Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This Week's ABA Journal Legal Rebel Is a Paralegal & Wiki Creator

It always feels good to see paralegals and other legal support staffers featured on national legal websites, including this week's ABA Journal Legal Rebel, corporate paralegal manager Paula Nascimento. She's making headlines as an innovative creator of an online wiki site she designed for her firm:

...Stocked with training manuals, firm policies, question and answer forums, templates, instructional videos and even a community blog, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s New York City corporate paralegal team now had Nascimento’s—and each other’s—knowledge, resources and expertise at their fingertips.

The excellent feature article includes a YouTube video of Nascimento explaining how The Corporate Paralegal Wiki and companion blog, the ParaSite, benefits her co-workers, who can access key company resources and specialized information at any time, as well as contribute to the body of knowledge contained at the collaborative sites.

Paralegal Profile: Karen George, FRP

Karen George
Job Title:  Litigation Paralegal

Employer:  Marcos Rothman Scharf Valdes Nguyen & Goldstein, P.L., Miami, FL

Education/Degrees:  35 years at the University of Legal Employment - degrees just gray hairs

Specialty Areas:  Toxic tort, product/manufacturer liability, medical malpractice, liability insurance defense

Career Highlight:  Founding the Florida Registered Paralegal Committee of the Dade County Bar Association

Future Professional Goal:  Pass the CP and continue to contribute in any way that I can to the paralegal profession, particularly mentoring new and soon-to-be paralegals.

Paralegal Practice Tip:  The work will always be there when you come back tomorrow. Don't forget to look at the sky, and see the clouds and the birds.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Don't Think Paralegals Will Be Replaced by Bots Anytime Soon...

I'm still giggling because it sounds she says like, "My name is Clever Butt."


I'ma steal that au revoir thang, 'cause it's like shut up except classier...

Paralegal Practice Tips 31-40

Here are 10 more terrific practice tips from legal support staffers whose profiles Practical Paralegalism has been privileged to share over the last several years:

31.  Never stop learning! ~ Daphne Drescher (California paralegal)

32.  Wear comfortable shoes! ~ Lorie Smith (North Carolina paralegal)

33.  When you work in-house, your clients are your colleagues - so strong communication skills and the ability to play nicely with others is essential. ~ Susan Winters (Nevada legal assistant)

34.  Tackle the hard or difficult tasks first - don't procrastinate. It is much easier to handle arduous duties when you are full of energy, making the rest of your tasks a breeze. ~ Patricia Infanti, PP, PLS (Pennsylvania legal administrative assistant)

35.  Ask for help and delegate to others when necessary. ~ Olivia Burgess (Mississippi paralegal)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Someone Needs a Spanking

So sue me, I'm old school.

Wait, kiddos, don't sue me. I've never spanked you, although I did make you pay that huge cell phone bill you racked up for excess text messages.

That would be grounds for a lawsuit for some kiddos. Seriously, have you guys seen the one about the punks plaintiffs that sued their mama for bad mothering? 

Lowering the Bar reports that it was dismissed, but raise your hand, paralegals, legal professionals, and fairly normal parents, if you ever committed any of the following outrageous acts:

Geek Chic for Paralegals

Y'all know paralegals need to be a li'l geeky these days to keep with the latest in technological advances for the practice of law and every day living, right?

SnorgTees has some great t-shirts that paralegals can rock and celebrate their inner - and outer - geek:

Encrypt it, too. (Snorgtees)

Did someone say pie?!? (Snorgtees)  
Finally. (Snorgtees)
What's your fave t-shirt say about you?

Thanks StumbleUpon and Fun Stuff Cafe!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Legal Secretary and Avon Lady Exposes Online Counterfeit Scam

I love Avon products, and I love news stories like this one where a savvy legal support staffer exposes the bad guys.

Marilyn Mills, an Avon salesperson and a legal secretary for Forman Perry Watkins Krutz & Tardy in Jackson, Mississippi, was suspicious when she received two money orders, each in the amount of $925.17 from an alleged Chicago modeling agency, purporting to buy $138 in Avon products for an upcoming photo shoot.

But the money orders were also accompanied by an email from the modeling agency saying (more or less), "Oops, we overpaid you; could you refund the difference?"

Oh, yeah, sure, I'll just run down to the bank, and wire that $1,700 overpayment right back to ya.

Paralegal and Fugitive Hides in Plain Sight for over a Decade

If it were a crime in Louisiana not to show up to jail as ordered, New Orleans resident Linda Jean Doria would be in more trouble than she already is.

But simply not showing up to jail isn't a criminal offense, and last month Doria started serving the four-year sentence for three fraud charges she initially plead guilty to in April 2000.

NOLA.com reports that until August 2011, Doria was working as a paralegal for two law firms, and living quietly with her son and his girlfriend, only a few miles from where she lived in 2000 - using her real name the entire time.

After she was given a month to get her affairs in order, Doria didn't report to jail in 2000 because she didn't want her then 10-year old son to become a ward of the state. She was finally apprehended after a local state trooper was assigned to serve a stack of fugitive arrest warrants.

Practical Paralegalism's Recommended Reading This Week

I blog for paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries, all other legal staffers, paralegal students and educators - and the attorneys who want to get to know us better. I try to share information they may find helpful for professional development, or just a much needed laugh during a hectic week working for lawyers. Once a week (or less often when Life happens), I share links to a half dozen or so articles focusing on legal news and humor, professionalism and career dressing, and practice tips and technology.

I also share links of interest at Practical Paralegalism's Facebook page and via my Twitter feed, @ExpertParalegal.

One of the prettiest flash drives I've coveted yet. (Amazon)

Here's this week's links (a bit weighted toward career dressing, but it's been a good week for working girls in the fashion blogs):

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One Sign You're Not Dealing with a Real Lawyer

If you see this sign, you might not be in a lawyer's office.
If you meet your lawyer for the first time at McDonalds and pay a $36 retainer fee to get your kid transferred out of jail to a psychiatric hospital, you're probably not dealing with a real lawyer.

Thankfully, in the case of Texan Kimberly "Sugar Bear" Giacone, charged with the third degree felony of holding herself out as a lawyer, she's not a real paralegal either, although she wants to be one.

Oh, good, that makes this better.

The KTRE news story, "Lufkin woman accused of posing as lawyer at McDonalds," is a textbook UPL scenario right down to the fake lawyer letterhead.

What can you say? Bless that poor gullible lady-who-gave-$300-more-dollars-to-Giacone-before-she-got-busted's heart?

Source:  KTRE

Get a Refurbished 1st Generation iPad Directly from Apple

One of our associates asked me if I knew where she could get a first generation iPad (iPad 1) at a reasonable price. She wants the first generation version particularly for its lack of a camera so that she can use it in federal courthouses. She was finding the prices a bit steep on eBay and Craigslist.

I found out yesterday that Apple had a brief run on refurbished iPad 1s over the weekend - at $299 apiece. Wow! Of course, they've sold all those. But they still have great deals for $399. I sent our associate the link to Apple's refurbished iPad 1s, and she is going to snag one.

Here's the link:  http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/ipad?afid=p219|GOUS&cid=AOS-US-KWG

One of our other associates already has an iPad 1, and wonders if she can use it with the free texting TextPlus app (she paid .99 cents to get a number with our area code) to get around Social Security hearing offices' ban of cell phones with cameras. Anyone out there already doing this?

Any readers know of any places to get a better deal on iPad 1?

Paralegal Practice Tip: Medical Summaries Are Like Jigsaw Puzzles

Summarizing medical records is a little like working a jigsaw puzzle. Put together, or summarize, the pieces you do have, and they’ll lead you to the missing pieces, or the rest of the complete medical history. 

Use every bit of information at your disposal, including (but not limited to), client contact, medical bills, medical records, pharmacy printouts, rehabilitation reports, disability statements, and health insurance EOB statements to add everything to your summary that you do know, even if it’s just a date of service, the type of medical treatment, or the name of a medical provider.

I even include the dates and names of medical providers for upcoming appointments, noting “pending visit” on the summary.

Got a medical records summary tip? Email it to me at lynne.devenny@gmail.com, and I’ll turn it into a post, giving credit where credit is due of course!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Day the Earth Moved

Everybody knows an earthquake shook the East Coast yesterday afternoon, and apparently, everyone felt it but me:


But I was gratified to see a number of other paralegals quoted in online news stories - who didn't miss the thrill.

Department of Justice paralegal Matt McCrobie told The Palladium-Times:

It shook much stronger and we just stood in the nearest doorway. It lasted a few seconds. Some of my co-workers said that they had pictures or picture frames fall off their walls, it was so strong. After that, the fire alarms went off to evacuate the building, people were running down the stairway. There’s a little park across the street from my building, and people were going there, so it wasn’t like we were standing right under the building. We had a little space to move.

Ah, nothing like a stroll in the park to clear your head during a hectic work day.

Syracuse paralegal Linda McLean told Syracuse.com that she thought she was having vertigo and felt her chair going back and forth. She and her co-workers spent a little time in a stairwell.

Definitely not a walk in the park.

Halley Pack, a paralegal who works in downtown Washington, told the Tuscon Citizen that she was getting ready to work out in the gym of her building and mistook the earthquake tremors for a headache. A co-worker worried the filing cabinets would topple on them.

Yet another fine reason to go paperless.

Did you feel the earth move yesterday?

Paralegal Profile: Jennifer L. Watford, CLA, NCCP

Jennifer Watford
Job Title:  Paralegal

Employer:  Young Moore and Henderson, P.A., Raleigh, NC

Years of Paralegal Experience:  11

Education/Degrees:  BA, Political Science, Law and Legal Philosophy Concentration (NCSU); Paralegal Certificate, Civil Litigation Specialty (Meredith College)

Specialty Areas:  Civil Litigation Defense

Career Highlight:  Winning the first ever "Rookie of the Year" award by Paralegal Today (formerly Legal Assistant Today) Magazine in 2003

Future Professional Goal:  Achieving the ACP designation through NALA.

Paralegal Practice Tip:  I have a couple. The first is proofread. Sometimes our fingers are much faster on the keyboard than our heads have time to process. It's also easy to have reviewed something to death and you "read" what is not actually in the document, but what is in your head. The second is a positive "can do" attitude goes a very long way.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paralegal Practice Tips 21-30

Here are more great practice tips from weekly legal support staffer profiles that Practical Paralegalism has been privileged to share over the last few years:

21. Own up to your mistakes. In 27 years I have had plenty of time to make mistakes - and I did! I think I have made every mistake in the book at least once. Learn from your mistakes. Owning up to your mistakes gives you credibility. ~ Kim Walker (Pennsylvania Paralegal)

22.  Always pay attention to the technicalities - standard of review, burden of proof, whether an argument is waived on appeal, and issues of timely filing. Sometimes these little "gotchas" can transform a tough case into an easy win. ~ Tammy Cravit (California paralegal)

23.  Organization, attention to detail, the ability to think outside the box and having the drive to tackle any type of legal task are some of the most key components in this profession. This is a profession where multitasking is essential. Without it you would not advance very far. ~ Peter Buckley (Massachusetts Paralegal)

24.  Be a team player, mentor younger members of your team/practice group/firm, join and get involved/serve with your local paralegal organization, participate in pro bono activities in your local area, speak, teach, write, whatever you feel led to do, but GET INVOLVED, GET ACTIVE and GIVE BACK to your local paralegal community. ~ Patty Dietz-Selke (Georgia paralegal)

25.  Work to live, don't live to work. You'll be happier in both your career and your life. ~ Sue Ann Jaffarian (California paralegal)

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Paralegals Welcome in the ABA Journal's Blawg 100 Amici

The ABA Journal is currently seeking reader recommendations for its annual list of the 100 best legal blogs, and I've seen a few paralegal bloggers asking their readers to write in on their behalf.

But the only legal blogs eligible for consideration are those written by lawyers and law students - for lawyers and law students. So no legal support staffers or other kinds of legal professionals need apply.

I'm going to be honest about how I felt when I first read that: being excluded even from reader recommendations for terrific legal blogs felt a little like being slapped in the face. Maybe some people think "blawgs" in its most literal context means blogs written only by lawyers, but I believe this slang term in its broadest context means blogs that provide legal-oriented content. One definition says a blawg is "a blog written by a legal professional (hopefully) that focuses primarily on areas of the legal system."

You might be thinking, "Why should you care, Ms. Senior Paralegal? The ABA Journal is only for lawyers." I thought it was for all legal professionals. It's an important national legal publication, I read it, and I work for lawyers. I consider myself to be a legal professional, and I think it's important to keep up with legal news and technology. I am the one in the office that often orders ABA-published books and reads them. I also frequently refer to resources at the ABA's website.

Today's Quote: Hey, That's My Fave Vacay Spot, Too!

Your ultimate vacation spot?

Away from work! The Red Sox would be playing — and winning — and I would be with all my friends and Phish would be jamming it!

~  Connecticut paralegal Mya Williamson shares a few of her favorite things with the Hartford Advocate

Actually, anywhere the Red Sox are would be my dear hubby's favorite vacay spot.

Mya's most treasured possession is a Masters of the Universe lunchbox she uses to store tickets from every concert she's been to since she was 6.

This vintage lunchbox is available for $79 via eBay.

As a paralegal, I kind of like to think of myself as the master of my li'l universe.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today's Quote: You Want to Be in the Other Room When this Gun Goes Off

"Actually I purchased it shoots out 4-10 shotguns shells which doesn't go thru drywall--just in case for home defense. You don't hit anyone else that's in another room." ~ Jesus Guenas, a full-time paralegal, won his handgun lawsuit against Chicago. (FOX News)
The Wikipedia entry for the .410 bore shotgun shell also says it's difficult to hit moving targets with it.

Whew.

Practical Paralegalism's Recommended Reading This Week

This is a blog for paralegals, legal assistants, legal support staffers with other job titles, paralegal students and educators - and the attorneys that want to get to know us better. I try to share information readers might find helpful for professional development, or just a much-needed laugh during a hectic week working in a fast-paced legal environment. Once a week (or less often when Life happens) I share links to a half dozen or so articles focusing on legal news and humor, professionalism and career dressing, practice tips and technology.

I also share links of interest (and the random thoughts of a gainfully employed paralegal and mom to a teen) at Practical Paralegalism's Facebook page, and at my Twitter feed, @ExpertParalegal. (I'm also on Google+, sort of.)

Wanna hold hands with your iPhone? Me neither.  (Thanks, GadgetBox!)

Here's this week's links:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Public Speaking Tips for the Painfully Shy Paralegal

RTPA President Kirsten Carlos and me
As I left my office to drive to today's Research Triangle Paralegal Associationhttp://www.rtpanc.org/, luncheon where I was the guest ethics speaker, I joked with my co-workers, "How does someone with severe social anxiety and fear of public-speaking get so darn many speaking invitations?" I could actually feel my knees quaking as I walked to my car.

I had plenty of time to think about it on the drive. I've been told by many other smart, personable, and experienced paralegals with a wealth of knowledge to share that they could never do what I do. My response is usually, "Yes, you can. If I can do it, you can do it."

I can never remember a time when I was not painfully shy. I was one of those funny-looking kids with huge glasses, fuzzy hair, and awful acne - not that too many people saw my face hidden behind a book. I avoided public speaking like the plague until someone asked me to present a personal injury CLE in the early 90s. It must have gone pretty well, because it was repeated by popular demand.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Former Paralegal Sues Texas Firm for Unpaid Overtime

Overtime payment can be a sore subject for paralegals, especially those that are not compensated for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Sometimes paralegals just complain about unpaid overtime, and either put up with the situation, or move on to another firm - and sometimes they litigate the situation, like Sherri Davis, who filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas last week against her former employer, a Houston firm, Mostyn Law Firm P.C.

According to the complaint filed by Davis on behalf of herself and "on behalf of all others similarly situated," i.e. other former and current paralegals at the firm, she was allegedly a nonexempt employee, and "was not compensated at the FLSA mandated time-and-a-half rate for hours worked in excess of forty per week." In addition to the unpaid overtime, Davis seeks liquidated damages in an amount equal to the alleged unpaid wages, and attorney fees and costs. The complaint does not state the specific amount of overtime pay claimed.

Per the Tex Parte Blog that originally broke the story, the defendant alleges that Davis was an exempt supervisory employee not entitled to overtime compensation, and that the firm's other paralegals are eligible for overtime pay.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Paralegal Profile: Yolanda N. Smith, ACP, NCCP

Yolanda Smith
Job Title:  Paralegal

Employer:  NC State University, Raleigh, NC

Years of Paralegal Experience: 14

Education/Degrees:  Currently attending South University, B.S. in Legal Studies; Paralegal Certificate from UNC-Chapel Hill

Specialty Areas:  Litigation, Education Law

Career Highlight:  I earned my CP and my specialty in litigation from the National Association of Legal Assistants, http://www.nala.org/, in 1995.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Paralegal Practice Tips 11-20

Here are 10 more great paralegal practice tips from legal support staffer profiles that Practical Paralegalism has been honored to share over the past several years:

Paralegal Practice Tips 11-20

11.  Take pride in your work and have a passion for excellence. ~ Lino Rivera (Texas paralegal)

12.   To avoid missing deadlines, confirm and tickle due dates from the lawyers. ~ Jessica Johnson (Tennessee paralegal)

13.  Develop the seed of doubt, and nurture it. If you are not 100% sure something has been done, verify it. If you are not 100% sure of the rule or statute, verify it. ~ Christina L. Koch, ACP (Nebraska paralegal)

14.  Always have pen and paper handy. You never know when that attorney is going to give you something to do. ~ Kristina Duncan (Washington, DC paralegal)

15.  Whether you work in-house or for a law firm, make sure the attorneys with whom you work are aware of your abilities and use you to the fullest of your potential. ~ Amy Bernardino (California paralegal)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Today's Quote: Right, Blame the Legal Assistant Again

Was that a typo? Did a legal assistant, perhaps over-caffeinated by being forced to do the bidding of Triple-Type A Manhattan multi-millionaires, add an extra zero to what was supposed to pass as a soothingly cozy size for a Hamptons seaside cottage? ~ Excerpt from "The Hamptons 'R Us. Not!" (Martha's Vineyard Patch)

I'm not sure what this article is about, other than really big houses and rich people.

I actually had to look up what passes for a "cottage" in the Hamptons, but then I still have to eat Ramen noodles, too.

Source:  Martha's Vineyard Patch

Legal Secretary Convicted of Killing Boss To Be Released from Prison

I've shared some extreme tales of theft from law firms by legal support staffers, but so far, I can't recall anyone poisoning her boss to access the business accounts. But I wasn't blogging in 2003 when this story made national news headlines.

The Winona Daily News reports that Sarah Dutra, who was 21 years old when she was employed as a legal secretary by well known California attorney Larry McNabney, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter after helping his wife poison him with horse tranquilizers in order to steal money from his practice.

This tale of law practice theft and murder is definitely a jaw-dropper. The legal secretary and the lawyer's wife poisoned McNabney at a horse show, drove the dying lawyer through Yosemite National Park looking unsuccessfully for a place to bury him, and then stuffed the body in a refrigerator in his own garage.

Practical Paralegalism's Recommended Reading This Week

This is a blog for paralegals, legal assistants, legal support staffers with other job titles, paralegal students and educators - and the attorneys that want to get to know us better. I try to share information readers might find helpful for professional development, or just a much-needed laugh during a hectic week working in a legal environment. Once a week (or less often when Life happens) I share links to a half dozen or so articles focusing on legal news and humor, professionalism and career dressing, practice tips and technology.

I also share links of interest (and the random thoughts of a working paralegal) at Practical Paralegalism's Facebook page, and at my Twitter account, @ExpertParalegal. (I'm also on Google+, testing the waters.)

This is the Corginator. When the going gets tough at work, I remind myself I have to buy kibble :)

Here's this week's list:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More Paralegal Romance Gone South

Truly, I wish there hadn't been a recent run of bad romance stories featuring paralegals in the national news. First, you'll be terribly shocked (okay, you won't be) to learn that Michigan paralegal Cheryl Gray's lawsuit against her Facebook love interest was dismissed.

Now a convicted murderer in Florida says his former (and third) wife, a paralegal, hid the paperwork he needs to pursue an appeal. You can get the sordid details via the Orlando Sentinel article, but he has filed a 2007 letter with the court, allegedly from his now ex-wife, the paralegal, saying she'd burn his paperwork unless he signed divorce papers.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Paralegal iPad: Why I Love the Reject Pogo Sketch Sylus I Won

I won something, I won something!

I know, you're thinking, "Big Whoop."

Anyhoo.

I won the Pogo Sketch Stylus in iPad4Legal's reject stylus giveaway from the "iPad Stylus Cage Match" post. I'm not even upset that it wasn't New York attorney Patrick DiDomenico's fave, and that it has a broken clip (which I didn't realize 'til I just re-read the post).

Ten One Design Pogo Sketch Stylus - $6.99 (Amazon)

I already owned the AYL Newest Generation Slim Capacitive iPad Stylus (a gift from my hubby) and thought it was a bag o' chips plus an ice cold can of Dr. Pepper. But when the Ten One Design Pogo Sketch Stylus arrived, and I moved the detachable tether from the AYL to the Pogo, I quickly figured out that the Pogo Sketch has an edge. It's so light that it's almost invisible when dangling from my iPad. I use the device constantly, and often forget that the Pogo is tethered to it. The AYL is much heavier, and tends to get in my way.

Even though the Pogo came in third place in Patrick's cage match, it's first place for me right now. I've had no problems writing with it, and it gets major bonus points, because I never notice it hanging from my iPad when I'm reading a book in bed at night.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paralegal Profile: Zachary Brewer

Zachary and family
Job Title:  Paralegal

Employer:  Richards & Connor, PLLP; Tulsa, OK

Years of Paralegal Experience: 2

Education/Degrees: AA - History; BA - History; Certification - Secondary Education;  NALA's Certified Paralegal (CP) credential

Specialty Areas: Med-Mal, Insurance Defense

Career Highlight: Drafting a winning Motion to Dismiss on my first try

Future Professional Goal:  ACP Credential and teaching paralegal classes

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paralegal Practice Tips 1-10

Practical Paralegalism has been in existence for almost three years, and during that time I've been honored to share the professional profiles of over 65 legal support staffers, including their fantastic practice tips. Instead of making readers research the last three years for these valuable nuggets of information, each week I'll share 10 paralegal practice tips from the experts themselves, [mostly] in the order received.

Paralegal Practice Tips 1-10:

1.  Listen not only to the words but also to the tone. Pay attention to body language. Often the most significant help the paralegal provides is not in giving the answer but in framing the question. ~ Wendy Kimel, ACP, NCCP, North Carolina paralegal

2. Don't stress about what you can't change, but strive to change what you can. ~ Patricia "Patti" Clapper, ACP, NCCP, North Carolina paralegal

3.  Keep a spiral notebook at hand to write down everything you do every day. Jot down the name of the cases you work on, the name of the pleadings or correspondence, phone calls made and received, the substance of the calls, and the time spent on each. This information comes in handy for billing, or giving your attorney a status update.~ Lourdes Bugarin, Texas paralegal

4.  Learn the rules of procedure and court rules for your practice area, and keep the bound books handy. Highlight, flag, and refer to them often, even when (especially when) you already "know" the rule. ~ Kim Plonsky, North Carolina paralegal

5. Sign up and read the free e-newsletters provided by law firms, vendors and professional organizations. Trends in litigation and technology move quickly. Use them as professional intelligence resources and share with the attorneys you report to and other paralegals. ~ Jeffrey L. Smith, North Carolina paralegal

Monday, August 1, 2011

Book Review: iPad in One Hour for Lawyers

I'm pleased to confirm that the title of Tom Mighell's new book, iPad in One Hour for Lawyers (American Bar Association, 2011), is pretty accurate in regard to time - if you're a fast reader and have some experience with your iPad. If you're using this excellent resource get your iPad up and going for the first time, plan for the afternoon.

The Getting Started section is a simple straight-out-of-the-box guide for brand new iPad users and tech anxiety sufferers. I wish I'd had this section when I first opened the box for my new iPad, and discovered it just held the device and nothing else, no magic, nada. It took me a much longer time to figure out some of the basics on my own than it did to read this well written, extremely clear book.

Even though I've had an iPad for a while, I learned a few new tricks from Tom about navigating the device, and multiple ways to secure it.

I found iPad in One Hour for Lawyers to be especially helpful in its discussion of creating content. This tablet device has always been an excellent way to read a wide variety of content, including news and books, but using it as a writing tool has not been one of its best reviewed features. Lately, I've been using my Apple Wireless Keyboard to take extensive notes via the Evernote app. I was actually reading Tom's book and taking notes with the iPad (and writing the gist of this post) at the same time. I am pleased that Tom emphasizes the ease of creating content with a keyboard, as well as using a stylus, which I use with the Penultimate app to write notes on the fly.

As an iPad user that falls somewhere between a newbie and an expert, iPad in One Hour for Lawyers was most helpful to me in its discussion of productivity apps for legal professionals, and was well worth the purchase, especially since several lawyers in my firm are getting iPads and will read the book, too. Tom's writing style and instructions are easy to follow, even for technophobes. If you've read this post and finally decided to make your first iPad purchase, make sure you order iPad in One Hour for Lawyers - and that you have it handy when you open the box. 
 ___________________________
Tom was a recent guest on The Paralegal Voice podcast, What Paralegals Need to Know about "The Cloud." He also blogs at iPad 4 Lawyers.

Practical Paralegalism's Recommended Reading This Week

You guys already know that Practical Paralegalism focuses on paralegals and all other legal support staffers, as well as the attorneys that want to get to know us better. My goal is to share information my readers might find helpful for professional development, or simply a much-needed laugh during a hectic week working in the legal profession. Once a week (or less often when Life happens), I share links to a half dozen or so articles focusing on legal news and humor, practice tips, professionalism and career dressing, and technology.

I also share links of interest via Practical Paralegalism's Facebook page, and via my Twitter stream, @ExpertParalegal.

A USB flash drive for those who love their lipstick and their bling.

Here's this week's links: