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Paralegal Book Club: Recommended Summer Reading List 2012

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

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This book compiles the best articles published in the Legaco Express in Volume 1 (2011) and especially re-edited for the Kindle book. It presents an overview of the challenges facing paralegals today and offers pragmatic advice to help paralegals build their careers while the legal profession is reorganizing itself at a faster speed than ever.

As the first book of a series providing a collection of reference articles for members of the paralegal profession, Tips and Advice on How to Advance Your Paralegal Career gives you a sound overview of issues faced by the profession today.

—— The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style - By Bryan Garner ——

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This book should probably be on all legal professionals' book shelves. It is a wonderful reference work on legal drafting style--comprehensive, authoritative, well organized, and genuinely readable.

It covers an incredible range of topics: punctuation, page layout, typography, spelling, grammar, usage, and makes specific stylistic recommendations for many different types of legal documents. After reading this book, you will never be the same writer again!

—— Black's Law Dictionary - Edited By Bryan Garner ——

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This is the most widely used law dictionary in the United States. This venerable 1891 classic has been completely revised and updated by Bryan Garner.

It offers precise and accurate legal definitions of more than 45,000 terms and includes more than 1,000 law-related abbreviations and acronyms.

—— The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation - Edited By Harvard Law Review ——

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Even if probably not your first choice for summer reading, The Bluebook remains the standard how-to guide for legal citation. The Bluebook is nearly mandatory for paralegals whose career is composed of mostly legal writing.

However, some complain that The Bluebook is difficult to navigate and often turn to supplemental texts to assist in properly finding proper citation methods. See our other article on Legal citation for the 21st Century.

—— How to Land Your First Paralegal Job - By Andrea Wagner ——

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This is an excellent and practical handbook whether you are a student contemplating beginning your career as a paralegal, changing careers, or looking to move ahead in your current job. This book is designed to be used again and again. The author offers extensive insight into the paralegal industry and tips on finding ways to network and meet other legal professionals. In addition to industry insight, she offers several sample resumes and cover letters.

The job hunting strategies are aligned with the legal profession and not just your typical job hunting advice. Andrea Wagner also walks you through the interviewing process with a list of questions you may be asked and also a list of questions that you should ask the firm you are interviewing with.

——Lessons from the Top Paralegal Experts: The 15 Most Successful Paralegals and What You can Learn from Them - By Carole Bruno ——

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The primary goal of the book is to help students and professionals learn hands-on techniques directly from paralegal leaders in the field. These experts share the secrets that have helped them succeed as paralegals and they also give information about their typical work week, their standards of procedure, technological advances pertaining to the field, ethical standards, and much more.

By reading this book, you will get real life lessons and gain insight into litigation law, intellectual property, legal research and writing, commercial and residential real estate, family law, bankruptcy law, and corporate and business law.

—— The Professional Paralegal: A Guide to Finding a Job and Career Success - By Charlsye Smith Diaz & Vicki Voisin ——

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This book shows how to prepare for and build a paralegal career. Taking a practical approach, it explains the dynamics of working in the legal environment, identifies the purpose and payoff to continual professional development, and offers strategies for working collaboratively with attorneys and others drawn into a case. Each chapter integrates ethics tips, checklists for success and end-of-chapter questions.

Covering a full range of career issues, it offers advice on how to land your first paralegal job, develop marketable workplace habits and establish yourself in the paralegal profession.

—— Ethics & Professional Responsibility for Paralegals - By Therese A. Cannon ——

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This very well constructed textbook provides an almost complete coverage of ethical principles from the perspective of the practicing paralegal.

It features a comprehensive coverage of all the major areas of legal ethics, placing special emphasis on how the rules affect paralegals. Each chapter includes cases that demonstrate how the principles and rules are applied.

—— Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation through Trial - By M. Berman, C. Ingraffia Barton, P. Grimm ——

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This book identifies the key issues related to ESI--pre-litigation management, preservation, collection, processing, review, production, and use in deposition and at trial--and provides clear, practical guidance to litigation paralegals. The book is divided into eight parts that follow the sequence from the pre-litigation stage through trial.

The authors discuss both the applicable legal principles and technological issues. "Geek talk" is carefully explained. Additionally, where principles are settled, the book makes that clear. Where controversy exists, the variances are explored with clarity.

—— Effective Knowledge Management for Law Firms - By Matthew Parsons ——

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Written by a knowledge management consultant with many years of experience with law firms, this book examines how law firms can implement a knowledge strategy to support their business strategy. The author explains thoroughly what knowledge management means, the business and economics of law firms, and how lawyers work already as knowledge workers. He then introduces a methodology for creating and implementing law firm knowledge strategy.

This book is particularly interesting as it goes beyond theories to provide detailed, practical help for the analysis, implementation, and measurement of performance-increasing initiatives related to knowledge management.

Let us know what your favorite paralegal books are. What’s missing from the list?

As always, Happy Reading!