How to Become a Virtual Legal Assistant

Is there a brand new career just waiting for you? What exactly is a Virtual Assistant or VA? Simply put, a VA is someone who works remotely, online whether from their home or office. They are independent contractors or employees who work and use technology to deliver services. They provide administrative, technical, social media and creative services to clients. Virtual assistants specialize in various industries such as marketing, real estate, accounting, law or financial services. Firms often hire virtual assistants to save money. They don't pay for the assistant's equipment (including computers), training, overhead, dues, materials, furniture, office space, taxes... Read more →

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Paralegal Jobs Are Vanishing According to New AP Analysis

Bad, Bad News for Paralegals Paralegal jobs are vanishing according to a recent analysis. In fact, out of the top disappearing jobs, paralegal is in the top 7 positions. For years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the paralegal position was one of the fastest growing fields. In fact, as recently as 2011, the BLS predicted that from 2010 - 2020, paralegals would have an 18% growth rate (average). No longer. The position is being obliterated by technology according to a recent analysis by the Associated Press. "Year after year," the analysis states, "software that runs computers and an... Read more →

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Going On's.....This 'n Thats.....

Tough week? Take a few moments to enjoy our guest blogger, Celia Elwell, RP and senior paralegal, who sends us interesting links and articles. Enjoy! Judge Throws Out RICO Claims Against Johnson & Johnson, by Shannon P. Duffy, The Legal Intelligencer http://www.law.com/jsp/pa/PubArticlePA.jsp?id=1202504306265 Federal Judge Dismisses BP Oil Spill Fraud Lawsuit, by Maureen Cosgrove, JURIST http://bit.ly/odVde4 Jury Awards $900 Thousand In Age Discrimination Case, by Ellen Simon, Employee’s Rights Post Blog http://bit.ly/r7kUkO Third Circuit Okays Collection of DNA from Criminal Suspects, by Nathan Koppel, Wall Street Journal Law Blog http://on.wsj.com/mQC5sq Preparing Americans for Death Lets Hospices Neglect End of Life, by... Read more →

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"Consultant Compatibility: Take the Quiz"

Always good to have thoughtful checklists for hiring vendors, I say. And this quiz from Legal Technology looks very helpful: "There's a saying that starts, 'You know you're in trouble if ...' But sometimes, by the time you know you're in trouble, it's too late to start asking 'Why?' "One example of such a time is with e-discovery and legal technology projects. If you're halfway through the project and run into trouble, backtracking to correct the problem usually isn't an option. A nearly ironclad way around that problem includes proper preparation and having the right team. These are key elements... Read more →

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"How to Treat the Touchy Colleague"

Ah, I'm sure every reader has run across such situations. Good news -- this Business Week article offers helpful advice: "Sometimes, even casual exchanges can set co-workers off. When you hit a nerve, learn from the experience instead of snapping back "It's pleasant to walk into the office on a sunny morning and hear 'Good morning!' from your cheerful co-workers. It's something else entirely to say 'Good morning' to a colleague and be met with 'Keep your good morning to yourself!' But that's what happened to a friend of mine at work not long ago. Talk about a hostile work... Read more →

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"How to Command Respect through Body Language"

Really long list -- 101 bullets! -- of sometimes obvious, but mostly helpful, tips for improving how people respond to you: "Some people are the center of attention wherever they go. They’re not glamorous movie stars, just ordinary people with excellent command over their body language. Here are some pointers to help you emulate these confident people and command respect from those around you. [snip] "1. Stand tall, even if you’re the shortest person in the room. Keeping your shoulders pushed back will lend you an air of confidence. [snip] "14. If you wear glasses, don’t look over the rim.... Read more →

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"Seven tips for making yourself happier IN THE NEXT HOUR"

Not exactly on topic, but what paralegal doesn't need a boost now & then? These quick "how to be happy" tips look good to me! "You can make yourself happier – and this doesn’t have to be a long-term ambition. You can start right now. In the next hour, check off as many of the following items as possible. Each of these accomplishments will lift your mood, as will the mere fact that you’ve tackled and achieved some concrete goals. 1. Boost your energy: stand up and pace while you talk on the phone or, even better, take a brisk... Read more →

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"Get the ball rolling with these tax tips"

Yeah, income tax time is just around the corner. This Washington Post article might help get you started (if you haven't already filed!): "'I know the deadline, but I don't know what I'm required to submit,' said Jennifer Ash, 22, who graduated from George Mason University in May and will pay taxes for the first time on a full-time job. 'All the forms are in different places. I'm afraid of leaving something out. I don't want the IRS coming back years later saying I owe them thousands of dollars.' "Ash at least has collected her paperwork in one place -... Read more →

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"24 Time Management Tips"

These helpful, common-sense tips come from Beth Dargis, a certified life coach & simplicity consultant: "Planning is the best time saver there is. At the beginning of the week jot down your goals that you want to accomplish, fun things you want to do, work that needs to be done, and appointments to keep. Then write out a loose schedule for the week ahead, balancing it out between work, family, home, self and your other roles. [snip] "My weekly planning session usually takes less than thirty minutes. My planning session includes gathering my papers and going through the in-box to... Read more →

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"Ten Must-Have Web Sites for Solo Practitioners"

Yeah, that "must have" (must bookmark, must login?), description is odd, but the list of 10 sites in this article does look helpful: "Picking the best of anything is difficult. However, I decided to take a stab this month at the Web sites I use most frequently during a typical day of practicing law. I'm not including the obvious ones: legal research and general search sites. I'm aiming to point to sites that create a new source of information on the Web, and that leverage the interactive Web 2.0 space. "Here goes: GoToMyPC is a remote-access Web application that permits... Read more →

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