Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Think Before You Tweet!

Despite all the warnings and information available, it seems that legal professionals still post stupid things on Facebook and Twitter -- and put their jobs in jeopardy.

A Kansas appeals court attorney was fired Monday after using foul language about the state’s former attorney general, Phill Kline, in comments she posted to Twitter last week.

Sarah Peterson Herr, a research attorney for a Kansas Court of Appeals judge, posted the comments while Kline was appearing before the Kansas Supreme Court as part of an ethics investigation.
One tweet commented on Kline’s facial expression, saying “Why is Phil Klein (sic) smiling? There is nothing to smile about, douchebag.” 

Another predicted that Kline would be disbarred for seven years for his conduct. 
Herr's comments appeared around 10 a.m. Thursday when Kline was standing before the seven-member court answering questions about his conduct while he was attorney general and Johnson County district attorney.

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss said Monday that Herr had been fired and that her case had been referred to other offices for possible ethical violations.

Herr said she failed to realize her posts were readable by all Twitter readers and she understood her posts may have reflected badly on the state’s court system. 
Court rules regarding judges and justices commenting on pending cases extend to the judicial branch staff.

Source: Washington Post

NALA 2012-13 Utilization/Compensation Survey

NALA 2012-13 National Utilization and Compensation Survey  Now Ready for YOU!

NALA's National Utilization and Compensation Survey of paralegals is now underway!  The survey form is online at www.nala.org/survey.htm and ready for you to complete! The control number is 729843.

This biennial survey, conducted since 1986, is the nation's most comprehensive look at the paralegal profession.

Questions cover:
  • educational backgrounds, 
  • work environments, 
  • duties and responsibilities, 
  • billing and salary levels, and
  • regional demographics affecting paralegal utilization and compensation.
Participation in the convenient "scroll-and-click" survey is totally anonymous. A universal control number is required for access in order to thwart Web surfers from finding the survey and spoiling it with bogus entries. The control number is 729843.  The control number is the same for every participant and cannot be used for identification.

The survey is open to all paralegals ....  Please participate and please tell others of this opportunity.

The survey findings will be summarized in the January 2013 Career Chronicle edition of Facts & Findings. The report in its entirety will be posted on  the NALA web site for all visitors, f'ree of charge.

Question of the Week: The Holidays are Looming...

Question of the Week. The holidays are looming and it's time to think about gifts.

Since we all talk about how we need to get organized and clear out the clutter, it only makes sense that more gifts should be clutter-free -- in other words, consumable-- so no one's stuck with more "stuff" in January.

So this week, the Paralegal Mentor wants to know: What is (are) your favorite clutter-free gift (or gifts) to give or receive?

Please help by sharing your ideas in the comments section below.

Paralegals Note: Ethics Palooza - 2012

Ethics Palooza 2012. With the end of the year quickly approaching and the deadlines for fulfilling ethics MCLE looming, I’ve planned an extraordinary opportunity for you: Ethics Palooza – 2012!

What is Ethics Palooza? A series of four 90-minute ethics courses. Take one, two, three or four courses – the choice is yours.
Ethics Rules for Fees and Billing
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 1:00 PM Eastern Time 
Leveraging New Technology Tools to Meet Ethics Obligations
Thursday, December 6, 2012 –1:00 PM Eastern Time

Double the Ethics = Double the Issues:Ethics for Corporate Legal Professionals
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 – 1:00 PM Eastern Time

Dollars and $ense: The Ethical Handling of Client Property by Attorneys and Paralegals       
Thursday, December 13 – 1:00 Eastern Time 
Each course will qualify for 1.5 hours Ethics MCLE

Each course meets the requirements of the NALA Certifying Board for Paralegals for continuing legal education required to maintain the CP (Certified Paralegal) credential and will be approved by NALA, NFPA, NALS and for the Florida FRP.

Presenter is a California State Bar approved MCLE provider.

For more information, follow this link.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What does your employer do to make you feel valued?

It was my privilege to present Double the Ethics = Double the Issues: Advanced Ethics for Corporate Paralegals at the International Paper Company paralegal retreat at Walt Disney World.

What lucky paralegals and how nice of IP to do this for them. Definitely a demonstration of appreciation.

Recently I asked Paralegal Strategies readers what their employers do to show them they are appreciated. Here are a few of the responses I got:
  • They were very happy and excited when I was elected to a national office - said that it was a feather in the cap of the program I work for - (This came from the Director of our Agency)

  • Summer hours - in the summer, we can leave an hour earlier than our normal time paid.
  • Absolutely Nothing.
  • Allows me the flexibility to work from home when necessary to care for my child.
  • Random paid time off. For example, the CEO deciding to send everyone home an hour early on Friday afternoon. Or giving an extra day off around a holiday (i.e., Monday, Dec. 24).
  • Pays dues, provides education stipend and paid time off for CLE.
  • All employees are given a free paid day for their birthdays; as for my immediate boss, he will occasionally give us an extra hour off or longer lunch.
  • VERY generous holiday bonus every year I've been here.
Does your employer take steps to show you are valued and appreciated? What does he/she do? Leave a comment below -- I would love to hear from you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Paralegal Career Opportunities in Litigation Support

On The Paralegal Voice
co-hostVicki Voisin welcome’s guests Ann L. Atkinson, ACP, NALAPresident, Michael Potters,CEO/Managing Partner of Glenmont Group, Inc.and Patrick Oot, co-founder of the Electronic Discovery Institute for a lively discussion about career opportunities for paralegals in the area of litigation support, particularly eDiscovery and technology.

There was a lot of important information shared during this episode, including:
  • The growing need for paralegals with advanced technology skills;
  • The technology skills employers are looking for;
  • How paralegals can acquire those skills;
  • How NALA provides technology information and training;
  • Paralegal employment opportunities in corporations and law firms;
  • How paralegals who do not want to leave their current employment can advance their technology skills;
  • Websites and resources for learning more about technology.
  • The Number One site that recruiters and employers turn to when seeking new employees.
  • And more!
Be sure to listen to this episode. It’s easy…and it’s free! Just click on the following links:

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 TheParalegalVoice@gmail.com.

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 http://legaltalknetwork.com/rss-feeds/.