What’s an Employer Looking for?

slacker 2I cannot speak for the others in my trade, but I know what I as an attorney want in a paralegal.

Not everything I want has to do with their training or education.  Some of the things I look for have to do with who they are as a person.

  • Honesty
  • Personal Integrity
  • Self-motivation
  • Professionalism

Often, I like to bring someone on first as an intern to see their work ethic in motion. Nothing like observing paralegal at work to determine whether he or she will fit into the team.

Great tips on Email

The following is a recent post of the Continuing Education for the Bar (CEB) which discusses some important safety tips for using email in a business environment.  These are equally applicable to the law office or other legal environment as well.

How to Avoid Six E-mail Mistakes

Legal Project Management vs. Project Management?

For those of you with a project management background or bent, the following is a recent article discussing Legal Project Management and how it compares to Project Management in general.

Is Legal Project Management really the same as Project Management?

Legal Writing . . . it should be clear

Here’s a link to a blog post done by Continuing Education for the Bar which is a great reminder of the type of writing that lawyers and paralegals need to use to be more effective:

Make it Clear to the Judge

Preparing your Resume

The following article has some good tips on what to do and what not to do.

Resumes, Cover letters, and Interviews:  Oh, My

Paralegal Essentials – Landlord Tenant Law (Part 1)

The centerpiece of a landlord-tenant relationship is the rental agreement or lease.  It is important that certain key terms be addressed in the rental agreement or lease.  Here are a few:

  • Names of the Parties to the agreement (e.g. the name of the landlord and the name(s) of the tenants
  • A description of the premises
  • Rental term ( How long will the tenancy last?)
  • Rent (How much rent will the tenant pay?)
  • Due Date (On what day is the rent due?)
  • Late charges
  • Security Deposit
  • Use of the Premises (What is the purpose for which the property is being rented?)
  • Landlord Entry (When and under what circumstances may the landlord enter the property?)
  • Attorneys fees
  • Signatures

Be sure to review a rental agreement or lease to see that it has these key terms covered before signing.

Does Smiling Help you be a better leader?

The following is a link to a blog post regarding leadership and how smiling can make you a more effective and successful leader.  This is, of course, relevant to our discussion of being an effective paralegal not only because paralegals are often leaders, but also because paralegals are often the face of their firm to the client, and a smile from the paralegal can greatly impact the client’s view of the firm.

original post- Does Smiling make you a better leader?

Paralegal Essentials – Contract Law (Quiz 1)

What did you learn about Contract Law so far?  The answers to the quiz will be posted tomorrow.  Try to answer without looking at the earlier posts.  Peak if you must!

1.  What are the 4 requirements for a binding promise or agreement?

2.  What is another way of expressing the idea of “mutual assent”?

3.  What types of people lack capacity to contract?

4.  _________________ or __________________ must exist for consideration to be legally significant.

5.  A contract capable of being made void by one of the parties.  ___________________

6.  A promise for an act or forbearance to act is a(n) ________________________ contract.

7.  A contract that is  fully performed by all the parties is an executed/executory.  (circle the correct term)

8.  Give two examples of conduct that invalidates assent.

9.  ______________________ is taking unfair advantage of a person by reason of a dominant position based upon a confidential relationship.

10.  What are the 5 elements of fraud?

A Good Discussion of Social Media and What’s in it for you

The following is a link to an excellent discussion of social media (Facebook, Twitter  and LinkedIn) and what is in it for you.  If you are still wondering if you should incorporate LinkIn or other forms of social networking, read on:


So you didn’t make the qualifying round . . . what’s next?

It is possible that you are not quite ready for the Olympics this time around, but there is every reason to believe the paralegal “big time” is in your future.  I recommend you consider the following:

1.  What do you already know that could apply to being a paralegal?  For example, do you know accounting?  How a spreadsheet works?  How to reconcile accounts?  Have you handled real estate transactions?  Reviewed contracts?  Have you handled human resource issues?  Hiring?  Termination?  Mediating disputes?  All of these are good cross-over skills that could put you ahead in the paralegal “race”.

2.  What can you easily acquire?  I think the easiest skill set to acquire that will take you the furthest distance is in the realm of technology.  I would recommend that you take computer courses, complete online webinars and tutorials for as many software applications as you can find.

3.  You can work on being more organized.  Buy a calendar or start using the calendaring system on your computer or cellular phone.  Begin putting in dates, setting reminders and becoming more accountable to your calendar.  Also begin to organize the files on your computer.  Set up a system by which you can locate samples of your work and other documents that you might need easily and quickly.

4.  Remember . . . you too, can be a paralegal Olympian!

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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