Are Paralegals Meant to Survive This Decade?

Is there a bright future for Paralegals? The Bureau of Labor Statistics is out with their 2020 Occupational Outlook for Paralegals and Legal Assistants. Bottom line – it’s not a bad time to be in, or to be getting into, a paralegal or legal assistant position*. Consider these findings: o Median annual pay is $51,750, compared with $39,800 for all occupations in the US. o 80% of paralegals and legal assistants earn between $32-82,000. o The federal government, finance, and insurance sectors pay the most, with a median income above $84,000 per year. o Employment of paralegals and legal assistants... Read more →

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Will Paralegals End Up with Too Much Power?

Dubois, of course, has to make sure that he cites a paralegal who stole some money as a possible example of why paralegals should not be given more power. Get real, Dubois. Paralegals in that kind of trouble are rare which is why it hits the news. One only has to pick up any monthly magazine such as the California State Bar newsletter and see pages and pages of suspended or disbarred attorneys who have had licenses ripped away for stealing from client's trust accounts. Read more →

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Limited-licensing for Paralegals: It's Finally a Reality

Licensing paralegals has been talked about for years. And years. And years. It’s been pushed back as long as I can remember. One objection is that paralegals do not practice law and therefore do not need licensing. They are supervised by attorneys and it is the attorney’s license on the line. Another issue was there were no standard requirements to enter the field (i.e., anyone who wanted to could call themselves a paralegal) therefore, licensing would have no real meaning. In California, some years ago, a stab at licensing called for governance not by the State Bar but under the... Read more →

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Paralegal Knowledge Institute Makes Its Debut

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... Read more →

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7 Steps to Overcoming Public Speaking Humiliation

The other day, I wrote the big reveal about public speaking. Essentially, I wrote that fear of public speaking is not about public speaking. It’s a fear of being humiliated. I offered up 5 reasons why fear manifests itself. As a speaker for the past 20 some odd years, I like to think that I've experienced it all. Maybe that's true. Until the next time, however, I guess we'll never know! Today, I’d like to take those 5 “why we’re afraid” reasons and offer up 7 ways to cope. 1. In the past, you’ve been publically humiliated. Welcome to life.We... Read more →

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If You License, Will They Come? Licensing issue debuts in New York

The other day, a paralegal sent me a panic email. OMG! Licensing of paralegals had been introduced as a bill in the state of New York. Her reaction about the bill was pretty standard. In a nutshell, she was saying, "What?????" In short the bill: a) Requires mandatory licensing b) States that paralegals "practiced" (an ethical question, to be sure) c) States that mandatory minimum standards for qualification into the field are required (but does not state what standards) d) Establishes licensing fees not to exceed $100.00 e) Creates an independent board to adopt rules and regulations f) Is an... Read more →

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Legal Project Management - The Next New Area for Paralegals to Conquer?

It seems that suddenly, law firms have woken to the fact that the corporate world has a whole new technique out there to manage projects. Simply called Project Management, the area is booming. And, as always, the legal field tends to be the last to get in on the bandwagon. But for argument's sake, let's just say it arrived. Read more →

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"Mock trial helps students learn more about the legal system"

This most gratifying article in the Jackson Hole Star-Tribune details how Wyoming paralegal students are showing fifth-graders how the U.S. legal system works: "With a polite but stern tone, fifth-grader Jacob Colman interrupted Robert Novak, reminding him to just answer yes or no. "Dressed in a dark blue suit like a miniature lawyer, Colman again asked the question to Novak on the witness stand. "'Well...,' Novak said. "'Just answer yes or no please,' said Colman, 11, once again interrupting the adult. "The exchange Thursday was part of a mock trial Casper College's paralegal department held with fifth-graders from St. Anthony's... Read more →

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ABA Reapproves Penn College's Legal Assistant Majors

This good news is reported in PC Today about the Pennsylvania College of Technology: "The American Bar Association has granted reapproval to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s legal assistant majors, one of only 14 programs in Pennsylvania to be recognized in that fashion. "The college’s School of Business and Computer Technologies recently was notified of the action by the ABA’s House of Delegates, which follows a successful site visit early last fall and a recommendation by the association’s Standing Committee on Paralegals. “'This notification reaffirms the high quality of the instruction, advising, work-based experiences and job placement provided by our paralegal... Read more →

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"University of Miami Launches New Online Paralegal Program in Spanish"

Good news for paralegals wanting to add add another language. This course is expensive -- $6,995! -- although the fee includes all books and materials: "Coral Gables, FL.--(HISPANIC PR WIRE - BUSINESS WIRE)--April 2, 2007--The University of Miami is launching a new online Paralegal Studies Program in Spanish, geared to reach Spanish-language speakers worldwide. [snip] "Because the program deals exclusively with the U.S. legal system, students are required to have a working knowledge of English. However, all instruction is conducted in Spanish, including exercises and examinations. Students will be assigned a Spanish-speaking online instructor who will answer questions and supervise... Read more →

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