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Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Small town paralegal in the city. Once ran a law office, now being run by one. Med mal defense litigation. I think it's growing on me.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Word from Remington College

Online learning is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional education for people wanting to further their education without sacrificing a current job or responsibilities to friends and family.  It offers the possibility of earning a degree to people who thought education was out of the question because of the demands of daily life.       
 What if someone is interested in an education in paralegal studies, for instance? Are there benefits to pursuing a degree in paralegal from an online program instead of attending classes on a campus? 
Yes! First of all, it may be convenient for someone who would like to continue to work or manage their family rather than go to campus for classes during the day.  Many potential students need a program that can fit around their busy schedule, not vice versa.  For some students, the best time to work on their course may be after 7 p.m., or early in the morning – times that traditional classes typically aren’t held.  Of course, it’s up to the student to manage his or her time to successfully juggle previous commitments in the pursuit of an associate’s degree. 

For people who are going back to school to receive paralegal training, an online program may offer an ideal education choice for their lifestyle. Taking courses online doesn’t mean people have to sacrifice their daily responsibilities to work and family. Whether it’s taking the kids to soccer practice, working until 6 p.m. or taking yoga classes in the afternoon, online courses can work around the life and schedule they’ve already made.  Working adults may benefit by adding an education into their schedule rather than having an education take over their schedule!
Another benefit: Most online paralegal studies program can be completed in a little over a year.  In fact, the online paralegal program through Remington College can be completed in as few as 18 months. 
While no reputable college can guarantee employment upon graduation, students could be working in a law firm or corporate legal department after less than two years of studying for their paralegal degree.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Most entrants have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor's degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies.”  Remington College’s online paralegal program covers many areas of law that paralegals may encounter in their work, such as real estate law, civil litigation, trial preparation, business and contracts law, and family and probate law. 
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “private law firms will continue to be the largest employers of paralegals, but a growing array of other organizations, such as corporate legal departments, insurance companies, real-estate and title insurance firms, and banks also hire paralegals. “
Lawyers want to provide the most efficient legal service they can, and paralegals help to provide the assistance lawyers need to help organize information for cases, research laws, and prepare for closings and trails.  The help that paralegals provide lawyers can be valuable when lawyers are working on a tight schedule.
Paralegals can support lawyers in their work and save them time and money, and employment opportunities have stayed in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations.”   

An online paralegal degree program may be something to consider for someone interested in the field of legal services.  An online program may provide flexibility and convenience – and most importantly, the opportunity to pursue an education.  Visit the website to find out more about obtaining your paralegal degree online through Remington College Online.

Written by: Sasha Roe
Employee of: Plattform Advertising
On behalf of: Remington College

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


You may wonder why my posts have been so infrequent lately. I have been settled into my place for almost two months. I thought by now that I would have found time to write at least every other day. But life has a strange habit of getting in the way of our best set plans.

Before my move, I worked all day then went straight home. I talked to My Boyfriend the Lawyer on the phone before eating dinner and relaxing in front of a television for the remainder of the evening. As one of the few people who returned to my home town after college, I was definitely not a social butterfly. This gave me a ton of time to write.

Now, however, while work still takes up the standard 40 hours of my week, life itself is suddenly requiring more of my time. Nowadays, meeting at a pub for an after work beer or going to a friend's house for dinner is becoming the norm. And forget about a moment of true peace. My Boyfriend the Lawyer also moved to Memphis, and I quickly learned that an apartment of two is much busier than an apartment of one. Between work and get-togethers - and don't forget quality time with the love of my life - I am lucky I found this moment to share tonight.

But I am learning a necessary and refreshing lesson from this whirlwind: life outside of and apart from work is very important. Over the past two and a half years I have become consumed with paralegalism, ideas of regulation, questions about UPL lines and musings about the economic ramifications of an expanding paralegal profession in the greater legal world. I identify whole-heartedly as a paralegal. I am proud to be a contributing force of justice in this world, in some small way. I have always been the kind of person who needed to connect on a personal level with her job.

But this is the first time in my adult career life when I have been forced to take off the legal mask sometimes. And as hard as it is, as much as I love talking paralegalese, I have to admit that it has felt amazing to be just Mel outside of the office. These days, at least during this adjustment period, both in work and personal life, I am consumed with something other than paralegalism... but stay tuned. I am not done being Para-Mel just yet.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Taking Company Brand to a Whole New Level

I have been asked to do a lot for the many jobs I have had in my life. I have worked overtime, calmed angry customers, dealt with spilt food, come home late, arrived early, driven all over the county, and patiently accepted rude comments. I have done these things as a waitress, customer service rep, cashier and most recently as a paralegal. Going the distance is a part of who I am. There is little that I will not do for a boss or company I respect in the course of a job I enjoy.

But I will not get a tattoo of the company logo on any part of my body.

I came across a story tonight of a paralegal who has done just that. States the story at, "Katie Edmeier, a paralegal for Anytime Fitness, got the health club chain's purple running-man logo tattooed on her upper left arm." Apparently Ms. Edmeier is just one of over 200 employees of the fitness chain who really take company loyalty to heart. The fact that so many staffers are willing to physically take on the brand speaks volumes about the company's relationship with its employees.

However, my personal commitment issues with permanent ink aside, this could spell trouble for any staffers whose relationship with the company may sour in the distant future. It seems to me that having a competing company's logo etched into one's skin might be a lot like having "Brad" tattooed down your arm when you're dating a "Derek." I cannot imagine it going over too well with either the new employer or the new boyfriend.

Thank goodness for me, Ms. Scared-of-Needles, I think my firm will accept good ol' fashioned hard work in place of permanent ink as proof of my love for the job.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Snub in the Elevator

Every elevator ride is different and so is every elevator personality. I believe I've met them all at this point. Something about confined spaces brings out the best and worst in people. 

My own elevator personality is cautiously friendly. If someone speaks to me, I will speak back. I keep an open smile on my face in the effort to be friendly and receptive. I often look down, and when uncomfortable, I either play on my phone or clasp my hands in front of me.

Sometimes a group of people who know each other will step on, and I will feel outnumbered and shy. Other times we will speak awkwardly about the weather. Often I will meet a new face, and we will hit it off on the way to the first floor over shoes or purses or some other thing we have in common.

And sometimes, even in this adult world, in a city, in a big building full of professionals, in an apartment complex inhabited by young  adults, I step onto an elevator that immediately takes me back to high school, a time when I was less assured of myself, insecure, and too eager to fit in. They are the elevator equivalent of the cool kids at school, and they tend not to talk to me, the runt. They have perfect city-professional clothes and sleek hair. They carry portfolios or drag suitcases full of important papers behind them. They avoid looking me in the eyes, and they exude an air of business and importance. They wear expensive shoes. For an eternity of fifteen seconds, I forget my confidence and my worldview and shrink a little on the inside.

Then the doors open and I step into a sun-filled lobby. All of the tension spills into the open air, dissipating. I am myself again in an instant. I am good as gold. I am ready for the next ride up. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One for You, One for Me

There I stood at the copier, a stack of manila folders twelve feet tall, towering like some formidable beast before me. A beast from whom I had already received countless battle wounds - a paper cut here, a folder cut there. And the battle this day could only be won by making copies of each small stack in each folder... in triplicate.

Now, I know that at some firms, paralegals get to delegate some tasks to secretaries. Not so at my office. So I have been operating under the assumption that I make all of my own copies unless I have a copy job big enough to warrant sending it out. I don't mind making copies. In fact, at my former office, no one was above copying, not even the Boss himself. (You can only delegate so much with two people in the office.)

So as I was saying, there I stood before the copier, slowly opening a folder of originals, removing the staples, placing them on the machine, stapling the originals back together, stapling the copies together, and placing them in separate stacks, etc, etc. One of the secretaries at my firm walked up and said plainly, "Why are you making copies?" I tried to explain that I had a project which required triplicates, but she stopped me there. "You need to call Johnny* (name changed) and send that job out. It's much better for the firm to pay someone else for the copies than to pay you to stand here and make them."

Just like that, my eyes were opened.

For the past several weeks I have had personal qualms about getting other people to do my work. I don't like sending a runner out because I am perfectly capable of walking to the courthouse. I don't like ordering supplies from our receptionist because I am perfectly capable of going to Wal-Mart and purchasing white out. Since I come from a firm where I was responsible for just about everything, I am having a hard time letting go of some duties I formerly held. Especially if the job sounds particularly tedious, such as walking to the circuit court to make copies of fifty pleadings. I don't want to ask someone else to do that. I hate the idea of asking someone to do something that sounds less than enjoyable to me. And yet, here in the world of big(ger) law, we have more hands available. And some of those hands are waiting for an assignment that involves making copies or walking a half mile down the street to file a subpoena, just as I am waiting for an assignment that involves indexing a deposition or finding a pleading for my attorney to review.

How did yesterday's story end? I called Johnny, he took my stack away, and he brought back copies before the end of the day. I always knew attorneys had to know how to properly delegate tasks, but I'm starting to realize that it's a good skill for all of us to have.