let’s do it. I have a video on it. It’s important to upgrade your skills. Keep yourself educated. Being a lifelong learner, really. So it’s something that’s very important. So let’s continue to do that. And if you have alternative career choices, you do. You really do have some alternative career choices. You don’t have to stay where you are. Your loyalty is not the same as their loyalty, you know?
Jill I. Francisco: Sadly.
Tony Sipp: So, yeah, it’s unfortunate, but it’s true. In San Diego, I just did a DEI conference, DEI&B conference, and one of the retired judges said, they’re not loyal to you, the firms, they’re not loyal to you. You move, you go, they’ll replace you. Don’t think that the loyalty goes both ways. It doesn’t always do that. But yeah, you have choices. You have options. We’re kind of the most underappreciated people in the firm, even though we’re making the money for the firm as well, like the attorneys. So it’s nice to be appreciated. And I think what they did at your firm is fantastic. I mean, just putting a title in somebody can really boost everything and being competent and on top of it, it’s branding yourself. People know if they see Jill Francisco on it, it’s going to be done. They don’t have to worry about it. They go on about their (00:32:30). Same with Tony Sipp, I hope.
Jill I. Francisco: For sure. Well, and honestly, just between and I’m sure you’ll agree. To me, like you said, the title is great. The little bonus, the extra bonus is great because obviously, like I said, we are working for money, but it’s almost too just as important to me to know that they, A, cared to do the survey and ask us what we thought and then, B, actually took some action, didn’t just take all the information and be like, okay, put it in their back pocket and go on. And like I said, I definitely do think just to repeat a little bit what you said to tell our listeners, this is really important. Two things; A, I think your employers want to keep good employees because I think they do realize it is hard to get good employees in these days. And then, though, for two, on the flip side, you don’t have to stay where you are. Even if you’re happy, you don’t have to stay where you are. Explore, just like I said earlier, I explored that just to see. I went through the resume, I went through the interview, I went through all that.
And I actually had to think about what are my skills? What skills have I gotten since college. It was a good exercise. And so don’t feel like that you can’t explore. Even if you don’t take it, who cares? You can explore because paralegals are valuable. The skill set is so transferable. Like I said, I was going to be in claims. I mean, that’s a huge risk management risk assessment for claims for insurance companies. That’s a big area now for paralegals because a lot of it’s the same of what we do. I mean, just because we’re organized and detail oriented and managers and collaborative. I mean, all these skills that we have, they’re so good. And like you said, underappreciated. Maybe not at the forefront. They don’t know it, but we’re going to tell them about it. Tony and I are going to get the word out. Yeah, we’re here for you. We’re here for you. But yeah, like Tony said, forever learner, always upgrading your skills. I don’t think you can go wrong. I don’t think you can go wrong.
Tony Sipp: You can. And employment laws. I’ve been doing some research because I want to do a whole program on new laws in 2024. An employment law is taking off. It’s major. Instead of getting three days, this might just be for California. They’re going to give you up to five days, that sick time. So there’s a lot more going on. So stay abreast with the new laws for your firm because sometimes the attorneys don’t know that.
And you telling them that and telling the firm that is going to be something that boosts you up. Like, oh my gosh, this person’s really on top of it. So, yeah, just stay educated, keep learning, keep increasing your skill set. You’re an asset whether they know it or not. But trust me, these attorneys can’t do it by themselves.
Jill I. Francisco: That’s right. And we want 2024 to be good for all paralegals and better than the last. Like you said, leave it better than you came. Well, let’s have a better year. Even if you had a good year this year, you can always have some. There’s always room for some improvement, some advancement, some new things. You know, our know, paralegals, we hope that know, have topics that are of interest to you. Please reach out to us if you have any ideas, you want different topics. Tony and I, like I said, we’re on each side of the country, so we try to use our feelers out there and get what’s of interest. But it’s all for you. We do want all for the paralegals. We want paralegals to be the best that they can. And like you said, just have 2024 be a good year, and we’ll be back to see you in January.
Tony Sipp: I totally feel blessed this year just being on this program, being on the podcast and everything that I’m able to contribute, Jill and I, I love it. I really am an advocate for my community. I’m an advocate for paralegals and people, really. I want to just uplift people and put them in a situation where they can thrive. So to that extent, yeah, I feel totally blessed being able to be able to do this for a large audience, and I’m getting more audience, listeners. Even my paralegals at my job are listening, and I’m not pushing them. It’s really fun. I work with a great crew, you Jill, obviously, Evan in the background, nobody knows, but awesome people to work with, and I’m very thankful, so thank you.
Jill I. Francisco: I am so happy and I feel the same as Tony, and I’m so happy to have Tony, too. It’s been super fun and like I said, I think that we have a lot of same ideas, but also different. And that’s what we’re about, too is making sure that we’re covering all bases. We want all to be included. We want you to all have the opportunities, and we will keep digging and bringing that stuff to the forefront to do our little part in making sure that happens. So, anyway, happy new year, and we’ll see you in 2024.
Tony Sipp: Bye all.