Sex, Secretaries and Audacious Attorneys

Sometimes, you're just plain shocked at behavior. Law.com Legal Blog Watchreported today a bombshell of a complaint over a May 2009 ad on Craigslist under "Adult Gigs" for a secretary/legal assistant. The ad was titled: "Loop lawyers hiring secretary/legal assistant." It read as follows: Loop law firm looking to hire am [sic] energetic woman for their open secretary/legal assistant position. Duties will include general secretarial work, some paralegal work and additional duties for two lawyers in the firm. No experience required, training will be provided. Generous annual salary and benefits will be provided, including medical, dental, life, disability, 401(k) etc.... Read more →

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Conspicuous Hole in [Paralegal] Ethics Training

This commentary in Law.com by an experienced paralegal surprised me. What's your reaction? "For all the talk of the need to prevent ethics transgressions in the legal profession, a glaring education gap exists for one group: paralegals. "Usually, it does not rise to the level of a topic to be covered -- until there is a problem. It generally crops up after an unintentional violation of the attorney-client relationship by support staff members who have received no ethics training. "As a paralegal for more than seven years, I often get questions from colleagues asking what to do in certain situations.... Read more →

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"Rise of Paralegals"

Although you must be a paid subscriber to the Dayton Business Journal to read the complete article (& I'm not!), thought the part you can read was interesting: "Betty White has worked as a paralegal for Sebaly Shillito & Dyer's Dayton office for 18 years and has held the managing paralegal position for the past 10. "But White has spent the past two decades doing more than just sorting through legal documents. She travels with lawyers to meet with clients, helps clients prepare documents and helps decide what information is necessary for a case, among a slew of other tasks."... Read more →

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"Hutchens, Senter & Britton Announces Certified Paralegals"

Well, isn't this encouraging news? Law firm sends out press release praising its paralegals! "Fayetteville, North Carolina-based law firm Hutchens, Senter & Britton, P.A., which specializes in foreclosure and civil litigation, announced that employees Lesley Cavenaugh, Dianne Dunn, and Aileen Gibson have qualified as North Carolina state bar certified paralegals. All three support the firm's bankruptcy group. “'We congratulate Lesley, Dianne, and Aileen on this important achievement,' said Terry Hutchens, managing partner of Hutchens, Senter & Britton. 'Individually, each one's dedication to the profession is to be commended; collectively, they bring a concentration of expertise and talent to our Bankruptcy... Read more →

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"Why Do You Always Need This Yesterday?"

How many times have you asked this question when handed a new assignment? LawCrossing looks into why this happens & how paralegals can handle these situations: "Some projects—especially the most urgent ones—seem to demand time traveling as a requisite skill. Everyone wants work done ASAP, but there's only one you and 24 hours in a day. What's to be done? "Paralegals are the workhorses of the legal world. Unlike the attorneys they assist, paralegals and legal support professionals play a largely behind-the-scenes role. While feats of productivity and grace under fire can force many paralegals to take on superhero proportions,... Read more →

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"Paralegals in position to improve reputation of legal profession"

Well, yeah! This is indeed a welcome news article: "Paralegals are critical to improving the reputation of lawyers in the community. The legal profession still suffers from negative stereotypes and some do indeed think we're better off 'at the bottom of the sea,' as the lawyer joke goes. Paralegals can pull lawyers out of this muddy, messy, pool of disrepute by displaying the following qualities. * Honesty and integrity * Professionalism * Giving back through pro bono work and volunteering * Enthusiasm" Author Elizabeth Balfour's speech at the annual San Diego Paralegals' Association Luncheon in June 2006 provided criteria for... Read more →

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"How to Talk to Your Boss About Being Overworked"

This career article comes from CIO magazine, but I think the advice applies to all knowledge/information workers: "Twelve-hour workdays packed with mile-long to-do lists and meetings on top of meetings. Cell phones and BlackBerrys that are always on, and laptops you take home to squeeze in one more hour of work. With companies [& law firms] firmly focused on growth after several long years of belt-tightening, employees' workloads are heavier than ever. What can you do to cope with on-the-job scope creep? Stand up and say something before your head explodes. "To help you effectively broach the subject of your... Read more →

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"LAWYERS ARE FROM MARS, PARALEGALS ARE FROM VENUS"

Hmm, pretty right-on discussion from law firm coach Cheryl J. Leone: "Having learned one thing during my 42 years of law office management simply is this: Lawyers and paralegals don't talk the same language and they don't think the same way. They live on different planets, breath different air, and they even have different customs. Yet, if there is ever a time and a place and a need for both people to be on the same page, it is with the relationship and communication skills that exist between lawyers and paralegals. [snip] "Lawyers tend to under-estimate the project, tend to... Read more →

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"For Some Firms, Law Is All in the Family"

I'm sure "family law firms deal with unique challenges" & unique experiences too. Has this been your experience? "Like mother, not so much like daughter. "At the Milwaukee law firm Pitts & Pitts, clients know whether to ask for the mother or the daughter, depending on what sort of representation they are looking for. "If they want a pit bull, they ask for the daughter, Trinette. If they want compassion and someone to hold their hand, they ask for the mother, Cristina. It's this dynamic that has kept the mother-daughter personal injury and family law firm in business for the... Read more →

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"Gadgets Put the Holiday Spirit in Your PC"

Yay, more presents for me! Well, not me exactly: "With the holiday season in full swing, it's time to consider some gifts for your computer. Nothing tells your PC that you care about its happiness more than a few high-tech gadgets to make its life a little more exciting. Of course, if those gadgets also help you out as well, then everyone's happy. "The first item you might consider is Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista. Vista contains many new features, is more stable and secure than its predecessors, XP or Windows 2000. However, be prepared to upgrade various components... Read more →

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