Monday, December 31, 2007

A Sweet End to 2007

Law Crossing posts profiles of notable paralegals, and starting today, my profile is the current Legal Staff profile on their page.

Christine Parizo: Author of A Paralegal's Blog

It's a great way to end 2007.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I'm taking the rest of the year off, so everyone, thank you for reading! Have a very happy holiday season and best wishes for the New Year!

My 2007 has been amazing: starting this blog, starting a new job in litigation, attending my first NFPA convention as a delegate, and being chosen as one of ParalegalGateway.com's Paralegal Superstars. I'm looking forward to what 2008 brings.

Best to everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

CHECKLIST: Prevent ID Theft

Here's an interesting specialty that could be emerging for paralegals: preventing ID theft. Bryan Ansley, identity theft and fraud expert and the CEO of Security Identity Systems, offered some tips to businesses wanting to protect their employees' identities. One of the tips was:

Have the name of a certified specialist -- preferably a paralegal -- on hand in case you or your employees have a problem or suspect an identity has been compromised.


With the right research and organizational skills, a paralegal could easily assist in stopping identity theft.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

American Chronicle: Paralegal Business Opportunities

For those toying with becoming freelance or independent paralegals, Richard Geller's American Chronicle piece, Paralegal Business Opportunities: Why Work for a Firm if You Don't Have To?, lays out some compelling arguments for starting a home-based paralegal business. Setting your own hours, the possibility of a higher pay rate, and being your own boss are all benefits, Geller says.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Paralegal Works as Integral Part of Legal Team

In this piece from the South Bend Tribune, paralegal Cindy Benedict, a paralegal for 17 years, answers questions about her paralegal career.

Benedict, a paralegal at the South Bend firm of Barnes & Thornberg, became interested in the profession when she met one of her sister's college roommates in the late 1970s who became a paralegal and then a law office manager. Benedict holds a bachelor's degree in legal studies and a paralegal certificate. She is a corporate paralegal, specializing in retirement plan law.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pacific Area Legal Teams Train to Deploy

POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii (AFPN) -- Two dozen experts in military law deployed to this island to spend a week sharpening their skills in preparation for upcoming deployments.

During the five-day exercise, each team of two -- one lawyer and one paralegal -- will sit through about 15 hours of classroom lesson-and-discussion sessions and run through 30 role-playing scenarios. Legal officials from Headquarters PACAF will observe and critique the students' responses to the scenarios. The goal is to get the students ready for upcoming deployments.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ParalegalGateway's Weblog: ParalegalGateway.com Announces 2008 Paralegal Superstars

ParalegalGateway's Weblog: ParalegalGateway.com Announces 2008 Paralegal Superstars, and yours truly is one of them!

The 2008 Paralegal Superstar Calendar is scheduled to go on sale late next week and will be available for stocking stuffers or for holiday gifts for you or your favorite Paralegal.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Paralegal Runs Legal Clinic

REDLANDS, Calif. -- Paralegal Carmen Barney runs the Redlands YMCA's Legal Aid Clinic. As the clinic's Director, she provides legal assistance at a fraction of the cost of an attorney for hire to whoever requires her services.

Barney, a twenty-year paralegal, took over the legal aid clinic in 1999. All of the legal advice dispensed at the clinic is from volunteer attorneys.

The clinic is funded through the YMCA and the United Way. Donations also find their way to the clinic, where Barney and her two assistants work tirelessly, serving the 200 to 300 clients who come into use the clinic's services.

Barney said that most of her clients come seeking legal advice dealing with family law: divorces, child custody cases, guardianships and the like.

The clinic allows clients to relate their legal problems to Barney and her assistants, who make efforts to keep them calm in a time that can be stressful.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

DeRemigio Named Chair of Paralegal Committee

From South Jersey News Online:

Lynne DeRemigio has been appointed chair of the paralegal committee for 2007-08 by N.J. State Bar Association President Lynn Fontaine Newsome. A graduate of the American Institute for Paralegal Studies, DeRemigio earned her bachelors degree in law/justice at Rowan University. A litigation paralegal for more 20 years, she is currently employed as a paralegal with the Gloucester County Office of County Counsel.

She is a two-term past president of the South Jersey Paralegal Association and remains active as a board advisor. She is a current member of the Gloucester County College Paralegal Program Advisory Board and a member of the N.J. State Bar Association. DeRemigio is the editor of the New Jersey State Bar Association publication The Essential Role of the Paralegal.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Program Would Seek to Raise Higher Standards for Paralegals

From today's Naples Daily News, which sums up the Florida Registered Paralegal Program nicely:

"The Florida Supreme Court on Nov. 15 unanimously approved creation of the Florida Registered Paralegal Program, which provides for voluntary registration of paralegals who meet minimum educational, certification, or work experience criteria, and who agree to abide by an established code of ethics. The program’s goal is to better serve the public by creating standards for a profession that has been largely self-regulated.

The program begins March 1 and sets up a two-tier system for registering paralegals. It also creates a disciplinary system and a code of ethics and responsibility. The rules don’t regulate paralegals, who still will be overseen by the lawyers who employ them and direct their legal work.

The first tier describes a paralegal as someone qualified through education, training or work experience and who, under the supervision of a lawyer, performs delegated, substantive work the lawyer is responsible for. “Tier two paralegals” must meet experience, education and continuing education criteria to become registered and could then describe themselves as “Florida Registered Paralegals.”

The plan also has a grandfathering provision that allows paralegals who can show substantial experience, but who don’t meet education or certification requirements, to become registered paralegals. That provision will only be available during the program’s first three years.

[snip]

Florida Alliance of Paralegal Associations Inc. President Tana J. Stringfellow said her group has diligently pursued regulation for many years.

“It is through the efforts of many dedicated paralegals that this program has become a reality,” Stringfellow said.

First Circuit Judge Ross Goodman, who chaired the special committee that also comprised paralegal professionals and members of the public, praised the ruling and credited paralegal organizations that have worked for so long for a paralegal regulatory plan.

“This was an honest effort brought about by people who did not all agree on everything, but they agreed to try to work around their disagreements,” Goodman said. “I think what we came up with was a really good start.”

Although the plan is not mandatory now, Goodman said, it may be some day — depending on whether it’s embraced by paralegals."