Tuesday, December 1, 2015

3 Ways to Continue Growth

By Donna Strauss, ACP

Paralegal growth.  Is there really such a thing?  A paralegal can certainly learn more and take on more substantive work, but where does a paralegal go from there?  Unlike other business roles where employees work their way up the path to leadership, many paralegals don’t have anywhere to go unless they take the big step of attending law school.

So what is there to do?  For one thing, ignore my previous paragraph.  We all know that paralegals ROCK!  Where would all the great lawyers be without us?  As far as growth, there are so many ways we can grow, not just in our careers, but overall, which results in a more productive paralegal.  But how do you begin?

Friday, August 21, 2015

6 Important Soft Skills

By Kitty Bice, ACP

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Legal Assistants and Paralegals’ (“NALA”) 40th Annual Convention and Exhibition in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   It was a tremendous event with wonderful educational institutes, sponsors from companies which paralegals depend on to do their jobs well, great speakers and presentations and fellow paralegals from across the country.  At the Convention, members and candidates from the Executive Board introduced themselves and shared six important soft skills that were essential to being a successful paralegal. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ask not what Richmond can do for you. Ask what you can do for Richmond.

By Irma Bektic

One of the reasons I joined RPA was because I thought it would provide me with opportunities to give back to the Richmond community. Why was this so important to me? Because I recognize that I owe a lot of my success to the support system and mentors that Richmond has afforded me. RPA’s mission is to foster professionalism, continuing legal education, public service, and networking for paralegals in Central Virginia. I knew that RPA’s strong presence in both the Richmond legal field and throughout the Commonwealth could be used to do a lot of good.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why the Certified Paralegal Exam? Why Me?

By Darlene Yeary, ACP

Many of you ask,  “What is the Certified Paralegal Exam, and why should I take it?”  The Certified Paralegal Exam, also known as the CP Exam, is a test administered by National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) that is offered three times a year (January, May, and September).  This exam covers Communications, Ethics, Legal Research, Judgment & Analytic Ability, and Substantive Law. 

You could consider the intensity of studying for this exam to be the paralegal equivalent of studying for the bar exam. As of March 16, 2015, there are 18,282 certified paralegals in the United States, including 434 in Virginia. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

2015 General Assembly = 30, 45, 1918, 17 and 1 + 1

By Jillian Sherman, ACP

30, 45: This was a short session for the General Assembly, which happens every odd-numbered year.  Short sessions are 30 days long and nominally are only to deal, but frequently the first order of business in a short session is to extend the session.  The 2015 session was 45 days long, adjourning Sine Die on the 46th day. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Paralegal's Role at Trial

By Stephanie Meharg, CP

As a litigation paralegal there’s nothing quite as exciting as preparing a case to go to trial.  This is it, “The Show” the culmination of your many months (or even years) of hard work. The paralegal role at trial is pretty simple, make sure everything goes smoothly, so you and your attorney(s) look efficent, prepared, and confident in front of the client,  judge, jury, and the other side.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Importance of Networking

By Beth Cheatham
I have been actively working as a paralegal since 1979 (almost since the profession was invented).  Last summer, for the first time in my working life, I found myself laid off from a job that I loved due to loss of business.  I had worked for the same attorney for 29 years.  The last time I looked for a job I used the telephone book!  Needless to say things have changed significantly…or have they?  Sure, most applications are submitted on-line.  Resumes are still used, but the format and tone are completely different than they were in the past.  Now, it is all about action verbs and highlighting results and accomplishments.  I had to learn to think differently about my skill-set and how to translate them into the buzzwords and thought-processes used in the current job market.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hello RPA Community! Happy New Year!

By Danuta Syska

We’re more than half-way through the first month of 2015, can you believe it? I was fortunate to kick off the New Year with a cross-country road trip, and I’m feeling re-energized and ready to tackle whatever 2015 throws at me. The Board met earlier this month and I’m also eager to share a few details of what RPA has in store for Richmond’s paralegal community in 2015. But here’s the thing: We want you to become just as excited as we are for the many networking, educational and public service possibilities for Richmond paralegals in 2015. Will you join me as an active member of RPA and adopt the following professional “resolutions” for 2015?