Monday, June 25, 2012

Is it a "Pink Collar Profession"? The Male Paralegal's Perspective

Is the paralegal profession a woman’s world?

Is the number of male paralegals on the rise in this female-dominated profession?

On this month’s episode of The Paralegal Voice,
Lynne DeVenny and I welcome two male paralegals -- one with extensive experience and the other newer to the profession -- to get the male perspective and their interesting insight on male paralegals in the profession today.

Carl H. Morrison II, PP, AACP is a Senior Certified Paralegal with
Rhodes, Hieronymus, Jones, Tucker & Gable, in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he specializes in insurance defense, medical products, medical malpractice, vaccine litigation, asbestos litigation, products liability and dram shop liability.  He has a degree in Biological Sciences (Pre-Med) and is a NALS Certified Professional Paralegal (PP), as well as an American Alliance Certified Paralegal (AACP).
Zachary W. Brewer, CP is a paralegal with Hall Estill, one of the larger firms in Oklahoma. He specializes in medical malpractice and has expanded into other areas, including banking, transactional, divorce and nursing home litigation. Zach has an interesting educational background with an AA in History from Tulsa Community College (TCC) and a BA in History from the University of Tulsa. He received his teaching certification in secondary education from Northeastern State University and he graduated from the paralegal studies program at TCC. He also earned his Certified Paralegal credential from NALA.
Carl and Zach discussed:
  • What they do in their paralegal jobs.
  • What drew them to the paralegal profession.
  • Is there an increase in men enrolling in paralegal programs?
  • How they found their first jobs.
  • Does a “glass elevator” exist, allowing male paralegals to advance faster than females
  • Challenges male paralegals face.
  • Their advice for men considering the paralegal profession.
For information on how to contact Carl and Zach, and for Vicki & Lynne’s monthly practice tip and social media tip, be sure to listen to this episode. It’s easy…and it’s free! Just click on the following links:

Page URL:

MP3 Link:

The Paralegal Voice also thanks its sponsor: NALA...The Association of Paralegals and Legal Assistants.

Please share the links to this episode of The Paralegal Voice with your friends and colleagues. If you have a request for a future show, or a question for us, you are welcome to contact us at

Also, be you never miss a podcast by subscribing to any Legal Talk Network show, including The Paralegal Voice, by using the RSS Feed links or iTunes links at

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Your Job: An Opportunity, Not a Privilege

If you have not had an opportunity to review The Professional Paralegal: A Guide to Finding a Job and Career Success that I co-authored with Charlsye Smith Diaz, PhD, you might believe that it focuses entirely on how to land a paralegal position.

t is true that the first 8 chapters spotlight traits paralegals need to succeed, job search strategies, preparing a winning resume, and nailing the interview. Each chapter has valuable information for starting your paralegal career.
It is in Chapter 9 that we get down to brass tacks with:
  • Getting organized for your job;
  • How to update your wardrobe to fit the current situation;
  • What to do on the first day;
  • How to settle into an office environment; and
  • Developing a good reputation at work
When you land a job, you have been given an opportunity. You will waste that opportunity and perhaps very quickly find yourself without a job if you:
  • Spend your 1st or 2nd day at work linking to your personal email accounts, providing your work number to family and friends and taking their frequent calls, and organizing your personal knick-knacks, instead of focusing on learning about your new job.

    This is not the time to haul in all your pictures, books, and trophies. It is not the time to talk on the phone for hours with your mother and your best friend.

    Instead, carry a notebook with you at all times and focus on the office: learn everything you can about the equipment (honest, no 2 copy machines are alike!) and office systems. Take notes so you don’t have to ask questions later!

  • Arrive a few minutes late and leave a few minutes early, especially during the first week of employment. When you start your job, you are establishing your reputation as a person who is punctual and dedicated to your work. Arrive early enough so that you have had your coffee and are ready to start work on time. Do not leave until quitting time.

  • Express indignity when you’re asked to do something you consider to be a menial task that's beneath you. You are not above any work, especially when you’re just starting a job. You are a member of a team and it takes teamwork to complete legal work.

    Each task is an important piece of the final work product. Accept tasks with grace and do them well. If you can’t do even the small tasks well, no one will be willing to give you more substantive work.

    Also, it does not matter who gives you the work: another paralegal, an attorney, a much younger person…smile and get the work done.

  • Exaggerating your abilities on your resume.  Never tell someone you can do work when you have no idea how to do it. In other words, if you’ve never heard of a trial notebook or CaseMap, don’t try to fake it. You will not win that game.

  • Taking time off during the first few weeks of employment. Unless you had a vacation planned and cleared the time off with your boss during the interview process, buckle down and take NO time off until you have earned it.

  • Checking Facebook and Twitter every 5 minutes. You are being paid to work, not play on social networks. Save all of that for your own time after you leave work.

    And remember to NEVER post anything negative about your employer and co-workers. You will be in deep trouble (and you may lose your job) when your posts are discovered, whether you posted them on your own time or not.

  • Arguing politics, religion and professional associations. Keep this information to yourself, particularly if your opinions differ from those of your boss.

    While the First Amendment gives you the right to free speech, it does not take away your employer’s right to send you packing if you are irritating and belligerent.

  • Blaming everyone else for your mistakes.When you make a mistake, do 3 things: 1) own up to it; 2) learn from it; and 3) move on. Blaming someone else does not work.
Too many people ruin great opportunities in the legal field because they do not see the job for what it is: an opportunity.

Many new employees have a sense of entitlement and an attitude that once they have a job, it is theirs forever. Your job is not a right or a privilege and you can be replaced.

Always remember that getting a job is not nearly as important as keeping a job.
© 2012 Vicki Voisin, Inc.

Do you want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or Web site? You can, so long as you include this entire blurb with it: Vicki Voisin, "The Paralegal Mentor", delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals to create success and satisfaction by setting goals and determining the direction they will take their careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethics issues, and other areas of continuing education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes Paralegal Strategies, a weekly e-newsletter for paralegals, and co-hosts The Paralegal Voice, a monthly podcast produced by Legal Talk Network.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Paralegal's Guide to Database Management

Attention Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Legal Secretaries
and All Legal Professionals!
A Paralegal’s Guide to Database Management
Presented by
Vicki Voisin, ACP and Tina M. Keller, ACP
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 ~ 12:00 pm Eastern Time
11am Central Time; 10am Mountain Time; 9am Pacific Time
Database management skills are crucial to working as a successful paralegal. The ability to develop and maintain a database management system that is used consistently is essential.
This 90-minute webinar provides valuable information to help you develop, improve and enhance your database management skills so that you will be an essential member of the attorney’s team.
Learning Objectives:
  • What is the key to database management success?
  • Why is it important to establish codes for fields?
  • How to design codes for consistent use by team members.
  • Why your codes should be simple and memorable;
  • How to avoid “Code Chaos”.
  • What role you must accept to be a database winner.
And more:
  • Caution: E-mail is forever.
  • Docketing vs. Calendaring: Is there a difference?
  • The new best friends you must make.
  • Who will get your ”cheat list”?
  • 6 things you must know about your case.
There’s more! Registered attendees will receive…
  • Course will qualify for CLE approval by NALA, NALS, NFPA and more;
  • Certificate of Attendance for 1.5 hours CLE sent to all attendees;
  • The link to the replay of this 90-minute webinar sent to all registered attendees;
  • A valuable handout that includes technology resources.
You won't want to miss this valuable information and you won't regret this investment in your career. Follow this link and be on board on Wednesay, June 27, 2012 at noon Eastern Time.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Paralegal Voice Podcast: Best Paralegal Law Technology Trends

The latest edition of The Paralegal Voice, “The Best Paralegal Law Technology Trends” co-hosted by Lynne DeVenny and me, is now available at Legal Talk Network.
This month’s guest expert, Jared D. Correia, Esq., the Senior Practice Advisor for Massachusetts’ Law Office Management Assistance Program (MASSLOMAP), shares his thoughts on everything from law practice management software, to cloud-based solutions and document management, to remote access and the benefits of social media.

A big fan of legal support staffers, he explains why they are a key part of the legal team. This podcast is a must-listen for both paralegals and attorneys!

Also in this episode:
  • Why Jared loves paralegals
  • The pros and cons of working as a paralegal
  • How paralegals can be more effectively utilized in law firms
  • The benefits of using law practice management software
  • Different types of law practice management software
  • Security issues with cloud-based applications
  • Creating strong passwords and encryption applications
  • Remote access opportunities for legal staffers
  • The paralegal’s role in law firm technology
  • How paralegals can use social media to help market their employers
  • How to figure out the ROI (return on investment) with social media usage
  • Vicki’s practice tip and Lynne’s social media/technology tip
Page URL:

MP3 Link:

Internet resources and links mentioned during the podcast (in order of reference):
The Paralegal Voice also thanks its sponsors: NALA...The Association of Paralegals and Legal Assistants and Clio.

Please share the links to this episode of The Paralegal Voice with your friends and colleagues. If you have a request for a future show, or a question for us, you are welcome to contact us at

Also, be sure you never miss a podcast by subscribing to any Legal Talk Network show, including The Paralegal Voice, by using the RSS Feed links or iTunes links at