Current Job opening at O’Neill & Woolpert

Small San Luis Obispo law firm seeks a full-time or part-time paralegal with knowledge of probate and trust funding procedures. Responsibilities will include preparing trust funding documents, pleadings in probate matters, and simple trust amendments. Must have great people skills and enjoy working with and talking to clients. Excellent communication, organization and detail-oriented skills a must. Must either be a notary or be willing to become a notary (firm will cover the associated costs). Salary depends on experience.

Interested? Contact – janet@estatelawslo.com

Job Opening at Roberts & Spiegel!

Job description:
We are looking for a specialized personal injury Paralegal to undertake a variety of administrative and clerical tasks. You will work under the supervision of an attorney and will also provide support in assigned legal cases. The goal is to sustain efficiency of all office procedures and case management so as to guarantee reliability and consistency.

Responsibilities:
Provide administrative support to one or more lawyers
Effectively communicate with witnesses, clients, colleagues and partners
Greet visitors and perform initial screening of clients
Write case briefs and synopses of depositions, contracts and testimony
Conduct thorough statistical/ documentary research
Source and verify important case intelligence
Produce and file various legal documents such as appeals, motions or petitions
Preserve an updated case record system
Answer phone calls, take notes/messages and redirect calls when appropriate
Maintain and update inventories of contact details
Facilitate the meeting of deadlines by keeping multiple agendas and provide timely reminders

Skills:
Proven experience as a paralegal
Knowledge of constitution, legal terminology, regulations and court system
Knowledge of MS Office and ability to work with legal technology (court-filing computer systems, transcription software, dictaphone etc)
Working knowledge of litigation management software systems is a plus
Proficiency in English (Spanish is a plus)
Outstanding time-management and typing skills
Ability to multitask and being comfortable dealing with a diverse pool of people
Work Remotely -No

Job Type: Full-time
Pay: $35.00 – $45.00 per hour
Benefits:
401(k)
Flexible schedule
Health insurance
Paid time off

Schedule:
8 hour shift
Monday to Friday
Travel requirement:
No travel

Education:
High school or equivalent (Preferred)
Work Location: In person

Contact:
Erin Roberts, Office Manager
412 Marsh Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Telephone: (805) 542 – 9900
Facsimile: (805) 542 – 9949
erin@randsinjurylaw.com

✨Unlock Your Potential: Become a “Certified Paralegal”✨

✨College of the Canyons is offering study courses for the NALA CP Exam
✨The courses are noncredit and FREE to California residents!

✏️Location: Virtual/LIVE/via Zoom
✏️Registration: Free to California residents
✏️To Register: www.canyons.edu/freeclasses and click on “Applicants”
✏️Assistance with registration: Call (661) 362-3304 or email freeclasses@canyons.edu
✏️For more information, reach out to Lori Young at lori.young@canyons.edu

Law Office File Clerk @ Carmel & Naccasha LLP⚖️

⚠️JOB POSTING⚠️
Law Office File Clerk @ Carmel & Naccasha LLP⚖️

⚖️$21 – $24 an hour – Full-time
Job Description:
⚖️ We are seeking a detail-oriented and organized individual to join our team as a File Clerk.
⚖️As a File Clerk, you will be responsible for maintaining and organizing physical and electronic files and ensuring efficient document management within our organization.
⚖️This entry-level position is an excellent opportunity to join our legal team and our ideal candidate will have strong administrative and clerical skills.

Skills:
⚖️ Strong organizational skills with the ability to prioritize tasks effectively
⚖️ Proficient in document management systems
⚖️ Excellent attention to detail and accuracy in file maintenance
⚖️ Strong administrative and clerical skills
⚖️ Ability to work independently and as part of a team; and
⚖️ Previous law office experience is a plus but not required.

Please note that only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.

https://carnaclaw.com/

A Paralegal’s Perspective

Welcome back to a Paralegal’s Perspective! This month’s interviewee is Tracy Morgan.

⚖️Why do you think paralegals should join the CCPA?
A: I would encourage everyone to join a professional organization, regardless of their occupation. Belonging to a professional organization will provide networking opportunities, assist with professional development, and allow socializing with your peers. Specific to the paralegal profession, being a CCPA member will provide mentoring, assist paralegals with staying current on changing laws and trends, and provide advocacy at the state level. CCPA also offers two scholarships a year, one of which is only available to CCPA members. Lastly, being a CCPA member will ensure you get the most up to date information right to our inbox.

⚖️Where do you see the paralegal profession advancing the most?
A: Some states are exploring the possibility of allowing limited licensing for paralegals which will allow paralegals to work independently without attorney supervision. Four states have already implemented these programs – Arizona, Minnesota, Oregon, and Utah. Ther are other states, California being one of them, that are exploring implementing similar programs. Unfortunately, in California there has been significant resistance from lawyers, the California Supreme Court and the California Legislature. There is still much work to be done before such a program can be approved in California but, I’m hoping this will be an option in the future.

⚖️What type of law do you work in and how did you end up in your current position?
A: I have always been a litigation paralegal. I fell into it by accident (that’s a story for another article). I have worked in many different areas of litigation including insurance defense, mass tort, employment law, and patent litigation. I have also worked on unfair import investigations before the U.S. International Trade Commission. I think those were my favorite cases.  It was very stressful, but exciting. I was very fortunate to land my current position in 2021 when my husband and I moved to SanLuis Obispo.  My husband had been offered a job and his new boss was kind enough to help me network and assisted me with making connections in the local legal community.  This highlights the importance of networking and maintaining professional relationships. 

⚖️Can you describe the top 3 skills you think paralegals should be well versed in? Why did you pick these skills specifically?

A: There are many skills every paralegal should have, it’s difficult to narrow the list to just three. If I have to pick only three, they would be attention to detail, researching and fact gathering, and effective communication. 

Attention to Detail – Attention to detail is critical for every paralegal regardless of what area of law you practice.  As a paralegal one of our responsibilities is to be a second set of eyes for our attorneys.  For example, we may be asked to proofread a motion.  As a paralegal, proofreading isn’t just checking for typos, spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.  It is reviewing the overall composition of the document ensuring the writing style flows, all exhibits are referenced correctly, checking the title page and footers to make sure the format is compliant with local rules and the California Rules of Court.  It may also entail reviewing all heading styles to make sure they are correct and confirming the proof of service lists all the correct parties and their attorneys.  If you lack attention to detail this task might seem overwhelming.

Researching and Fact Gathering – Being a good researcher is a skill every paralegal must have.  I think most if not all paralegal programs have a course on legal research.  For a paralegal researching is more than just jumping on Westlaw or Lexis to locate cases and statutes.  As a litigation paralegal you will likely be asked to do that, but there are many other types of research.  A paralegal may be asked to research the title history of a property or ownership rights of a well.  A paralegal may be asked to research a particular corporation and who owns it, whether the corporation has ever been involved in litigation or whether there are any liens against the corporation.  Some of these answers may be found on Westlaw or Lexis, but a good paralegal will know where else to look.  In addition to researching the answers to these questions, a good paralegal will also begin gathering facts and may even begin building a timeline of relevant events. 

Effective Communication – I think we can all agree that good communication skills are essential in any profession, but I don’t think enough attention is given to being an effective communicator.  Especially with regards to writing emails.  I think we’ve all received lengthy, rambling emails where it was unclear what, if anything, the sender was asking us to do or what was being communicated.  The reality is most people are busy and won’t get past the first few sentences.  They will likely skim the email for the information they need to complete their task so they can check the box and move on.  Being able to communicate with your audience clearly and concisely is an essential skill for every paralegal. 

Thank you so much for your answers, Tracy!!

A Paralegal’s Perspective

Welcome back to A Paralegal’s Perspective! This months interviewee is our very own Program Director, Danielle Benzon!

✨ How did you discover the Paralegal profession?

🌺For as long as I can remember, I was interested in law and wanted to one day attend law school. After graduating UC Davis in 2013 I was a bit burnt out with school and wanted to take a break before pursuing law school. I discovered that Allan Hancock College offered a paralegal program, and I thought this would be a great way to dip my toe into the legal profession. I really enjoyed my classes and was excited to begin a career as a paralegal. While in school, I was hired by the San Luis Obispo Superior Court and worked there for almost 10 years before leaving to pursue my career at a local law firm as a paralegal.

✨ What is the most drastic change in this profession you’ve seen develop? Is it a negative, or a positive change? Why?

🌺One of the most dramatic changes I have seen in the legal profession is the expansive use of technology, including e-filing with the court, use of AI and Zoom for remote court appearances. E-filing has streamlined the filing process – you no longer have to wait in line at the clerk’s office to file a motion. Remote Court appearances allow for more people to attend hearings, and offers greater flexibility for plaintiffs, defendants and attorneys. AI has the capacity to streamline a lot of tedious, and mundane, tasks paralegals do, however, oversight is required, to ensure accuracy. AI has also been utilized by attorneys, without oversight, and Courts have created rules, and cautioned against using AI in pleadings filed with the Court. Technology is great, but it is only as good as the person utilizing and controlling it.

✨What direction do you see the Legal profession headed?

🌺I see the use of AI increasing in our profession. While AI can be very costly right now, I believe the technology will greatly advance, it will become more cost effective and be more widely used in litigation matters and the preparation of discovery. I also think that remote court appearances are here to stay, at least for some case types.

✨What is the most interesting type of law to you?

🌺My background and experience are primarily in criminal law and juvenile law, which I love and find so fascinating and exciting! I have recently started handling business law, transactional law, and corporate law matters. I am excited to learn more about corporate law in the course I am taking through the UCSB PACE program. Another area I am interested in is employment law and civil litigation.

✨If you could, would you change anything about this profession? What would that be, and why?

🌺This job can be extremely stressful and taxing, and it would be great for employers to increase vacation time, offer flexible schedules and work from home options for their paralegals. Some firms do this and others don’t. Our firm does offer flexibility and for 3/4 of the year gives us one afternoon off per week, paid, and it really helps with burnout.   

A Paralegal’s Perspective📜

Paralegal’s Perspective is here again!

📜This month’s interviewee: Gina Axsom

  1. How did you discover the Paralegal profession?  🧸

I discovered the Paralegal profession quite by accident in August 1987 after applying for and being hired as a legal secretary in the litigation department at Sinsheimer, Schiebelhut & Baggett.  I had no experience in the legal field, but they said they would teach me.  I worked as a secretary for two of the attorneys (one of whom I still work with today!) and learned about the paralegal profession from paralegals there.  In the fall of 1989, the firm took on a big case and asked me to be the main paralegal on the case.  That fall I also started taking classes toward my paralegal certificate at Cal Poly.  I was very fortunate to have great teachers and mentors who were happy to answer my many questions, and to be part of a firm that really valued paralegals and knew how to use them as part of a team.

  • What is something you wish you knew before joining the legal profession? 🧸

Not to take anything personally when the attorney is upset because 99% of the time it’s due to their frustration with opposing counsel or some aspect of the case, not with the person they’re venting to.  Things went much more smoothly once I learned this. 

  • How do you think the new advancements of AI will affect the legal industry? 🧸

I think AI will have a big affect on the legal industry, especially legal research and the document review and production aspects of discovery, but attorneys and paralegals still will be very necessary.  I think AI will be helpful for initial research and finding certain cases, but attorneys and paralegals need to use that information as a starting place and do additional research, not just rely on what AI provides.  AI will provide (and probably already is at large firms) a lot of help with review and production of large quantities of documents, but, again, attorneys and paralegals will have to set the parameters and verify that what’s done by AI is correct. 

  • What is the most interesting type of law to you, and why? 🧸

I’ve really enjoyed civil litigation because I’ve gotten to work on a large variety of cases involving different legal issues, primarily in the areas of employment, real estate, business, and probate. 

Thank you so much for your answers, Gina!