The Exclusive Newsletter for the Paralegal Community.

The Legaco Express for Paralegals Blog and Blog Roll

The best of paralegal blogging in one place.

Practice Tip: The New Ethics Rules and You! (ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20)

This month, long awaited revisions to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct were approved. These rule revisions are the result of years of study by the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, whose task was to evaluate the Model Rules and attorney regulation in light of the far-reaching changes technology has brought to the practice of law.

The revisions to the rules and comments all reflect an understanding of the much greater reliance on technology, electronic communication and electronically stored information in today’s law practice.

Here are the highlights.

New Technology Series: Be Part of the Steamroller - Not Part of the Road

Let’s place this in perspective, shall we? Forty years ago, the most advanced piece of technology in a law office — or heck, most any office — was an electric typewriter.  Is that an indicator about the advancement of technology today? We can buy the latest, greatest, newest technology on Monday - only to find out there is hotter, newer technology on Friday. It’s a New Era Folks! It’s the Digital Era - so as Paralegals, it is imperative that we get aboard and stay aboard the Technology Train! To stay up-to-date, we have to be diligent in our efforts.

Paralegal Life: A Paralegal on Capitol Hill

At 8:45 a.m. on hot summer days, you can find hundreds of interns, like myself, rushing off the blue and orange line trains of the Capitol South Metro station in Washington, D.C. It is here, where congressional interns begin their day, with copies of various newspapers, like the Washington Post in hand, while proudly wearing their intern badge, dubbed the “VIP Pass” by many. As we step off the platform, we settle-in for another nine-hour long journey on Capitol Hill for a day of answering phones, responding to constituent letters, giving Capitol Tours, attending committee hearings and completing legislative research on policy issues.

News : Law Firm Revenues & Profits Dropping, Layoffs Ahead (video)

The numbers aren't promising: Law firm expenses grew faster than revenue during the first half of 2012 according to the latest survey by Citi Private Bank.

This study also revealed that transactional work is currently slower than litigation. While the pace of litigation hast often offset a slow deal market in the past, it now seems that corporate clients are in a stronger bargaining position, pressuring their law firms into discount for litigation work.

Blog: Sharpening my writing skills.

I have never been a fast writer. I tend to tinker with each sentence as a write it. I write a few words, stop, pick a different word, stop, back up, wait, turn these words around, think, tinker, write a few words, stop, think, back up, change a word.

Well . . . you understand what I’m saying. It is like I’m trying to write a final version during the first draft. Rather silly, I know.

Blog: Electronic Briefs: Hyperlinking Your Way to A Positive Outcome

A few months ago, one of my attorney clients called on his way home from a hearing to discuss the briefing schedule the judge had outlined for our case.  The judge had also clearly indicated his preference for electronic briefs with hyperlinks to the cited legal authorities.  I docketed the briefing deadline and began to research the additional steps required to provide the judge exactly what he wanted.

News: Success of Paralegal Regulation Highlighted in Report

Press release published by Law Society of Upper Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Jun 28, 2012- The success of paralegal regulation, beginning in 2007, is the focal point of a five-year report presented by the Law Society of Upper Canada to Attorney General John Gerretsen today at Convocation. A requirement under the Law Society Act, the report shows that paralegals and the public have both benefited from regulation.

Paralegal Life: Women Legal Professionals Have Slightly Higher Divorce Rates Than Their Male Counterparts

A study by Law Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson of Washington & Lee University, based on a National Science Foundation survey of more than 100,000 professionals, shows that young female legal professionals have slightly higher divorce rates than their male counterparts.

According to Prof. Wilson's study and reporting of the the Wall Street Journal on this study,

"Women with legal [...] degrees divorce less often than those with only bachelor's degrees, but are still more likely to divorce or separate than their male counterparts."

Video: Let's simplify legal jargon!

Alan Siegel, a branding expert and one of the leading authorities on business communication, wants to put plain English back into legal documents.

According to him, many documents are written in too complex "legalese" and many are simply too long. We all know that these are views that shared by many who do not work in the legal professions. In this video, he calls for a simple, sensible redesign of legal documents -- and a re-introduction of plain English -- to make legal paperwork intelligible for everyone again.

Newsletter: The Best of Volume 1 Now Available on Kindle

—— The New Legaco Express Book ——
Proud announcement: responding to popular demand (thank you!), the best articles of Volume 1 of the newsletter are now available on Amazon Kindle!

The purpose of the Kindle book is to make it the most convenient possible for you to take the Legaco Express with you on vacation (I have been told, it is best read on a sunny beach!) or business trips and to keep the best articles forever in an organized and handy way.

Tips and Advice on How to Advance Your Paralegal Career - Volume 1 (The Legaco Express for Paralegals)

UPDATE: Already in the top 5 of Amazon's Top 100 Best Sellers in Paralegals & Paralegalism!