PARALEGAL TIDBIT: When you identify a paralegal blog you like, subscribe for updates by email or RSS feed.

The paralegal landscape seems to be changing daily.  As I chronicle my own journey to become relevant in today’s legal world, my desire is to connect with other legal professionals and share what I’m learning.  I’ve been networking and making some new friends! I have identified a number of paralegal blogs, attorney blogs and technology blogs that I want to follow on a regular basis.  By subscribing to the updates by email or RSS feed (a/k/a Really Simple Syndication), I will not miss a single post!  In the next few days I will begin revealing my favorite blogs.

Paralegal Gateway.Com has added a really cool paralegal toolbar which you can download.  It keeps many of your favorite resources right at your fingertips, including Paralegal Blogs and Paralegal Tweeps.  Check it out!

PARALEGAL TIDBIT: Paralegal associations offer webinars, teleclasses and live conferences

I did Google searches for the terms legal assistant and paralegal.  Then I added Legal Assistant Today (LAT) and National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).  I was already familiar with these organizations.  Much to my delight I found that technology was on my side because there was a wealth of information available on the internet.  Numerous web sites provide free information to individuals willing to make a time investment.  There are numerous webinars, e-courses and teleclasses available at reasonable rates.  My mind began racing with possibilities and excitement!  Paralegal associations offer webinars, teleclasses and live conferences.  Check for local and national associations.  By joining their membership, you often will acquire a discount on meetings and classes!

PARALEGAL TIDBIT: When you need information and don’t know where to start, try Google or You Tube

Around Christmas,  2008, I decided it was “time”.  As I evaluated each of these difficult questions, I was confronted with the fact that my professional world had undergone massive technology changes, not to speak of all the rule and procedural changes in the various courts.  So, where did I start? Where else?  Google!

PARALEGAL TIDBIT: Legal dictionaries are available online and as cell phone applications

So, what if you have lost touch with the constantly changing legal field during those years at home? Where do you begin to find your open door back into this fast-paced professional arena? How do I plug myself in? When I left the profession, there were almost no electronic court filings (ECF). Email communication with clients and opposing counsel was in the early stages. “E-Discovery” and digital data were non-existent in my everyday litigation world.

Where do I start?

PARALEGAL TIDBIT: Never let your professional certification expire.

In 1984 I was certified by NALA and began using the professional designation of Certified Legal Assistant. As a working mom, life happened. A couple of children were born. A couple of job transfers and new positions for my husband. And then approximately 8 years at home during which I homeschooled my youngest daughter. And bada bing! I had allowed my professional certification to expire. I was out of touch with the legal field.

Never let your professional certification expire! You have worked hard to obtain it.  Even if you are planning a change in your career path!  Everything we learn — and earn — just adds to our unique qualifications for that dream job down the road.

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