Choosing between ABA-approved and non-ABA approved certification program...

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

106 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: We all live and learn. MORE important- you got the benes and 401)k match - the key to your future.

Curious- how long did it take until you were enrolled and contributing to the 401 (k)??

1st paralegal job - you could get in the 401(k) right away. Profit sharing and 401(k)match you have to get vested in - 20% a year, so at year 5 you were fully vested. Profit sharing was about $2000/year.

2nd paralegal job - one year wait to contribute to 4019k), two years before you could get the match. Profit sharing after 1 year, but fully vested from get-go. Profit sharing about $3000/year.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas said: 1st paralegal job - you could get in the 401(k) right away. Profit sharing and 401(k)match you have to get vested in - 20% a year, so at year 5 you were fully vested. Profit sharing was about $2000/year.

2nd paralegal job - one year wait to contribute to 4019k), two years before you could get the match. Profit sharing after 1 year, but fully vested from get-go. Profit sharing about $3000/year.

Thank for the information Dallas. I was enrolled in Business IRA within 4 months of hire, with match. That was the best deal.

Other firms, had 1 year wait. Good reason why job hopping does not pay.

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Sure!

Heidi may be finished by now. She will soon find out that getting that first job is a tough road to hoe. At least around here, few paralegal jobs are open, even for experienced people, and a host of excellent, well qualified people are competing for them.

It has been said that there can be no silly questions, yet, well, this may be the first. I have two questions. Here it goes, Displaced, you once suggested,
"There are several ways to become a paralegal......Another common method of entry, mainly for those who already have a college degree, is earning a certificate in paralegal studies'. I have earned a A Bachelor's degree already & want to understand more clearly - - can you clarify for me -- - when a person holding a Bachelors seeks to earn a certificate in paralegal studies, can the person then expect to complete an additional 4 more years of education? is this correct? Finally, How can I discover the location within the state of NJ that offers the certificate in paralegal studies? Your time today is valued by me!

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey said:

I have earned a A Bachelor's degree already & want to understand more clearly - - can you clarify for me -- - when a person holding a Bachelors seeks to earn a certificate in paralegal studies,....!

Hello Toms River - DPL will probably comment later. IF you have your 4 year Bachelor's degree, you would then want to obtain a paralegal certificate from an ABA approved Paralegal School. It is a 1 years program. September to May- like college.

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Not necessarily. The person can earn a paralegal certificate from either a free-standing paralegal school or from a college that offers a certificate program to Bachelor's degree holders. One can complete these programs in a matter of months sometimes, especially if one can attend full time. Some people opt for earning a second Bachelor's degree in paralegal studies. Their prior college coursework should count toward GE and elective requirements, at least. Depends on the college.

A second Bachelor's isn't really worth it. It won't improve one's chances at getting that that first job, nor will it earn higher starting pay. The paralegal certificate is key, along with a Bachelor's.

Go to this website for American Bar Association-approved paralegal schools in Jersey: www.abanet.org/legalservices/paralegals/directory/nj.html

Hope that helps.

Displaced, you are indeed helpful! Again, much appreciation.
I did locate a Private, 4 yr Institution in NJ via the link you’ve suggested.
It offers the following:
The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
Degrees Offered: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
Minimum length of time to complete program: 5 month day program;
Internships: Elective. It continues with:
Students must have 60 college credits or an Associates degrees or BA.
The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is a 300 hour, non-credit certificate program designed to prepare you for a smooth transition from the classroom to the office ranging from law firms, corporate legal departments, banks, insurance companies and government agencies.
Displaced, the program listed above, states that it is a 300 hour, non-credit certificate program.
Non-credit? Is that correct? Why non-credit? Why not receive credit? I don’t get it?

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

106 months ago

My post-bac paralegal program was a 5 month daytime thing. They are not credit classes though. Nothing is transferable. All you need is that certificate. Well, and then a ton of luck in finding that first job.

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Probably because the program is outside the realm of the college's ordinary academic program and not subject to ordinary admissions. That would be my SWAG. Not to worry as long as the program is ABA approved. You may be able to apply for ordinary admission, transfer credits from your four-year degree and earn a second Bachelor's. In that case your paralegal courses would count as college credit. But, again, a second Bachelor's degree is unnecessary. Your ticket is already punched because you've earned a Bachelor's degree. You need only a paralegal certificate.

My wife, who has Associate and Bachelor's degrees, earned her ABA certificate at a college that offered a post-baccalaureate program. The program you found sounds very similar to the free-standing, non-college ABA program I attended.

You were top in your class in Legal Research/Writing course while attending the paralegal program, yet, firms fear risking malpractice & that is their logic for not allowing you to conduct legal research, ok, we ought to understand that position. Tell me, what is the logic behind teaching students Legal Research in the first place? Not being disrespectful here, just wondering. The legal research & legal writing course you've completed, would that be similar to the type of legal research/writing a 1L student takes during their first year at a law program? Or is that an entirely different type of Legal research/writing course? Finally, can you speak to my fears, I mean, how intense, exactly, how difficult can I expect the Paralegal studies program to be? I'm a bit uncertain to my own abilities. In order to be successfully in that program, (it think)one needs to be much more than determined. I do wish to be realistic. It's important to have, well, one has to have an aptitude for it & I truly don't have any prior law experience. I'm entering the workforce for the first time.

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Director in Washington, District of Columbia

106 months ago

You have to be very careful when you ask for advice. While Diplaced Legal Professional has strong opinions on the paralegal profession and the paralegal education system, DLP has no actual expertise.

As a program director and professor of paralegal studies for almost 20 years, I can tell you that DLP is often wrong about many things, including his assertion that law firms do not allow paralegals to conduct legal research. That is patently false.

Paralegals do conduct legal research; it is a major portion of what they do. When paralegals conduct research, a lawyer must always review and take responsibility for the product.

GW's Legal Research and Writing course is similar to, though not exactly the same as, a first year law school course. Georgetown University's program is similar to GW's, although it places more emphasis on print resources in the beginning than does GW. Each school's LR&W course is different, so you should look at the LR&W course when you are looking for a program to enter.

Every program is different in it intensity and curriculum. If you have a bachelor's degree and a good GPA, you should be able to succeed in just about any paralegal studies program. Attend an information session, speak to the director, look at the curriculum, ask to speak to professors or other students, and you should be able to gauge if the program is a good fit for you.

Good luck.

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Experienced IP paralegal in Washington, District of Columbia

106 months ago

I respectfully disagree. This is one of those areas where paralegal schools/programs really mislead students. A lot of us come out of these programs fully expecting to do research because that's what these programs like to imply, but the reality is that the associates are going to try to keep any research projects for themselves, ESPECIALLY now, in this economy when so many associates not only can't make their hours, they're terrified of getting laid off.

And frankly, even when the economy was good, I seriously doubt many paralegals were assigned legal research projects. It's just the reality of law firm life, especially in big firms.

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Director in Washington, District of Columbia

106 months ago

You raise some good points. This economy is changing everything, and the old models are not necessarily valid today. But paralegals have traditionally done and continue to do legal research. Perhaps not in your firm, but in many.

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

Director in Washington, District of Columbia said: You raise some good points. This economy is changing everything, and the old models are not necessarily valid today. But paralegals have traditionally done and continue to do legal research. Perhaps not in your firm, but in many.

Dear Professor.
Within this forum, some have posted they earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Sociology & had plans to attend a paralegal program. Clarify for me please, does this imply that it is NOT required of the individual to have a prior degree with a focus in, Legal Administrative Assistant/legal studies to enter a paralegal program & to do well in it? Let me explain my question a bit clearer. I’ve excelled during my college career, earned Dean’s List a few semesters, yet, merely, wondering, should a individual holding a Bachelor of Science, majoring in social work, (SW), in your opinion, tell me, what is the likely hood of that potential paralegal student of becoming successfully in the paralegal program when the major is SW which is entirely different than a focus in Legal Admin. Assistant/legal studies? It was my understanding that one is required to have earned a Bachelor with some type of focus in Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies in order to succeed in any paralegal program. Or is rather, any type of a Bachelor’s degree will do? BTW, each member of this forum has valuable insight to share & has my deepest respect & thanks to all.

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Director in Washington, District of Columbia

106 months ago

Thank you for that wise reminder that we all have valuable opinions and knowledge to contribute. Too often we devolve into acrimony.

Any student who does well in undergaduate school schould be able to succeed in a post-baccalaureate paralegal program. It is not necessary to have a legal or pre-law bachelor's degree. In fact, law schools do not require legal backgrounds either.

If you made dean's list and have a social work background, you should do quite well in any program.

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

Director in Washington, District of Columbia said: Thank you for that wise reminder that we all have valuable opinions and knowledge to contribute. Too often we devolve into acrimony.

Any student who does well in undergaduate school schould be able to succeed in a post-baccalaureate paralegal program. It is not necessary to have a legal or pre-law bachelor's degree. In fact, law schools do not require legal backgrounds either.

If you made dean's list and have a social work background, you should do quite well in any program.


Hello All,
I've located a ABA approved paralegal program which turns out to be within miles from where I reside, yet, I seek to know whether or not it is equal too / or would it be considered a Lesser of a degree than the initial Post BA Cert. in Paralegal Studies offered at that private 4 yr Inst. I've mentioned & listed on this post? Can you please open the link below, review it & advise me as compared to that 4 yr. Inst.? I am not sure whether I ought to opt for the 4 yr Inst & just accept the long drive to and from the 4 yr. Inst. I merely want to make the best and most informed decision. Help please.
www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/Paralegal%20Studies%20Program%20A.pdf

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I glanced at the .PDF. You'll be fine as long as the program is ABA approved. It makes no difference at all if a two year or four year school offers a program as long as it is ABA approved. As I wrote before, I attended a free-standing ABA approved paralegal school which was not associated with a college. I suggest you talk to the school, particularly if it is close. Ask about placement rate. (You'll probably be told the school places all of its graduates. Don't believe it.) You could ask to see its ABA accreditation. Also ask about financial aid, if that's an issue for you. It was for me; my paralegal school cheerfully arranged for a Stafford and other loan for me so fast my head spun. Also ask if attorneys teach the classes.

Hey Displaced, good to have you back on board! Was looking for your reply most of my morning. Great input, worth repeating to you, GREAT GREAT GREAT job. Thanks for your time today. Yeah, I opened the link as well, it does state in black & white, it is ABA approved program, or at least I hope that I am reading it correctly, and not reading /"seeing" what I wish to see. I will BRAVE up here and will certainly open my mouth to request and ask to see its ABA accreditation. Guess "seeing" actually paper work to view its credentials is a must these days. Again, thanks for the straight to the point, honest hard facts to all my concerns. Truth is what I always seek in my life.

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I think legal research is taught primarily as part of legal writing. Part of legal research is Shepherdizing, meaning you determine if something you've found is still good law. Legal research is another weapon in your arsenal. Whether or not attorneys opt to harness your skills, legal research is still an important paralegal skill. A paralegal needs to know her/his way around the law library and/or WESTLAW.

Very similar. Our paralegal school used the same legal research textbook used by at least one local law school. My paralegal school classes were college-level or higher. I was never a great student in high school and college, primarily because I was immature and unmotivated (except for avoiding becoming 1-A for the draft), and most likely because I really didn't know how to study. I went to paralegal school in my mid forties. I had been an instructor in a vocational school-type environment and understood the process. I knew from that experience I would get out of the program what I put in. Inasmuch as I was paying for it, I wanted to get out of it everything possible.

I got some help in learning how to study. I applied that help. I applied myself. I did well on my early exams. Experiencing that success was my motivator; it became addictive. It helped that I had aptitude for legal studies and legal work.

Paralegal school is doable if you do the studying, complete all assignments, and attend all classes. I'm living proof that it is.

Glad to have been so very fortunate to be "speaking" with you Displaced. You will not be soon forgotten by me. Your Supreme Expertise are priceless & hope to one day be in business with you and your wife. I'm nervous about my future & new academic journey, yet, will be moving with great information, so how can one go wrong? I'll keep update & posting.........

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Experienced IP paralegal in Washington, District of Columbia

106 months ago

Also, be careful about believing what these schools tell you before you enroll, especially considering how expensive most of them are. The whole legal research discussion reminded me of this. I don't know if schools still do this, but back in the day a lot of them made it sound as if you'd practically be a mini-attorney just by signing up for their 4-month program.

I wish a forum like this had been around back when I was thinking of paralegal school.

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

[QUOTE who="Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado"
Absolutely, but I probably would have still decided to go. At least I would have known of the pratfalls of legal industry employment.

Hey they Displaced, and greetings Experienced IP paralegal in Washington.
With my type of personality, it safe for me to say that Philly is doable. I do not anticipate traveling to Philadelphia to be a problem. Approximately 1 ½ hours travel time, one way. Curious though, why you ask? Last night, I re-read, with a keener eye, the various forums as it relates to the professional field of paralegal. In re-reading the strong suggestions posted by the multitude professionals, including the sound practical advice you, Displaced, have share and posted on this particular forum, and more closely, the sensible advice you wisely dispense to me directly in regards to my pondering the idea of entering the field, (perhaps, I read far too much into it), it is reasonable to believe, I mean, I have a sense that you (Displaced) truly are genuinely concerned for the decision those of us “newbies” are making. For many reasons, not listing them all, I have come to the realization, perhaps my issue surrounding becoming stagnate, I may be foolishly rushing into studying a field that has the potential of becoming a hardship both financially and career wise. Continue on next posting……

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gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: They do!

Absolutely, but I probably would have still decided to go. At least I would have known of the pratfalls of legal industry employment.

There is a voice inside me, it is sort of a strong sense which today dictates that I reevaluate my plans or even better yet make new plans. Yes, new plans it is! In my home, the wise often exclaim “if I only knew them---What I know Now” they would have navigated life a bit differently. To all out there posting, who have already entered the field of paralegal I ask, if you could revisit the past------what would you have done differently as it relates to a career choice? Thanks to all from a late bloomer just trying to figure it all out!!!!!!!!!
P.S. I don’t much about many things, yet, it seems to me that Law Programs ought to consider adding a requirement course called Civility. Such a course may very well prove to benefit not only their law students but the entire legal community at large. Just my opinion.

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

106 months ago

I saw a flyer for an attorney CLE class about Social Skills in the Law Firm for New Attorneys. And part of it was how to get along with staff. (!)

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Director in Gaithersburg, Maryland

106 months ago

Texas seems to be enlightened regarding paralegals.

The new Harris County (Houston) DA is seeking to place a paralegal in every criminal court (22 felony courts and 15 misdemeanor courts). A paralegal would replace one of the four prosecutors in each court. There is an organizational chart showing this, so it's more than a rumor. The plan needs approval of the Commissioner's Court.

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Director in Gaithersburg, Maryland

106 months ago

I am just passing on some news I heard. I didn't actually write the Houston courts policy, Dis.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

gotogether in Toms River, New Jersey said: Hello All,
I've located a ABA approved paralegal program which turns out to be within miles from where I reside, yet, I seek to know whether or not it is equal too / or would it be considered a Lesser of a degree than the initial Post BA Cert. in Paralegal Studies offered at that private 4 yr Inst. I've mentioned & listed on this post? Can you please open the link below, review it & advise me as compared to that 4 yr. Inst.? I am not sure whether I ought to opt for the 4 yr Inst & just accept the long drive to and from the 4 yr. Inst. I merely want to make the best and most informed decision. Help please.
www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/Paralegal%20Studies%20Program%20A.pdf

If you are interested in x Paralegal program, you call, ask for a meeting to get the information in person.

A 4 hour drive to school is ridiculous- and not doable.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

You need only a Bachelor's degree. Only. The major doesn't matter. I repeat - major doesn't matter.(corrected)

Second, a 1 year program, ABA approved is all you need.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Director in Gaithersburg, Maryland said: Texas seems to be enlightened regarding paralegals.

The new Harris County (Houston) DA is seeking to place a paralegal in every criminal court (22 felony courts and 15 misdemeanor courts). A paralegal would replace one of the four prosecutors in each court. ...

Hum- if there is no prosecutor in the court, who is prosecuting the case? A paralegal cannot represent a cliet in court of law.

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Director in Gaithersburg, Maryland

106 months ago

That would be a paralegal in every court IN ADDITION TO the lawyers.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Some people thrive under pressure; some interviewers ask candidates if they can work under pressure. Perhaps they can, but unreasonable pressure and ridiculous policies, as I just wrote about, above, and which I experienced more times than I would have liked, do a number on you over time.

(corrected)

Excellent comment. Pressure on a given day, or a string of days to complete a project is one thing. Unreasonable pressure as an ongoing work environment WILL take a toll on you- big time. It can cause you to hate the job, hate the boss, want to scream out loud.
You may find yourself blowing into the brown paper bag on a regualar basis.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: Excellent comment. Pressure on a given day, or a string of days to complete a project is one thing. Unreasonable pressure as an ongoing work environment WILL take a toll on you- big time. It can cause you to hate the job, hate the boss, want to scream out loud.
You may find yourself blowing into the brown paper bag on a regualar basis.

opps- "regular" basis

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Director in Gaithersburg, Maryland said: That would be a paralegal in every court IN ADDITION TO the lawyers.

And what would be the role of this paralegal?

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WorkingnineTofive in Toms River, New Jersey

106 months ago

kmm in Wilmington, Delaware said: If you are interested in x Paralegal program, you call, ask for a meeting to get the information in person.

A 4 hour drive to school is ridiculous- and not doable.

Hey kmm. No confrontation from me. Your advice is right on target when you suggest “If you are interested in x Paralegal program, you call, ask for a meeting to get the information in person”. It was ridiculous of me to ask members of this forum to share with me their own insightful opinion. Also, once again, you’re correct in believing that “A 4 hour drive to school is ridiculous- and not doable”. I do not know who I think I am to even suggest that for me, personally, driving 1 ½ hours (one way) to a paralegal program is doable, you’re absolutely correct kmm, that’s ridiculous. You’re right kmm. No arguments here. Good job kmm.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

WorkingnineTofive in Toms River, New Jersey said: Hey kmm. No confrontation from me. Your advice is right on target when you suggest “If you are interested in x Paralegal program, you call, ask for a meeting to get the information in person”. It was ridiculous of me to ask members of this forum to share with me their own insightful opinion. Also, once again, you’re correct in believing that “A 4 hour drive to school is ridiculous- and not doable”. I do not know who I think I am to even suggest that for me, personally, driving 1 ½ hours (one way) to a paralegal program is doable, you’re absolutely correct kmm, that’s ridiculous. You’re right kmm. No arguments here. Good job kmm.

Do I hear "sarcasm" in your comment? I did in fact call my school, meet with the person in charge face to face before I decided to apply for enrollment. I had a 20 minute drive to school- that was plenty. One gal had a 45 minute drive- that gets hard especially when exams hit.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

WorkingnineTofive in Toms River, New Jersey said: Hey kmm. No confrontation from me. Your advice is right on target when you suggest “If you are interested in x Paralegal program, you call, ask for a meeting to get the information in person”. It was ridiculous of me to ask members of this forum to share with me their own insightful opinion. Also, once again, you’re correct in believing that “A 4 hour drive to school is ridiculous- and not doable”. I do not know who I think I am to even suggest that for me, personally, driving 1 ½ hours (one way) to a paralegal program is doable, you’re absolutely correct kmm, that’s ridiculous. You’re right kmm. No arguments here. Good job kmm.

Sounds righ Toms River. THis is how that would work. Study till 10-11pm every night. Have 9am classes with four hour drive. HUM- Have to be on the road at 5am- and you get 6 hours sleep. Yeah- good plan. And do not forget there is the legal memorandum of law and you will have to be in the law library on weekends, as well, to complete that paper. I say, park your car at the school, and sleep in it.

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Director in Washington, District of Columbia

106 months ago

Goodness - you're impatient!

I was on the phone with the Harris County DA trying to get the answer to your questions. It seems Judge Patricia Lykos, the Harris County DA, has set a goal of putting a paralegal into every courtroom, but has not yet been able to implement the program because of budgetary cuts this year. She hopes to put it into place mid-year.

These paralegals will work on subpeonaes, work with victims, put together restitution packages, and make RIP calls (Restitution-Injury-Punishment) to victims to get their input on criminal actions. They will participate in trials to the extent allowed by law.

Sounds exciting and progressive.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Director in Washington, District of Columbia said: Goodness - you're impatient!

I was on the phone with the Harris County DA trying to get the answer to your questions. It seems Judge Patricia Lykos, the Harris County DA, has set a goal of putting a paralegal into every courtroom, but has not yet been able to implement the program because of budgetary cuts this year. She hopes to put it into place mid-year.

These paralegals will work on subpeonaes, work with victims, put together restitution packages, and make RIP calls (Restitution-Injury-Punishment) to victims to get their input on criminal actions. They will participate in trials to the extent allowed by law.

Sounds exciting and progressive.

Not bad idea. Only bummer is that pay from the courts is usually low. However, for many woman with husbands, could be a neat job.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

106 months ago

Thank you, Toni, for placing the call. Sounds very much like work paralegals perform already in district attorneys' offices.

Also an opportunity for great benefits and job security. But in these times, job security has gone by the boards, even in the courts.
___________
One temp job I got for a week last summer, the attorney was waiting for an Order, (was real overdue). The JA called and said it still wasn't done because they had lost all their in-house attorneys (laid off due to economy).

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I think legal research is taught primarily as part of legal writing. Part of legal research is Shepherdizing, meaning you determine if something you've found is still good law. Legal research is another weapon in your arsenal.

Remember the Memoranda of Law paper. THe whole campus was freking out on that one. We were all,including 1st year law students, in the library copying case law to support our legal issue.

Legal research- another planet. The BLue Book for doing your citiations correctly. Madness. And in the end, it all comes together.

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Paralegal in Dallas, Texas

106 months ago

Writing a memo or brief has never been part of my paralegal jobs. I don't know any paralegal doing that type of activity. It's strictly 1st year associate work.

It's another situation where school doesn't match reality. One student in my paralegal class only wanted to research and write. The guy was super smart and had worked in the White House even. But, he never found a paralegal job doing what he wanted to do. He needed to go to law school to find a job just doing legal reserch and writing and maybe he did.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

You bet I remember the (dreaded) Memorandum of Law. ....
Another student and I chose the Illegal Search and Seizures fact pattern.......

WHAT? How about the West Reporters: Doe v. Green, 531 F.2d 196 (4th Cir. 1976)

The objective was to "research" case law by using the Federal Reporters. THen read through cases to find a case on point to support the legal issue. THen "shepardize" to make sure you had the most recent law.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Paralegal in Dallas, Texas said: Writing a memo or brief has never been part of my paralegal jobs. I don't know any paralegal doing that type of activity. It's strictly 1st year associate work.

It's another situation where school doesn't match reality. One student in my paralegal class only wanted to research and write. The guy was super smart and had worked in the White House even. But, he never found a paralegal job doing what he wanted to do. He needed to go to law school to find a job just doing legal reserch and writing and maybe he did.

I disagree with you Dallas. Case law, Statutes, etc are the foundation of court decisions on cases. If you did not take that class, you would not even be able to perform the simple task of "cite checking" briefs, a task I performed when I was working for in-house counsel.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Additionally, I did get the opportunity to conduct legal reserch while working for in-house counsel. I researched the standard for damages regarding a specific damage we were seeking to be awarded monetary compensation. Damages are what determines if a case has viability. IS there a case? Prove the damages? No damages, no case.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Another example: Corporations are formed by Statute. Can't find or read the statute, can't form the corporation. By-laws are drafting in according to governance of the state of incorporation's statutes.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said:

I don't regard as real legal research looking up statutes and court rules for drafting motions, reading about subjects in practice manuals, or finding and copying forms from practice manuals and formbooks.

Sure it is. You are researching the statute for specific governance of the law. Statutes are law. Legal research is researching the law.

Court Rules- Reseach the Civil Procedures book to find out the court's procedure for filing Motions.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Legal Research is gathering legal information, whether it is law on point to be cited, statute, or civil procedures to file a legal document.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

P.S. I strenuously object. (A Few Good Men)

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Well......I don't think looking up statutes only without doing further research is what paralegal school led us to envision OTJ.

Paralegal school led us to believe we'd spend actual time in the law library, going beyond statute books. Paralegal school led us to believe we'd start from scratch and read up about law in C.J.S., AmJur, etc. Paralegal school led us to believe we'd find cases, Shepherdize the cases which also finds more cases. We'd then analyze all cases. Then we'd draft something reflecting the product of our research. Never did any of these things in my law firms.

Let's say you need an enlargement of time to serve a defendant. You are drafting a Motion and Order. One hand is on the keyboard typing while the other hand is propping open Rule 6. You are copying Rule 6 word for word to support your Motion.

Sure, you looked up Rule 6 in court rules, but it required no scholarly ability. Besides, you can use that same Motion as your form for the next time you need more time to serve a defendant.

Continued, below....

It is all about the skills obtained in paralegal school to navigate the legal system. Before paralegal school you would not know what to do with the Civil Procedure book, or what a Motion was.

Example of job assignemnt: Had to look up the statute in Delaware Code regarding the publishing in newspaper of Judgment matter, and then call client and tell him (in this case) why we cannot do it, by citing the statute with some everyman explanation. I liked doing it. Small task, but reseach, analyze, understand the legalease.

I did not get the impression that I would be doing a lot of legal research, by the end of the program. Glad I do not. But I have been called up to research Westaw, check cites in brief, look up statutes.. And without all of the classes- I would not be able to do this. The point of the paralegal program.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

opps- I failed to proof.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Continued....

Technically it's legal research. You may not have been able to conduct this research had you not have taken your paralegal school Legal Research and Litigation classes.....

That is the point. You are going to tell your boss you cannot navigate the CIvil Procedure book and find the answer. Qualification after you look it up is one thing, not knowing how.....

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

I do agree tht the advertisement of what a paralegal does heavily play on legal research as a large function of our job, as if we spend lots of time in the library lookig things up. NO, that is the exception.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Continued....

Technically it's legal research. You may not have been able to conduct this research had you not have taken your paralegal school Legal Research and Litigation classes. But it's certainly not the legal research your paralegal school excited you about and caused you to envision as a daily and regular part of your job. Another way paralegal schools mislead would-be students...

True. It is a bit misleading. Again, as you commnented, the legal research class, plus litigation class, is why you can research the Civil Procedure Rules.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

Should you be called upon to look something up, regarding legal research, you know how to do it. Or you boss will be talking to yu like an idiot and he walk you to the door. Got to show some resourcefulness before you ask attorney a question.

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kmm in Wilmington, Delaware

106 months ago

opps- no proofing. very bad

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