Monday, January 31, 2011

The Paralegal Voice ~ Management Careers for Paralegals: Spotlighting IPMA

The latest edition of The Paralegal Voice, "Management Careers for Paralegals: Spotlighting IPMA," co-hosted by Vicki Voisin and me, is now available at Legal Talk Network.

In this episode, we welcome Karen Tuschak, President of the International Paralegal Management Association, Stacie McLean, IPMA President-Elect, and Sylvia Naim, IPMA Secretary-Treasurer, to take an in-depth look at IPMA, and discuss IPMA's mission, the job market for paralegals, what they look for when hiring, and key traits needed to make a successful paralegal.

Also, in this episode, we discuss:

Legal Assistant's Marriage Proposal Included in Sundance Film

Canadian legal assistant Theresa McGinnis' Las Vegas proposal video has it all, genuine fumbling, a supportive narrator, happy tears, and an "effing gorgeous" stone. Even I shed some happy tears. As of the date of this post, only a couple thousand viewers have seen it on YouTube, but a clip from the video will reach a much wider audience with its inclusion in a new Kevin Mcdonald/Ridley Scott movie, Life in a Day, scheduled to be screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Today's Quote: More Than Just a Bad Girl Holding a Sign

“The thing is, I’m a smart girl, and I’m a legal secretary. I’ve gone to college and studied law. I’m very business savvy and I’m not just a girl that looks pretty in front of a camera; I work hard at what I do." ~ Idaho native Nicole Craner, currently a ring card girl for Shark Fights, a promotor of mixed martial arts fighting competitions, explains why she's not a stereotypical beautiful bad girl.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Former Paralegal Files Sexual Harassment Suit Against Floyd County

Theresa Farmer, a former paralegal with the Floyd County Attorney's Office in Charles City, Iowa, filed suit against her former employer in Floyd County Court last week. The complaint contains serious allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace that no employee should have to experience, or tolerate after placing an employer on notice of the conduct. reports that Farmer accuses ex Floyd County Attorney Jesse Marzen of harassing her from the time she joined his office as a paralegal in 2007, until Marzen wrongly terminated her in 2009. She alleges that Marzen committed multiple acts of sexual harassment, including:

Today's Quote: No Legal Experience Biggest Hurdle for Paralegal Graduates

"Nine times out of 10, they just said, 'You interviewed well, we liked your credentials, but we found someone that has more experience than you.' It's a double-edged sword because if I can't get a job and get experience, then I can't get a job that needs experience." ~ Maryland resident, Melissa Lee, emphasizes how hard it is to compete even for entry-level positions, without any legal experience.

The Frederick News Post interviewed Lee, newly relocated to Frederick, about her difficulty finding a job.  Lee's situation is not unusual for paralegal school graduates with little to no legal experience;  I see others dealing with the same issues every day in online discussion groups for paralegals.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday LOL: Goodbye, Kitty

Today's post is for all my readers who specialize in family law, have ever been married, or are planning to get married...or who just love Hello Kitty. A. Lot.

I'm going to put it all on the table, and say I believe it takes a special kind of crazy to wear this dress on the biggest day of your life, and that any groom with an ounce of self-preservation in his soul, should abandon all hope ship if he sees this dress heading down the aisle toward him, especially if it's a surprise, both in design and commitment to Hello Kitty.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Paralegal Student Leads Petition to Close Kaplan University

For the record, I don’t have a beef against Kaplan University’s paralegal program. I’ve connected online with its students, some of its graduates, and even a few of its instructors. I’ve heard good and bad reviews of the online program. I’d really like to hear from more of its paralegal graduates. Are you happy with the skills taught in the program? Are potential employers receptive to your Kaplan degree? Are good students with solid GPAs getting paralegal jobs quickly?

All that said, I’d still urge anyone considering enrolling in any paralegal program to do their homework. Unfortunately, Kaplan University is making frequent news headlines, and not for the quality of its education and the satisfaction of its students.

Just Another Day in the Life of Your Average Paralegal

I get the impression that a lot of people stereotype paralegals as being kinda boring, more like seasonal tax preparers for H&R Block, or Pam from The Office – and less like Merilee Gerth, widely reported in those gossipy media outlets that we all love to make fun of while we avidly peruse the latest celebrity dirt, as being an ex-mistress (okay, number five, but who’s counting) of that play-uh and Sandra Bullock ex-husband Jesse James.

So I’m beside myself with excitement to share with you the following from The Orange County Register:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Paralegal Career Dressing 5 under $20: The Boyfriend Sweater

I hate to pay anywhere near retail prices on clothes for work. I love an end-of-season clearance rack and a solid fashion blog geared toward the poor penny-pinching sandwich-bag toting budget-conscious female professional. I also give major props to real working women and fashion bloggers that are brave enough to take a picture of what they are wearing every day and post it on the Internet.

Take Angelina Evans, an editor/writer for a nonprofit organization, who is currently blogging about her participation in the Great American Apparel Diet. Participants pledge not to buy any new clothes for a whole year. Instead, they get creative with the clothes they already own. Swapping for gently-used apparel is allowed. Evans loves fashion blogs, but has the same complaint I do - "the vast majority of them feature style and outfits that wouldn't work in an office." (And that we can't afford.) Now she blogs - and boldly shares the contents of her closet - at The New Professional, giving readers "a peek at my workwear mishaps and masterpieces."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ParalegaliPad: A Paralegal Teaches My iPad New Tricks

The dog is especially cuddly ergonomic.
If I could give Nebraska paralegal Christina Koch a standing ovation for her recent post at Paralegal Gateway, "iPad as a Legal Tool," I would. (Well, I just did. But it was kinda wasted on the pillow pet I'm sitting on to make my home office work station more ergonomic. No, no, I couldn't possibly teach ergonomics at your next CLE, but you are too kind to ask.)

Thanks to Christi, I downloaded the following free (or almost free) legal apps:

(As for managing your growing number of apps, I am of the OCD School of Thought. All my legal apps are on their own screen, alphabetized.)

I also added the following "less free" legal apps to my iPad wish list:
Are you a paralegal using an iPad for business - or saving to get one? I'd love to hear how you use yours.

Source: Paralegal Gateway

Related Posts:  Paralegal Profile: Christina L. Koch, ACP, Freelance Author & Belly DancerStep Up Your Game - Breaking into Today's Paralegal Profession (Guest Post by Christina Koch)

The Role of the California Family Law Paralegal

By Dianna L. Noyes, RP®, M.S.

Click here to order.
Family law is probably the most diverse of all practice areas. It is one of the most emotional, personal and volatile areas of law. It requires a basic knowledge of many other areas of law such as real estate, bankruptcy, personal injury, taxes, business, and probate. 

Most people think of divorce when they hear the term family law. The field of family law includes: dissolution of marriage, legal separation, annulment, paternity, adoption, domestic violence, pre and post-marital agreements, cohabitation agreements, and domestic partnerships. It also often crosses the boundaries of guardianship and conservatorship. Custody, support, and the division of marital property are among the most extensive and comprehensive statutes. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NE Ex-Prosecutor and Legal Assistant Spouse Charged with Theft

Or, How in the Sam Hill Can You Spend $4,000 on Trapshooting?

I have to admit I'm having a little trouble processing the Lincoln Journal Star's article about an ex-prosecutor, Blake Edwards, and his legal assistant wife, Shirley Edwards. The Nebraska State Patrol has charged them with multiple counts of felony theft during the time they worked for the Keith County Attorney's office.

They allegedly diverted about $18,000 from the pre-trial diversion program account. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

From Legal Secretary to Victorian Lady

I admit I spent a very enjoyable ten minutes perusing the turn of the century costumes available at California legal secretary Kathy Loyd's vintage costume shop, Lottie Ballou, The Benicia Patch featured Loyd and her unique business in its latest "Who's Who in Benicia".

Paralegal Educator Profile: Dianna L. Noyes, RP®, M.S.

Job Title: Educator      

Employer: Various – Currently teaching for Kaplan University (on-line) in a variety of courses, MTI College (Sacramento) – Family Law (on-line) and California University Pennsylvania – Estates and Trusts or Elder Law, and continuing education courses for Duke University

Years of Paralegal Experience: 19+

Education/Degrees: BA – Criminal Justice from CSU, Sacramento; Paralegal Certificate from UC Davis;  Master of Science in Legal Studies and Public Policy from California University, PA.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Use to Get Lien Information Fast

By fast, I mean faster than the five years (or longer) you might have to wait if you rely solely on snail mail to correspond with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) regarding the amount of its lien interest against your client’s civil injury recovery. I’ve seen articles and listserv posts discussing how to obtain Medicare’s lien amount much faster online, but last week was the first chance I had to try it.

Baltimore Law Firm Makes City's 2011 Best Places to Work

Congratulations to Maryland law firm Hodes, Pessin & Katz, P.A. which recently made Baltimore Magazine's 2011 Best Places to Work - in part because the firm has an actual Fun Committee, and in part because the firm offers a full benefit package; is growing, not downsizing; offers tuition reimbursement; and promotes its paralegals to attorneys once they pass the bar.

Baltimore Magazine emphasizes the firm's commitment to offering opportunities for members to mingle and relax:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Practical Paralegalism's Recommended Reading This Week

Here's this week's list of recommended reading for paralegals and other legal professionals. Got a suggestion for an article or post to include next week? Feel free to mail it to me at

It is cold as all get-out. I must have these hand warmers. It's all Oddee's fault.

Today's Quote: When Bed Bugs Are Actually Blessings

"It was a blessing in disguise. I was blessed to find another position. We're not trying to be Orkin or Terminex; we just want to make a living." ~ Sandy Honess, a 30-year legal assistant, lost her job, but then discovered the lucrative world of sniffing out bed bugs. (Delmarva Now)

If you follow the news, bed bugs are the new cockroach, destined to spread like locusts and outlive everyone in the event of a nuclear holocaust.

AZ Paralegal Opens Estate Plan Store

I can't help but wonder if Arizona paralegal Susan Faris is a harbinger of the way affordable, basic legal services may be accessible to everyone in the future.

The Phoenix Business Journal featured Faris and her new startup business, The Estate Plan Store®, in a recent profile:

Want to Start Jeans Day at the Law Firm?

(That Is, If You Aren't Wearing Jeans Right Now)

United Way is throwing out its out-dated mom jeans poster, and business casual has made jeans less unusual at work, but that doesn't mean the support organization has given up raising funds through official Jeans Days celebrated by participating employers. Employees contribute $1 a day for the privilege of wearing jeans to the office.

Scholarship Opportunities for CA Paralegal Students

The Stanislaus County Legal Professionals Association, an affiliate of Legal Secretaries, Inc., is offering local paralegal, legal secretary and court reporting students the opportunity to apply for over $8,000 in available scholarship money, including the Eula Mae Jett Scholarship. Per LSI's scholarship page:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reader Question: How Do I Get a Job as a Litigation Paralegal?

Preferably raspberry-filled
An entry-level paralegal employed in a Georgia law firm emailed me recently with this question:

Would being a litigation paralegal at a worker's comp defense firm give me experience that would be applicable to any litigation paralegal job, or is workers' comp litigation so specific that it would limit my horizons?

I responded as follows:

Stress Relief Tip No. 93 for Paralegals: Yell "That's So WHACK!"

Stop. Don't yell that. And don't tell anybody that I told you to.

What I'm really suggesting is that you buy this USB Whack It toy for your desk, and whack it instead of your supervising attorneys, passive aggressive co-workers, clueless court clerks, and that guy at Subway that messes up your sandwich every day, even tho' you're standing right there.

But Are These Consumers Really Divorced?

If Carter's Paralegal Service in Gallatin,Tennessee had helped me get my divorce, and I read in the news that the Tennessee Attorney General and Division of Consumer Affairs had ordered the company to refund my legal fees, I'd be less worried about the money and more worried about my marital status.

Scholarship Opportunities for FL Paralegal Students in Hernando County

The Hernando County Bar Association has two $1,000 scholarships available to Hernando County, Florida residents who attend Pasco-Hernando Community College full or part-time, are majoring in a law-related field such as paralegal studies, and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Today's Quote: How Do Ya Spell @!*@!!*?

By 18 I was working as a legal secretary accompanying my boss to Cardiff Jail interviewing the prisoners. Good job I had shorthand, I could never have written the swearwords they used. Everything had to be written in full in a legal document and as nothing remotely rude was in the Oxford dictionary, I would blush every time I had to ask Mr Saunders how to spell @!*?@!!* ~ Ros Curtis, writing for Wales Online, muses over her work history as she contemplates looking for an employer who wants to hire an "overweight, 60-something" for very part-time "sitting-down" work.

The Oxford Dictionaries Online must have decided to be all-language inclusive since young Ros needed it. I checked a few expletives (the few I know, ahem) and they were all there. Whuck! however is still not listed.

Source: Wales Online

Representing the Paralegal Profession Well: 10 Ways to Dress to Impress recently posted “Look Like a Lawyer: Dress to Impress in 2011,” which has plenty of good advice for paralegals and other legal professionals who want a competitive business advantage, too.

I think it’s easy for paralegals, especially those who work behind the scenes and have little contact with the public, to think their appearance doesn’t matter as much as a lawyer’s, but it does. That old adage “dress for the job you want” is solid advice (thanks, Mom). You never know who you’ll meet during the day, in or out of the office. That person may be the catalyst for your growth as a paralegal, whether it’s advancing in responsibility and compensation at your current job - or landing your dream job.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Legal Assistant Declared Legally Sane

Yes, the headline is designed to grab attention, but seriously, can I get certified legally sane, too?

Really seriously, congratulations are in order for California legal assistant and former Army Ranger Sargent Binkley, who is enjoying a fairy tale ending to a story that could have ended with a long imprisonment instead.

Michiana Paralegal Association’s 2010 Paralegal of the Year

Congratulations to Indiana paralegal Cherylan Shearer. She is the Michiana Paralegal Association’s 2010 Paralegal of the Year. Shearer works for Yoder Ainlay Ulmer & Buckingham, LLP in Goshen.

Kudos as well to Shearer’s employer who recognized her achievement on its website:

Elite Law Firms Prefer Pedigree to Paralegal Experience

You guys would probably like Annulkah (whose friends call her “Ann”…um, don’t write that down, I’m just guessing...), who’s trying to get a job as a lawyer at a top tier firm. She has done her time in the legal trenches, even working as a paralegal to gain experience and help pay her tuition at a local law school. She maintained an almost perfect GPA during her undergraduate and law school studies, was active in the Black Students Alliance, and managed her time so well that she was able to play on several intercollegiate sports teams.

Ann's good people, obviously.

But it’s a good thing that hard-working multi-tasker Ann doesn’t really exist, because she apparently doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting hired to practice law at a top tier firm.

Paralegal Profile: Andrea A. Schultz, CP

Job Title: Senior Paralegal

Employer: Rice, Amundsen, & Caperton, PLLC; Memphis, Tennessee

Years of Paralegal Experience: 5

Education/Degrees: Summa Cum Laude; AAS in Paralegal Studies – General Practice

Specialty Areas: Family Law

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today's Quote: Lucky Lawyer Doesn't Have to Choose Between Paralegal and Wife

“If I had to make a decision about keeping her as a paralegal or as my wife. I don't know what choice I would make.” ~ Kentucky attorney Donald K. Brown, Jr. credits his wife, paralegal and “unofficial jury consultant” Cheryl Parrot, with his 28 medical malpractice case winning streak since 1999.

Paralegal Accused of Theft Withdraws Guilty Plea

When I last blogged about Florida paralegal Kristen Collins Lausberg and her former employer, disbarred attorney Jessica Miller, they had been charged with multiple felonies involving the theft of client funds. They allegedly used the funds to live really large, shopping at Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s, and treating their families to resort vacations.

The wild spending sprees did not sit well with Circuit Judge Michael Andrews, who sentenced Miller to more than four years of prison after she entered a guilty plea earlier this year.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Retired Legal Secretary Ordered to Paint Her House Yellow

I’m thinking the same thing you are, “It’s a free country, and she can paint her house any color she wants to!”

Not so much in Crewkerne, Somerset, England.

Two years ago, retired legal secretary, Sheila New, spruced up her 230-old cottage by painting it a lovely shade of light blue to complement her roses.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday LOL: How to Create a Sparkling Clean Desk Top

Or Just a Sparkly Desktop

Are you totally disgusted after reading my last post, which showed how grossly germ-infested our desk tops and our desktop computers are?

Me, too. So I was very happy to almost immediately run across an example of a sparkling desk top that no other colleague in the office would be caught dead using, much less sneezing or crumbling cookies on.

See for yourself:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

TGIF: The Argument for Wearing Rubber Gloves at Work

Or Telecommuting

I've been digitally out of the loop for most of the week, having succumbed to The Crud. Actually, I'm pretty sure I was in a fevered alternate pity party reality for at least two days, because I thought January 12 was next week, and well, it was yesterday.

Which I realized about 3 p.m. yesterday, along with the fact that I'd missed jury duty.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What Attorneys Wish Their Paralegals Knew - and Vice-Versa

The latest edition of The Paralegal Voice, "What Attorneys Wish Their Paralegals Knew - and Vice-Versa" co-hosted by Vicki Voisin and me, is now available at Legal Talk Network.
In this episode, we welcome Kim Walker, a senior litigation paralegal for Berger & Montague, P.C. in Philadelphia, and blogger at Paralegal Pie, to talk about her recent article, “What Do Attorneys Wish Their Paralegals Knew?”.

Legal Assistant Cashes Dead Dad’s Checks for 14 Years

I don’t know what’s worse here, a career legal assistant cashing her deceased dad’s Civil Service retirement checks in the amount of $2,650 a month for 14 years – or the federal government not verifying that a fellow who would’ve been closing in on 100 years old was still alive. He was 83 when he died - in 1992.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Practical Paralegalism's Recommended Reading this Week

The highlight of my week was The Corginator ingesting a clementine in its entirety (legalese for the whole damn thing). Yup, including the rind. Good times. Not. (My hubby, who left the clementine on the floor, tried to convince me this was simply a much needed natural colon cleansing.)

Without further ado (or whining), here’s this week’s list of recommended reading for paralegals and other legal staffers. Got a suggestion for an article or post to include next week? Feel free to email it to me at

Paralegaling Is Not in the Dictionary, but It’s Better Than Lawyering

It makes me cringe to use paralegaling in a sentence, but it’s in the title of a much circulated news article, “Paralegaling is a Better Job Than Lawyering,” based on CareerCast’s 2011 ranking of 200 jobs from best to worst. Paralegal assistant (arrrrrgh, redundant!) came in number 13, and lawyers came in, um, number 82.

(We dropped out of last year's top 10. What’s up with that?)

Hot Damn, NC Legalizes Public Cussing

Speaking of swearing, how did I live most of my life in North Carolina and not know until last week it was illegal to cuss in public? I knew we aren’t supposed to pee in public (Mom taught us well), or swig our Grey Goose straight from the bottle while sitting on park benches, but I didn’t know that the occasional “Shit!” expressed within the hearing of two or more people on any public road was illegal for the last 98 years.

Today’s Quote: DA Recognizes Legal Assistants at Swearing-In

Turning his attention to his colleagues, Lee said he could not do what needs doing without his assistant district attorneys and their legal assistants. In 2010, the D.A.’s Office tried 56 jury trials, prosecuted murder defendants and disposed of thousands of superior court cases. ~ North Carolinian Ernie Lee, Onslow County Superior Court’s new District Attorney (ENC Today)

Congratulations to Lee – and many thanks to him for recognizing the key role legal assistants contribute to his very productive team.

Source: ENC Today

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Are Legal Secretaries Becoming Extinct?

In his January 8, 2011 guest editorial "Viewpoints: Many jobs gone forever despite onset of recovery" for The Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles attorney Darry Sragow posits that "many of the jobs lost in the Great Recession are never coming back," including the position of legal secretary:

Saturday LOL: I love me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I may not have gotten the number of exclamation points right, but I know it's under 140, because this is a Kanye West tweet as sung by Josh Groban.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Get Organized with The Paralegal Mentor's Free Webinar

Vicki Voisin, The Paralegal Mentor, and my co-host of The Paralegal Voice at Legal Talk Network, is offering a wonderful - and FREE - opportunity to get a jump on that New Year's resolution to be more organized at work and at home. This excellent career development opportunity, "Kick Start Strategies for Organizing Your Workspace," takes place next Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Click here for more information about the webinar and registration.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

TGIF: Let Loose and Launch Your Blackberry from the Desktop

I know a lot of my readers love their Blackberries (and are sick of me burbling away about my iPad when I don't even own a freakin' smart know what, I LIKE IT that people can't call me on my iPad), so this one's for you:

Thanks to one of my supervising attorneys, Helen, for sending me the link.

P.S. Orange is a European telecommunications company.

Paralegal Posting of the Week: One Paralegal Needed for the Bat Cave

I Can Has Cheezburger Kitteh
Admit it. When you went to paralegal school, you saw yourself graduating and accepting a position with a righteous law firm that paid top dollar and had its own expresso bar, but 97% of its caseload was pro bono work to avenge the poor and downtrodden. You'd run around in your Jimmy Choos, freeloading 16 chai spice lattes a day, a figuratively caped Paralegal Avenger, rescuing orphans and single mothers from the clutches of slumlords, and setting up non-profit organizations for Third World kittehs.

Okay, well maybe that was just me.

But if you still envision yourself as the Paralegal Avenger, I've got the paralegal posting for you, which I am sharing in all of its Craigslist glory, because it's simply too good not to post verbatim:

What Can a Thrifty Paralegal Buy with $68,000?

I don't know, but I'm hoping one of you will answer this question.

I just did a post about a frugal legal assistant and fellow Maxxinista, so to immediately stumble upon a news story about a paralegal who managed to spend $68,000 on shopping (it's probably easier to do when it's not your own money) seems like a cosmic circle jerk.

Today's Quote: Just Put My Money Back, and We'll Forget It Ever Happened

"I want money in my bank account and my 401k back to where it used to be," said Patricia Welcoy, a legal assistant shopping on Wednesday in Manhattan and toting a T.J. Maxx bag. (Reuters)

I'm sharing this quote, because I can totally relate to Welcoy, both on the reduced holiday spending - and being a Maxxinista. 

Legal Secretaries Association Picks Boss of the Year

Anne-Linton Pond Hendrickson
Practical Paralegalism shares many annual paralegal association awards recognizing outstanding legal support staffers, but it's also nice to share a neat twist in the recognition department from the Kansas City Legal Secretaries Association (KCLSA) which gives a Boss of the Year Award. The 2010 recipient is Anne-Linton Pond Hendrickson, an associate with Van Osdol & Magruder P.C.The Biggest Little Law Firm® in Kansas City.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Student Spends Two Years Enrolled in Nonexistent Paralegal Program

You know how I feel about online for-profit paralegal programs - I feel like you need to be really careful if you're considering enrolling in one. Do your homework, and make sure you will earn a viable degree that will lead to gainful employment in the legal field. But Channel 3 On Your Side is reporting that one student at the University of Phoenix spent more than two years taking courses in a paralegal program that did not exist.

The Exception to Every Grammar Rule

Legal professionals should subscribe to a few good grammar police blogs, for the laughs and the reminders that using bad grammar really does cost the writer major IQ points. I'm the first to point out grammar mistakes (and am happy to have mine pointed out, too) - but there is one occasion when I'll let a major grammar blooper slide:

Paralegal Profile: Barbara Liss

Job Title: Paralegal

Employer: Law Office of Christopher C. Jones, Santa Barbara, California

Years of Paralegal Experience: 38 (ouch!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Practical Paralegalism's Top 2010 Posts

I admit I swiped the cool idea to rehash last year’s top 10 posts from several of my favorite legal bloggers. To get that information, I had to pay a rare visit to Google Analytics. I don’t pay much attention to Practical Paralegalism’s site statistics (definitely my bad), but what I discovered last night about the number of visits this blog received in December 2010 shocked even me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Paralegal Hones Craft During 15-Year Incarceration

“Every day is beautiful now. I don’t have a bad day anymore. I think that my worst day out of prison will be better than my greatest good day in prison.” ~ Jabbar Collins (Wall Street Journal)
New York paralegal Jabbar Collins definitely did not take the traditional route to the paralegal profession. He did not accept an entry level job in a law firm and work his way up the ladder, and he did not attend a local paralegal program and earn a degree. What he did do is gain grueling on-the-job training which he used to earn his own freedom, while serving 15 years in prison for murder.

Paralegal’s Filing Deadline Error Forfeits Case

On the last edition of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin, Kim Walker and I discussed one of the worst things a paralegal will have to do during her career, and that's telling your supervising attorney that you made a mistake. I guess the only thing worse than having to admit you made a mistake is having it documented for eternity in a published appellate decision.

Legal Assistant Alleges He's Victim of Sex Discrimination

The Ultimate Memorial has published a very brief article about Texas legal assistant Donald Spencer’s recent lawsuit (Case No. 2010-83448), filed in Harris County District Court against his former employer, real estate law firm Ross, Banks, May, Cron & Cavin, and a collection agency, GC Services, but one allegation in particular caught my eye:
Spencer, a legal assistant, says that in July of 2009, he was discharged from his position because, among other things, he is a male in a profession dominated by females.

Legal Assistant Gives Girl a Forever Home

Many 25-year olds are focused on establishing their careers and their finances, and maybe planning their next destination vacation with friends. They're not usually parenting pre-teen girls.

But 25-year old India Davidson, an Indiana legal assistant, not only completed the stringent vetting and training to become a foster parent, but she’s taking the next step: adopting her 12 year-old foster daughter, Danae.

Buy Frank Kameny A Drink

The Washington Blade reports that a new Facebook page “Buy Frank a Drink” ( has been set up to benefit 85-year old Frank Kameny, best known for his work with the gay rights movement.

NJ Legal Assistants Receive Above & Beyond Award

Last month, the New Jersey Association of Legal Administrators (NJALA) recognized five winners of its annual Above & Beyond Contest: