If you think that you don't need to invest in training after you complete a paralegal certificate or degree think again. Anyone who believes that once they complete a certificate or degree they have all they need to be successful will be unpleasantly surprised to find that they are wrong. First of all if you work as a paralegal in California you are required to comply with Business and Professions Code 6450 which requires paralegals to take continuing legal education. Secondly this mindset hinders paralegals from expanding their horizons to other career options that are only available to those with education. This mediocre mindset takes away from the fundamental aspects of what it means to work in an industry that is governed by rules, regulations, and mandates. People change, rules change, and society changes. All these changes come with different ways in which things are done which require learning about these new ways.
The legal industry is constantly in flux with new innovations within and outside of the field. Technology has done away with the mundane tasks that used to be completed without the assistance of algorithms. These algorithms make complex functions like legal research and eDiscovery simpler and quicker to complete. Legal research used to be conducted by going to a law library and wading through countless books, leaflets, and guides to search on a topic, now it can be done quickly and painlessly.
New technologies have created eDiscovery professionals, laws that protect intellectual property rights, and virtual law offices just to name a few. Anyone who believes that they have learned enough never to have to set foot in a class again might want to change careers. A class does not have to be in a physical building nor does it require attending a formal lecture. A class can simply be reading a book or learning from a co-worker. A class is where learning takes place and all legal professionals must be continuous learners.
It is easy to begin and finish something when you know when the end will come, but the difficulty comes into play when there is no set limit to how long something will take or when you will actually get to the finishing point. That is often what happens when you are conducting legal research. Searching for a simple case or law does not require a lot of time, but if you happen to be researching on a topic that is unfamiliar to you or a complicated topic locating the necessary information can present a challenge to even the most experienced researcher.
There are no set in stone rules on how to research effectively. The best researcher is experienced at combining the correct words to locate on point cases, but when there is little to no case law, rules, or statutes on a topic the best laid out research plan and word combinations can become useless. In order to locate pertinent information for a case it can be difficult to determine where to start which can not only prolong a research project it can cause the most savvy researcher to lose focus.
Can you use some pointers on how to always find what you're looking for? Simply focusing on the end result will not only help with procrastination it will also minimize the time that it takes to figure out what it is your looking for.
Check out these tips on how to research more effectively. Sign up for free lifetime access to Paralegal Power Breaks for more tips on a variety of topics ranging from office politics to intellectual property.
Have you ever considered where you will be in 1 month, 1 year, or 5 years? What you do today has a direct impact on where you will be tomorrow. Have you considered being an entrepreneur and put it off or determined that you don't have what is necessary to strike out on your own? Starting your own business in the legal industry is not as difficult as you think it may be. With Legal Shield you can become your own boss or simply supplement your income by offering what majority of Americans go without. Legal protection.
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Have you ever decided that you were going to make a change in an area of your life and not know exactly where to start? Goals are not easy to accomplish and are even more difficult to maintain. Being successful requires constant improvement and refining, but where do you begin. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary unleash means "to throw, shoot, or set in motion forcefully". This definition alone describes a sort of aggressive approach and not a lax attitude which is often the result of many failed careers. Stagnation is the lack of progress and the lack of progress will only work to keep you in the same position year after year.
There is no better way to understand this approach than to consider throwing something that a dog really wants out of the dog's immediate reach. The dog will attempt to get to the bone, frisbie, or whatever is being offered, but once it gets to the end of its leash it will be yanked back into position, and possibly even suffer some form of discomfort from the yanking of its chain as it attempts to reach its goal. So to will you continue to experience discomfort similar to a dog on a leash who is attempting to reach something that it really wants until you are unleashed.
So how do you do unleash your career potential? Unlike the dog you do not need someone to do this for you. You can and must do this for yourself. First you must understand that maintaining the status quo is similar to being on a leash. You may be making all kinds of noise like a barking dog, and making some movement, but in essence you are not going anywhere. After you realize that your stagnation translates into mediocrity and is never going to allow you to reach your true potential it is time to begin the real work.
Try these five tips and create your action plan for career success:
Have you ever attempted to accomplish a particular goal to discover that no matter how much or how long you worked you never quite seemed to reach the mark? At times you may have determined that all the effort was not worth it and considered giving it, but your desire to see the goal to completion never allowed you to give up completely. No matter where you are in life or how far you have gone in your career at some point you will reach this point.
The thought of quitting may provide some temporary satisfaction, but that nagging feeling in the back of your mind will nudge you to keep going further. This nagging feeling unfortunately does not provide you with the solution to how to reach the goal so you assume that doing more of the same thing is the solution to the predicament.
It is not how much of something that you do that determines whether or not you will reach a goal but taking the right approach. Consider when a person wants to become a neurosurgeon and he or she may need to complete a residency in order to become a licensed doctor. The fact that this individual goes to medical school and works day in and day out dissecting frogs does not mean that they will become a neurosurgeon. Matter of fact if this individual continues to spend all his or her time dissecting frogs they will never accomplish their ultimate goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.
There is an approach that will work for accomplishing every goal. The right approach may not be as simple to discover as the example provided, but even if the approach must be created there is an approach that will work. When you have been doing the same thing over and over again and are not seeing the desired result consider whether you need to apply a different approach to what you are doing.
Paralegal Rainmakers Plus Plan
Become a Paralegal Rainmaker member and join a growing community of paralegals across the globe. When you sign up you can access career resources including complimentary registration to The Paralegal MasterClass, which includes sessions from paralegals and other legal professionals across the globe, newsletters, an on-line social forum to discuss topics of interests specific to the nuances of working as a paralegal. Learn more
Enjoy these additional benefits when you join:
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*Law Office Simulations included in the Paralegal Crash Courses must be purchased separately.
Are you a Paralegal in California?
Every two years, commencing January 1, 2007, any person that is working as a paralegal shall be required to certify completion of four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in legal ethics and four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in either general law or in an area of specialized law. When you sign up for a membership plan you can earn up to 30 pre-approved CLE credits every year. Learn More
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Network and Educate Your Way to Success!
Paralegal professionals as well as aspiring paralegals can learn about emerging trends within the paralegal profession in addition to staying abreast of technology usage in the legal industry by signing up for a Paralegal Connection subscription plan.
All subscription plans include access to the following benefits:
Triple Threat Paralegal
In any field a person is said to be a triple threat when they are adept at three different skills in the same field. In the entertainment industry a triple threat would be someone who can sing, dance, and act. In football it would be an athlete who is good at passing, running, and kicking.
The skills necessary to thrive and become a triple threat paralegal requires excellent communication skills, technological savviness, and critical thinking skills. The paralegal role is fundamentally a business role. When the role was developed in the 1960's by a collaboration of the American Bar Association and other bar associations it was developed to ensure that underrepresented segments of society would be able to afford an attorney and gain access to justice. It was not created to lower the bar for entry into the legal field.
This three part series includes the following live sessions. When you register for this series the live session and recording is included:
Part I: Technology & eDiscovery Crash Course
This course will cover the fundamentals of e-discovery and the tools of technology that are frequently used in the processing of a civil case from inception to trial. Learn More
Part II: Legal Research Crash Course
The purpose of this live on-line session is to transform legal research from being performed as a creative artistic expression into a scientific method that can be consistently applied and measured for maximum paralegal efficiency. This course offers a certificate when all tasks within the simulated law office are successfully completed. Learn More
Part III: Legal Communication Crash Course
A focus on persuasive writing, interviewing, and investigations will be covered in this informative course for paralegals. Learn More
Want to specialize in a practice area? Register for a practice area specific Triple Threat Paralegal series.