Adding Value to the Firm – Are you in or Out?

Adding Value to the Firm – Are you in or Out? We often talk about how to get a job but why don’t we talk enough about keeping a job? Read more →

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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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Still Thinking About Licensing Paralegals? Hogwash. Old School Thinking.

Just about every week, the question of whether to license paralegals comes up. What never comes up is the real "why". Oh sure, you'll hear ramblings on and on as to the pros and the cons. The reasoning includes how paralegals are supposed to come under the supervision of attorneys anyway (as though this relieves them somehow of major responsibility); whether it should be statutory licensing or certification; how it will help to ensure minimum qualification standards for the profession; result in paralegals gaining greater personal respect from attorneys and maybe even result in higher pay. I just read an... Read more →

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How Much of a Career Risk Should You Take Switching Specialties?

It's a sure-footed, absolute and positive, no mistakin' it gamble. Switching specialties, that is. Bored with what you're doing? Fed up with a paltry salary? Peeking over the fence to see who makes more money? Seeking that enigma: better challenge? Tonya Pierce addresses the topic today. She's making some good points. The main one being: THINK before you leap (and other relevant cliches). Enjoy! The days of general practice law firms may have passed. Many attorneys are choosing to specialize to be more marketable. Law firms are following suit [pardon any puns] by specializing in one or two areas of... 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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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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They Shoot Paralegals, Don't They?

I was reading The Empowered Paralegal blog the other day and a paralegal was discussing the superior status she thought she had over paralegals who did not have paralegal degrees. In particular, she brought up the Erin Brockovich story and the subsequent movie that was made. Ms. Brockovich, she stated, was not a "real" paralegal because she did not have a paralegal degree. She went on to state that the duties that Ms. Brockovich performed would never be tackled by a paralegal. At least, she had never witnessed a paralegal doing what Ms. Brockovich did. It’s very interesting to listen... Read more →

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New Survey Shows Paralegal Salaries Going Down

Not so good news out here in the paralegal world. The new 2010 Salary Guide from Robert Half Legal just published, shows that paralegal salaries are dipping. The salary guide is a review of actual starting salaries in 2009 and an extrapolation of these trends into 2010. Salaries have dropped from between .02% and 3.7% nationwide. Senior Paralegals (7+ years) are experiencing a decline from -02.% to -2.8% in large law firms. Salaries in large law firms for seniors ranged anywhere from $60,750 - $83,500 but are expected to drop to $59,750 - $80,500 in 2010. The largest declines in... Read more →

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Paralegals in China: Profession Develops from Toy Scandal

The toy recalls coming out of China apparently have more consequences than U.S. citizens seem to realize. According to an article written in YaleGlobal online, not often noted in the uproar was that the toys shipped from China are mostly made by Hong Kong firms using cheap labor in China. Their factories in China make toys for big brand-name companies such as Mattel and Disney based on designs that the American corporations provide. No mention has been made of the many hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers who labor under dangerous conditions, making toys and many hundreds of other kinds... Read more →

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"Keeping Current Can Be Hard to Do for Law Librarians"

I bet! In fact, I've often thought that being a law librarian would be a most interesting job. Just think about everything you would learn! "Librarians are curious people. We like to skim magazines and books, we like to surf the Web and we have some interest in a lot of topics. A former co-worker used to say that librarians are 'trivial' in that we are always picking up trivia -- a definite asset when one needs to keep current in their profession. "I was familiar with blogs, wikis and social software before I wrote 'The Many Hats of a... Read more →

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"Delegation Day in the Law Firm"

Found this interesting post at the morepartnerincome blog which is sponsored by Juris,Inc.: "Hildebrandt’s Rees Morrison passes along a simple but clever technique for encouraging attorneys to improve efficiency by finding delegable tasks for non-lawyer members of the team. The idea comes from the corporate world but should work to everyone’s benefit in a law firm as well. The law department asked its attorneys collectively to identify 20 activities that the lawyers were doing but that could be handed off to paralegals, administrative assistants or other support persons. "The panelist sharing the law department’s experience noted that staff members were... Read more →

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