Paralegal Knowledge Institute Makes Its Debut

 Logo.PKI.medium Attention experienced paralegals!  There's a new outfit in town, the Paralegal Knowledge Institute (www.paralegalknowledge.com) that launches this week. 

Designed specifically for the paralegal assignment, the Institute is offering gold-standard courses, webinars and publications.  The purpose of the Institute is to bring to the paralegal community a new concept:  an organization dedicated strictly to the career advancement of the experienced paralegal.  The difference between the Institute and other training companies is that the Institute is strictly dedicated to paralegal continuing legal education while in other organizations, paralegal training is a division of a larger company, generally dedicated to attorney training.

"We see this as an opportunity to give paralegals cutting-edge skills training while at the same time keeping pace with a very competitive marketplace," says Allen Brody, General Counsel for the Institute.  "Paralegals today have much more sophisticated assignments handed to them than ever before.  The Institute prepares the experienced paralegal to stay competitive, get to the top and help their firm grow."

The Institute is offering online/interactive courses paralegals can take right at their computer.  Online courses are anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, meeting 1 to 2 times per week for two hours.  The lively, interactive format allows the student to feel as though they were right in the classroom.  There is a live instructor you can speak to as well as see.  You can also speak and see other students as well. 

What is an online/interactive course?  You simply sign onto the interactive website where you can see the presenter, and if you have a webcam, others can see you as well, presuming you are willing. (There's nothing like taking a professional course in your bunny slippers!).    The Institute has offerings for paralegals at all experience levels as well as offering immediate download of pre-recorded online courses in the event you missed a live session. 

 Logo.PKI.small The Institute also offers over 100 webinars per year.  It is the new home for KNOW, The Magazine for Paralegals, a favorite e-magazine among paralegals.  There are forums, ebooks, newsletters, publications, resources and blogs to be found.  The Institute offers discounts to the OLP's eDiscovery certification exam, discounts to join OLP and the National Association of Legal Professionals (www.naflp.com) and discounts to Lexis/Nexis webinars and LORMAN seminars. The amount of education an experienced paralegal can receive just through the Institute is overwhelming.

Just a few of the online/interactive courses include:
eDiscovery 101A
Legal Project Management
Litigation Support 101A
Advanced Litigation Support
eDiscovery & GARP
eDiscovery: The Master Series
Elder Law and the Paralegal
Introduction to Bankruptcy
Introduction to Trademarks
Introduction to Patents
Leadership Skills for the New Manager
The Paralegal's Role in Corporate Transactions & Securities
UCC Searches
eDiscovery for Techies and more.

Webinars include:

The 3 C's of Legal Writing
Legal Project Management
Elder Care
How to Review Title Reports
International eDiscovery
Advanced eDiscovery

Legal Project Management
International eDiscovery
Leadership Through Corporate Writing
Tech Talk Tuesdays
Corporate Formation
Cultivating Leadership Skills
Brave New Writer: Leadership Through Corporate Storytelling
When It Was Due Yesterday
Legal Research and Writing
Drafting Motions
The Paralegal's Role at Trial
The Art of Writing on the Job
Managing Multiple Attorneys & Assignments and more.

The Institute offers two types of membership:  Free and an Upgraded Membership to the Paralegal Plus category.  Free membership offers a host of benefits while Paralegal Plus gives you that plus a free six week course worth $495-$895; a free subscription to KNOW, and lots of free eBooks and publications. 

Paralegals can purchase an Annual Pass called The Paralegal Passport that gives their entire department a one year annual pass to over 100 webinars for their entire department for one flat tuition. Firms such as Orrick;Williams Mullen; Jones Day; Kaiser; Intel; and other prestigious firms have taken advantage of the Paralegal Passport.

The Institute is offering a free ebook, "What They Didn't Teach You in Paralegal School" if you sign-up for free membership and the free ebook along with a one year subscription to KNOW if you upgrade your membership.  Anyone can take courses without joining, however, they leave behind hundreds of dollars in bonuses and discounts.  The Institute also offers scholarships to those with financial hardships.

The Advisory Board consists of a blue ribbon panel of experts including Robert Mongue, Esq., Assistant Professor at Ole Mississippi's Paralegal Program; Janet Powell, Sr. Paralegal & Case Manager at Jackson Lewis; Jean Watt, Paralegal Manager at Mayer Brown in Chicago; Linda McGrath-Cruz, co-founder of the Florida Registered Paralegal Committee and senior paralegal; Katie Thoma, Portfolio Manager at Loeb & Loeb; Mark Gorkin, LICSW, The Stress Doc; Charles Gillis, MBA, Executive Director, Munsch, Hardt Kofp & Harr, P.C. and Beth King, RP, Sr. Paralegal at Vestas-American Wind Technology along with several other well-known icons such as Celia Elwell, RP and others in the field.

Oh, yes.  And if you're wondering if I'm involved, yes, I am.  Education and writing being my first loves.  Husband, children and dog Max excepted of course.

Be sure to visit the website:  www.paralegalknowledge.com.  I think you will be very excited to finally see an organization strictly dedicated to the experienced paralegal giving you a broad range of resources and the community to support it.

Let me know your thoughts on this.

 

 


"Lawyers ready for a boom in bankruptcy"

Yeah, good news for lawyers & financial advisers maybe; other people not so much:

"Business bankruptcy filings are down by 45 percent and corporate debt default rates remain near all-time lows. Yet bankruptcy pros are buzzing with anticipation.

"While they don't have crystal balls, call them cynical and firm believers in business cycles. Lawyers, consultants and financial advisers who work with troubled companies are getting ready for the next surge in business, which some predict may come as soon as the end of this year.

"'My experience over the last 20 years is that what goes up, must come down,' said Jeff Marwil, a Chicago attorney who last month left Jenner & Block to join Winston & Strawn's larger bankruptcy practice. 'Change is inevitable.'

[snip]

"To prepare, some big law firms have bolstered their bankruptcy practices by cherry-picking prominent attorneys from other firms. Marwil is one of four attorneys Winston & Strawn recruited. Kirkland & Ellis lured an attorney from rival Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York. Top-drawer New York firm Paul, Hastings Janofsky & Walker opened its Chicago office with two bankruptcy attorneys from Jones Day."


"Bankruptcy Boutique's Lawyers Depart for Larger Firms"

Possible words of warning for people working in bankruptcy law firms, boutique or not:

"If it's tough to be tiny, it's even tougher to be small and specializing in insolvency.

"San Francisco bankruptcy boutique McNutt & Litteneker began shedding attorneys in the summer of 2005 in tandem with a drop in business. The firm several years ago had 10 full-time lawyers -- eight of whom were associates. Last month's departure of its three remaining associates have name partners Scott McNutt and Rebecca Litteneker not just running the show -- they are the show.

[snip]

"Lawyers in the bankruptcy field say it is a rare boutique that is growing -- or even holding steady -- today. Even at large firms, bankruptcy specialists have retooled to handle other types of work until the next upturn. Notorious for running counter to the general economy, the bankruptcy practice booms in recession and wanes when business is strong."


"Paralegal Faces Trial"

Oh, no, definitely not good news:

"A July 6 trial date has been set for a Fort Smith paralegal accused of giving legal advice while not licensed to practice law.

"A complaint filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court by attorney Jim Hollis of the U.S. Trustee’s Office in Little Rock alleges that Mary Angela Barnett, a paralegal employed at the Sexton and Sanders law firm in Fort Smith, gave legal advice to Richard Wayne Graham and Tommie Anne Graham while serving as their bankruptcy petition preparer. The Grahams filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in October.

"A bankruptcy petition preparer is defined as a person other than a lawyer who prepares a bankruptcy document for filing for a fee. Federal law states that a bankruptcy petition preparer cannot give legal advice.

[snip]

"Barnett has shown a 'clear and consistent pattern' of violating the law in this case and several other cases in which she prepared bankruptcy documents, the complaint alleges."