<img src="//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=4012132&amp;Ver=2" height="0" width="0" style="display:none; visibility: hidden;">
Center for Advanced Legal Studies Paralegal Education and Training
Paralegal Blog
Talk to Us: 1-800-446-6931

Paralegal Blog

Learn How Paralegals Gain Leverage With Good Interviewing Skills

Posted by Gail Armatys

Jan 16, 2014 1:32:00 PM

There is no doubt about it, attorneys often come to rely on their paralegals to conduct client interviews. In fact, most of the lists that outline the responsibilities of paralegals include 'conducting interviews'. The National Association of Legal Assistants - Paralegals and most other paralegal - related organizations place the following item at the top of their list:

  • Conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with the client, so long as the client is aware of the status and function of the legal assistant, and the legal assistant works under the supervision of the attorney.  

Having good, solid interviewing skills and technique is important and can help you gain leverage whether you are just starting out as a paralegal or have legal experience.  The ability to interview clients is valuable enough that many campus and online paralegal programs include an Interviewing and Investigation course.

Here are a few basic interviewing tips that will help you as you prepare for and advance your paralegal career. 

Read More

Topics: online classes, paralegal certificate, paralegal degree, career

Endless Opportunities for Paralegal Employment

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Dec 17, 2013 9:03:00 AM

Whether you’re interested in a paralegal education or already a paralegal, you may be wondering what jobs are available for paralegals.  What if you are not interested in working as a traditional paralegal?  Are you looking for something different, but don’t know what else you can do with a paralegal certificate or degree?  Here are just a few related jobs that applicants with paralegal training can branch into:

Contracts Administrator  Paralegal career opportunities

Do you enjoy reviewing contracts?  A contract administrator makes sure the parties involved practice due diligence and comply with the terms, conditions, rights and obligations of a contract. He or she also coordinates any changes to the agreement that might occur over the course of the contract and performs the closeout process when both parties have met their obligations.  If you loved your Corporate and Business Law class, then this may be an area of interest for you!

Read More

Topics: graduates and alumni, career, technology, paralegal skills, education and training

Education vs. Experience: Which Is More Valuable to Paralegal Employers?

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Dec 10, 2013 9:03:00 AM

The great debate

When employers look to hire a new employee, which do they believe is better—education or experience?  Does book knowledge outweigh hands-on experience?  Or would a “seasoned” employee be a better addition to the team?

Those on the education side quickly cite various statistics on the impact of education on a person’s future, employability, and earnings.  Yet, those who lean to the side of experience always bring up famous college dropouts like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.paralegal experience

Someone with a formal education and considered “book smart” may easily deal with real-world work situations. However, they may still have a hard time landing that first job if they lack experience.  On the other hand, the person with experience but lacking any formal education may do well in certain positions.  However, they may find it difficult to advance professionally in their chosen career.

Read More

Topics: career, paralegal externship, education and training

It’s a Wonderful Time to Be a Paralegal!

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Nov 26, 2013 3:01:00 PM

By Thomas B. Swanson, J.D.

Let’s take a look back in time…

During most of the history of the practice of law, legal documents were handwritten by skilled paralegals first known as scribes and later as scriveners.  Legal documents during this period were customized, and the quality of the handwriting, in addition to the content, was important.  In other words, legal documents were distinctive, in part, because the handwriting added an artistic quality.  Beginning in about 1900, this was to change in a major way with the introduction of the typewriter.typewriter for paralegals back in time

The typewriter offered not only much greater efficiency with respect to the preparation of legal documents, it also established a much greater uniformity.  The distinctive handwriting of the scrivener gave way to a new consistency in format and a greater focus on content.  The result was no less than a transformation of the practice of law, as well as the role of the paralegal.  The “Perry Mason/Della Street” era in the history of law practice had begun, and the legal secretary became the primary non-lawyer presence in the law office. 

A change in skill-sets…

Read More

Topics: online classes, career, paralegal skills, education and training

5 Things All Attorneys Expect from Paralegals

Posted by Katie Fridsma

Nov 20, 2013 12:05:00 PM

When I became a paralegal in 1984, it was very common for paralegals to sit at their desks all day with their headphones on and type a variety of documents such as motions, pleadings, and correspondence, dictated by an attorney via the Dictaphone.  The role of the paralegal has since evolved from secretarial typists or transcribers to highly qualified staff members who perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents. 

Since the paralegal profession has evolved to include more substantive legal work, those wishing to become a paralegal usually seek formal training to gain the legal knowledge necessary to work alongside an attorney.  But in order to really excel in the paralegal profession, there are several characteristics and skills that are important to possess and develop in addition to legal knowledge.   After working as a paralegal, I went to law school and became an attorney and employer of paralegals, so I’ve seen first-hand the characteristics and skills that make a paralegal exceptional.  Here are 5 things that every attorney expects from his or her paralegal:

Read More

Topics: career, paralegal skills, education and training

Paralegal Program Brochure Download Request another info kit by mail Resubmit Paralegal Program Application