Paralegal Knowledge Institute Makes Its Debut

 Logo.PKI.medium Attention experienced paralegals!  There's a new outfit in town, the Paralegal Knowledge Institute ( 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 ( 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:  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.



Paralegal's Commentary on Court's Patent Ruling

Yeah, this news is about an important ruling by the Supremes, but it's also very nice to see an experienced paralegal being quoted:

"When the Supreme Court of the United States ruled for KSR in the case of KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. [link added], it also served notice to the software industry that major changes may be afoot in both the granting and protecting of existing software patents.

"For several years now, software patents have frequently been seen by many as stifling innovation, granting intellectual property claims for ideas that had been around for decades and awarding the companies that hold them hundreds of millions of dollars—such as in RIM vs. NTP—even when the patents themselves have been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

"Now, as Pamela Jones, editor of the intellectual property law news site Groklaw, noted, 'The standout paragraph' in the decision written by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy read:

    'We build and create by bringing to the tangible and palpable reality around us new works based on instinct, simple logic, ordinary inferences, extraordinary ideas, and sometimes even genius. These advances, once part of our shared knowledge, define a new threshold from which innovation starts once more. And as progress beginning from higher levels of achievement is expected in the normal course, the results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws. Were it otherwise patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts.'

"Jones, a paralegal, observed, 'The court has raised the obviousness bar, or as they probably view it put it back where the founding fathers meant it to be.'"

"Patently Obvious?"

Another excellent post to Legal Blog Watch by lawyer & blogger Robert J. Ambrogi [links listed below from original post]:

"Tons of reaction among bloggers to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in KSR v. Teleflex. Rather than attempt to summarize it all, I offer these samples.

You can find more links to articles about this bombshell opinion in the complete post. Happy reading, all you patent paralegals!

"Google launches search engine for US patents"

This news from Google sure sounds smart to me. But will patent paralegals be impressed?

"Google was live [12/14/2006] with a service enabling Internet users to search through the more than seven million patents granted in the United States.

"The beta, or test, version of Google Patent Search lets people sift through patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office as long ago as 1790 by using inventors' names, filing dates, patent numbers or key words.

"Searches return information about the inventor and provide patent details online page-by-page."

I've never worked in this field, but was completely fascinated by the cool stuff I found!

TIME: Best Inventions 2006

Not really paralegal related, unless an article about the year's best inventions counts as learning about IP! (Well, there is that "Paralegal Hidden Camera" video...)

"Meet Peter. Peter is a 79-year-old English retiree. Back in WW II he served as a radar technician. He is now an international star.

"One year ago, this would not have been possible, but the world has changed. In the past 12 months, thousands of ordinary people have become famous. Famous people have been embarrassed. Huge sums of money have changed hands. Lots and lots of Mentos have been dropped into Diet Coke. The rules are different now, and one website changed them: YouTube."

Wow, this has been a great year for inventions! Don't forget to vote for the Gadget of the Year...

"Taking passwords to the grave"

So, yet another unexpected impact of the Internet!

"William Talcott, a prominent San Francisco poet with dual Irish citizenship, had fans all over the world. But when he died in June of bone marrow cancer, his daughter couldn't notify most of his contacts because his e-mail account--and the online address book he used--was locked up.

"Talcott, 69 [link in article], a friend of beatnik Neal Cassady, apparently took his password to the grave.

"It's a vexing, and increasingly common problem for families mourning the loss of loved ones. As more and more people move their lives, address books, calendars, financial information, online, they are taking a risk that some information formerly filed away in folders and desks might never be recovered. That is, unless they share their passwords, which poses security threats.


"But it's not a question of privacy rights so much as property rights, said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center [link in article].

"'The so-called 'Tort of Privacy' expires upon death, but property interests don't," he said. 'Private e-mails are a new category. It's not immediately clear how to treat them, but it's a form of digital property.'"

"Yours, Mine and Ours: What You Need to Know About IP"

Sounds like a very informative (& fun!) roundtable discussion:

"This summer, an employee of the Coca-Cola Co. made news when she -- along with two others -- allegedly attempted to steal trade secrets from Coke and sell them to PepsiCo Inc. It's not every day that a company goes public when someone tries to loot its intellectual property, but Coke's decision to do so garnered national attention and illustrates the deservedly high value companies place on their intellectual assets.

"When it comes to safeguarding your company's intellectual property, what you don't know can hurt you. To ease that (potential) pain, GC South asked several Atlanta-area attorneys to talk about what every in-house counsel needs to know about intellectual property. The panel's wide-ranging discussion covered cybersquatting, assignment of rights -- and one IP lawyer's adaptation of comedian Jeff Foxworthy's 'You might be a redneck' monologue as a means to help identify patent trolls.

"A bunch of paralegals" helps Warner

The ITV Interview with Eric Frankel [PDF link], President of Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution:


Frankel: "Yes. First, you need to look at all your rights, program-by-program and episode-by-episode, to see if you have the rights to put it on the Internet.


"A couple of years ago, I said, 'Gee. One of these days, Internet TV is going to happen, and we should try to be the first guys in--or at least one of the first--so that we can control our own destiny by building our own retail store where we can directly sell to consumers, without Wal-Mart or Showtime or Tribune or USA Network getting in the middle and acting as a roadblock.'

So we went out and brought in a bunch of paralegals. We started going through all of our television library. Over the course of a couple of years, we cleared 300-plus television series, and about 14,000 to 15,000 episodes of programming."


[itvt]: "And, as a result of the efforts of your team of lawyers and paralegals

Frankel: "We found 14,000 to 15,000 episodes that didn't have issues. We had acquired the necessary rights for them either because we were forward-thinking or because people simply gave us those rights."

"Building a First in IP Fact-Finding"

Database for IP litigation sounds like a smart plan:

"When Joshua Walker worked with a team of lawyers in Kigali, Rwanda, to mount a case against the perpetrators of that country's genocide, he built a database of trial evidence under wartime conditions. Targets of his investigation put a $1,000 bounty on him.

"Ten years later, the 32-year-old has war zones -- and law school -- behind him, and he's building another ambitious legal database, intended to track all IP litigation in the United States. But this time, he's doing it in Palo Alto, Calif.


"Stanford hopes to build the first database of all intellectual property litigation in the country. Organizers and financial backers of the project say it will help lawyers track ongoing cases and settlement trends. It should encourage academics to do more empirical research based on the data collected. And finally, it could help lawmakers and policymakers craft IP laws and regulations.

"We're looking to become a real-time monitor and tool for measuring the efficiency of the IP adjudication in the U.S.,' Walker said. 'We want to track everything that's happening in the system; who's patenting what, how many lawsuits are being filed, where they are being filed, how judges are deciding the cases, and why are judges making the decisions they're making.


"A brainchild of Stanford patent law professor Mark Lemley, the IP clearinghouse is modeled after the school's successful online securities litigation database. Started in 1996 by law professor Joseph Grundfest to monitor the effect of the 1995 Private Securities Reform Act, the database has since become a handy resource for legal scholars, journalists and lawyers."

Top IP Attorney in US credits colleagues including paralegals

Let's hear it for teamwork!

"Topping off another year of exceptional results on the intellectual property front, Irell & Manella LLP's Morgan Chu has been named the Number 1 Intellectual Property lawyer in the U.S. by Chambers & Partners.

"Mr. Chu was among only 19 American lawyers singled out by Chambers as being the top practitioners in their respective fields. Long recognized by Chambers in its U.S. and Global directories of leading business lawyers, Mr. Chu was one of only six IP litigators nationally to be considered for Chambers' new Award for Excellence designating the No. 1 spot in the category. Mr. Chu's recognition complements Irell's selection as the 'U.S. Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year' by Chambers Global for 2005-06.


"Mr. Chu holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from UCLA, an M.S.L. from Yale University, and a J.D. from Harvard. He has been recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America and one of the nation's top ten trial lawyers.

"Despite the accolades, Mr. Chu credits his success to fellow Irell colleagues. 'The Chambers' Award for Excellence really belongs to many lawyers, paralegals and staff at Irell & Manella, and not to any one individual,' he said. 'We work as a team, and whatever we have achieved is because of the effort made by everyone.'"