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Tami Riggs

Tami Riggs has an extensive and varied professional background that spans criminal justice, paralegal education, and international school marketing and communication. Her career has been guided by a focus on developing strategic partnerships that facilitate school growth and student opportunity. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Degree in Criminal Justice from Texas State University.
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Recent Posts

20 Ways to Achieve Success as a Paralegal

Posted by Tami Riggs

Jun 28, 2022 2:00:00 PM

20 Ways to Achieve Success as a ParalegalBecoming a successful paralegal takes hard work and determination. Here are 20 ways to achieve success as a paralegal. Do you have suggestions for more?

  1. Develop a Plan – Explore a range of non-lawyer legal positions. Identify specific, short term and long-term goals that will lead you to success. Enroll in school, expand your skills, talk to your college, work with career advisors and recruiters, volunteer, intern, and build relationships with others in the field.
  2. Pursue Credentials – Take steps to obtain a certificate, diploma, or degree. Convenient options are available, both online and in person. Many firms require a credential as a pre-requisite for interviewing and hiring. Higher education will add value throughout your career.
  3. Continue Learning – Successful people are students for life. Cultivate a growth mindset. Increase your knowledge. Law is always evolving. Stay current and informed by attending seminars and completing practical, skills-based training and courses created specifically for paralegals yearly.
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Topics: career, paralegal skills, featured

How to Communicate Criminal History to Potential Employer

Posted by Tami Riggs

Jun 15, 2022 10:00:00 AM

AdobeStock_197066428_Job InterviewIf you have a criminal past, you have likely encountered difficulties re-entering the workforce or obtaining a professional position. A career change or job search with a conviction can be challenging. However, many find success! They can and do enter the legal field, despite the limitations a criminal record presents.

Any part of a candidate’s background that violates accepted social standards or involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or violence may impact interviewing and hiring decisions. Law firms typically refrain from reviewing or selecting candidates with a misdemeanor or felony conviction for drugs, assault, theft, burglary, trespass, and any offenses involving weapons. These are considered crimes of “moral turpitude.” Moral turpitude crimes disqualify a person from obtaining a Notary Commission in many states, and notary licensing laws disallow felons. Associations and organizations (including those that are not legal) may also deny testing, membership, and affiliation for applicants with a criminal background. However, there are opportunities in the legal field that do not require a designation or organizational membership. It will be important to explore possible restrictions in licensure and certification as you move forward in your professional career and educational pursuits. If you have a crime on your record, research the laws and regulations in your state so that you fully understand any job, designation, or membership restrictions.

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Topics: career, featured

Why Should We Hire You? Give a FAB Response!

Posted by Tami Riggs

Apr 20, 2022 10:00:00 AM

FAB is an acronym for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. FAB is a common 3-Step strategy employed in sales and marketing to generate interest in products. However, the technique can also be utilized during an interview to SELL yourself and fit any expertise acquired through experience, education, and training to specific job requirements. Consider the following when organizing your FAB responses:
Why should we hire you

Feature – What key factors, attributes, and skills do you have as required by the position?
Advantage – What strengths do your accomplishments, abilities, or past performance indicate relative to the competition?
Benefit – What is the result or value an employer can anticipate from hiring you?

A paralegal job description will typically require the ability to prepare legal documents and correspondence as well as the ability to organize and maintain files. The examples below illustrate how you can use the FAB method to focus your responses, so they are more impactful.

Example 1
Feature: You earned a Paralegal Credential
Advantage: You understand the legal process and terminology better than someone without a credential
Benefit: You are qualified through education and training to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts, and as a result, can complete the work more quickly and effectively.

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Topics: graduates and alumni, credentials, career, paralegal skills, education and training, featured

Social Media: Keep it Professional or Keep it Private!

Posted by Tami Riggs

Apr 1, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Social-Media-Dangers-AdobeStock_95115259If you are active on social media, be aware that what you give to the web and sharing platforms can be linked to your professional profile. Information you post publicly on any account leaves a digital footprint that is fair game for all to see, whether you are a prospective employee or a current one. A first and lasting impression can be reached well before a virtual or in-person meeting is ever scheduled.

Many hiring managers and recruiters review social media sites and public forums, including candidate posts and comments in internet communities. They may make assessments based on the information made openly available. This includes your online username and content found in your profiles and conversations. Employers are legally prohibited from asking about gender identification, race, ethnicity, disabilities, sexual orientation, political views, and religious affiliation – but they don’t need to if a profile is made public.

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How to Level-Up your Email Address from Cringeworthy to Credible

Posted by Tami Riggs

Mar 29, 2022 12:00:00 PM

CartoonStock_533351_CS123089 800pxA strong correlation exists between the perceived quality of an applicant and the email address used. Think of your email address as an online business card. It is a vital piece of personal information and a primary means of contact. An email address is often seen as a reflection of professional identity, so it is worthwhile to consider how it will be regarded by others. Using a non-traditional address as your first touchpoint for employer interaction could directly impact your credibility.

When two people are equal in terms of background, experience, skills, and education, other fine points will be scrutinized – and that snazzy email name could be the deal-breaker! Bottom line: a person using 2hot4words@email.com may not be taken seriously or get the job. In my role as Director of Career Services, I have seen some cringeworthy name creations. I am baffled every time. A keen job seeker is best represented by an email address that is not overly “creative.”

While an email name is only a small part of the totality of your credentials and candidacy, it has great potential to impact your chances of getting hired if it is poorly conceived. There is a continuum from unprofessional to just not well done. Many job seekers overlook this important detail. They may lose first impression power simply by failing to integrate a respectful level of professionalism in their email name.

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Topics: career, technology, featured

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