A Paralegal’s Perspective ⚖️📜

A Paralegal’s Perspective ⚖️📜

This month’s interviewee: Marilyn Morris⚖️

1. What aspect of the Paralegal profession is the most rewarding in your opinion?
⚖️ I think our profession is rewarding when we can help our client either obtain justice or get them out of a situation that they are unjustly involved in. Depending on whether you are a plaintiff or defendant. I have been on both sides. As a Plaintiff’s paralegal, to see your client who has been injured or wronged get compensation is rewarding. As a Defendant’s paralegal, to help a client get out from under a lawsuit without damage to their reputation or financially, is rewarding.

2. How did you discover the Paralegal profession?
⚖️ In New York in the late 1980s, I knew a woman who was a paralegal to a small trial attorney firm. I went to a couple of their trials and found it fascinating. She was very good at her job and since she was working in a very small firm, she was involved in every aspect of the trial preparation and other objectives relating to working up the case. I enrolled in a paralegal program because of watching her and her attorneys who were brilliant trial attorneys try a couple of cases and win big verdicts.

3. What is the most drastic change in this profession you’ve seen develop? Is it a negative, or a positive change? Why?
⚖️ I don’t know if I have seen that much change. I know that some of my predecessors were paralegals before the Business and professional code relating to paralegals was in effect. Since I have been a paralegal, I’m hoping that the change that is positive is for attorneys to recognize how valuable paralegals can be in working up a case.

4. What is the most interesting type of law to you?
⚖️ I used to be involved in employment law and always found it fascinating. I still do. However, in the last three years I have been working with an attorney that defends medical malpractice cases and I find these cases really interesting as well.

5. If you could, would you change anything about this profession? What would that be, and why?
⚖️ If I could change anything, it would be for paralegals to be compensated better for what Paralegals bring to the table. Although, the salary ranges are different at all different firms. Some are being compensated really well and some not.

Thank you so much for your insight, Marilyn!


🌸 Mark your calendars! The CCPA is hosting a Summer Social. This is a FREE event with food and drinks included!

🌸This event is open to all legal professionals of the central coast!

🌻 Where: Libertine in downtown SLO
🌻 When: September 27th from 6pm -8pm
🌻Cost: FREE

🌸RSVP by emailing info@ccpaslo.org with the subject line “Summer Social RSVP”. Include your full name & if you’re a member of the CCPA or not.

Hope to see you there!🌸🌞🌻

⚠️JOB ALERT⚠️ In Trust Legal


In Trust Legal is looking for a Legal Document Assistant/Legal Secretary (Full Time)

⚖️About In Trust Legal⚖️: In Trust Legal, Inc., is a registered Legal Document Assistant in San Luis Obispo County. We are not a law
firm, and we are not attorneys. Upon customer requests, we prepare estate planning documents written and
approved by attorneys and we also prepare small estate and probate proceedings.

⚖️Job Responsibilities:
• Prepare trusts, assignments, wills, powers of attorney and deeds
• Prepare probate and small estate transfer forms using Westlaw Form Builder
• Prepare pleadings for probate and QDROs
• Proofread all work prepared by you and others for accuracy
• Review Probate Notes and prepare timely supplemental pleadings
And more!

⚖️Job Requirements:
Must know keyboard by touch with minimal to no errors
• Organized and focused with ability to prioritize and multi-task
• Superb written and oral communication skills
• Excellent proofreading with attention to details
• Experience with MS Word, Adobe, Excel, and Mac (preferred, but will train)
• Experience with Westlaw Form Builder and Odyssey (preferred, but will train)
• Notary public commission is preferred, or willing to become a notary
• Working knowledge of estate planning and probate is preferred
• Must be confident to work independently

⚖️Pay: $20 – $25 per hour, based on experience.

⚖️Apply: Please send cover letter, resume and references to Carol Ramirez cramirez@InTrustLegal.com

👩🏽‍⚖️ JOB ALERT FOR ⚖️George, Cyr & Christakos, Inc.

Small Los Osos estate planning law firm seeks experienced legal secretary/legal assistant for full-time position.

– Knowledge of estate planning, trust and probate law preferred, but not required.

– Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and an ability to handle multiple tasks and prioritize as necessary to meet deadlines.

– Strong organizational and word processing skills with attention to detail a must. Happy disposition a plus!

Job responsibilities include (but are not limited to):
$ Managing attorney calendars
$ Screening and transferring incoming phone calls
$ Coordinating and scheduling meetings and appointments
$ Drafting, revising, formatting and finalizing various documents
$ Interacting with clients, attorneys and others in person and by phone
$ File upkeep and organization
Notary public commission or ability to obtain such commission is required.

⚖️This is a full-time, in person position (9:00 to 5:00) with competitive salary and benefits.

⚖️Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to:

A Paralegal’s Perspective

⚖️Welcome back to A Paralegal’s Perspective!

⚖️This Month’s Interviewee: Stacey Hunt

  1. How did you discover the Paralegal profession?

⚖️ I had been working as a travel agent after I graduated college.  Although I was getting to travel a lot, I wasn’t making much money.  A girlfriend who was a legal secretary was expecting her first baby and was looking for someone to help out her attorney while she was on maternity leave.  Although I didn’t know a pleading from a hole in the wall, I could type, so he hired me.  After my friend came back to work they kept me on part time, but I needed full time work.  I got hired as a legal secretary at a bigger firm, which employed paralegals.  I remember thinking, man I would never be a paralegal, they have to know too much and they work so hard!  Six months later one of the paralegals left and they asked me to fill her position.  I was terrified, but I said yes.  Then I decided I’d better go back to school and get my paralegal certificate (that was before B&P 6450), so I did, and never looked back.

2. What is something you wish you knew before joining the legal profession?

⚖️ I wish I had known how amazingly fun and interesting it would be, or I would have done it from the beginning.  The law affects all of us every single day, and it is ever-changing and never boring.  I loved not only the mental exercise, but also helping people get themselves out of whatever trouble they were in.  It has also been an amazing career, that not only provided me an interesting living, but allowed me to go in all kinds of directions, such as writing, lecturing, and teaching.

3. How do you think the new advancements of AI will affect the legal industry?

⚖️ AI could be a great tool for the profession, as long as it doesn’t make attorneys and paralegals lazy.  They still have to fact check to make sure the information the computer is spitting out is valid.  There may be a period of time where people will think they don’t need an attorney, because they can just get their answers from the computer, but after they get burned a few times, they will be back.  I did read a very interesting article about an experiment done in a criminal courtroom, where the researchers fed the fact scenarios from several hundred cases into a computer to see if it could come up with a better decision than the judge.  The idea was, using the AI would eliminate bias and sympathy that would be exhibited by a human judge and reach a truly impartial decision.  The final result was, the AI “judge” did do a better job than the human judge in calculating which defendants were lying or would commit a subsequent crime.  When I ask my students in my Law Office Technology class if they would be willing to be judged by an AI judge, most of them say no, they would not trust it and would prefer a human, and the fallibility that would come with that.

4. What is the most interesting type of law to you, and why?

⚖️ Wow, that’s a tough one.  I would say the most interesting law I have ever done is attorney malpractice defense.  To win such a case you have to show that even if the malpractice had not occured, the client would have lost the case anyway, so there were no damages.  That means you have to pretend to try (or retry) the underlying case to see what the result would have been.  It’s quite a mental exercise!  Probably the most fun type of work I have done is intellectual property work.  It is such a positive, constructive type of work as compared to litigation.  People are creating and inventing things.  Having worked on getting an invention through the US Patent Office and then seeing that product on the shelf is very rewarding.

Thank you so much Stacey for being this months interviewee! Until next time… 🙂

A Paralegal’s Perspective

Welcome to this month’s A Paralegal’s Perspective ⚖️📜

This month’s interviewee: Dawn Carpenter⚖️

1. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Paralegal?
⚖️ With everything electronically and technologically driven today, a paralegal who wants to shine is knowing the technology. Also, get your firm and attorney(s) to give you assignments that will put your book learning to a more practical use. And the basics — learn to read, write and communicate well. The legal world is full of scholars and the paralegal wants to be able to maneuver in it. Admit when you make a mistake because most often mistakes can be corrected but letting the attorney know right away is the best route in my opinion.

2. What aspect of the Paralegal profession is the most rewarding in your opinion?
⚖️When I decided that I wasn’t going to go to law school, I found the paralegal profession rewarding because I was able to work in the legal field and balance it with my family life. I find doing a job well done rewarding as well. Working in a law firm can be stressful and demanding so liking what you do and how to do it makes it much more interesting and less stressful.

3. How did you discover the Paralegal profession?
⚖️ I discovered the paralegal profession completely by accident because I didn’t know what a paralegal was until I started working in a law office in San Luis Obispo. I moved here from Toronto, Canada where I was working in corporate management; but when I moved to San Luis Obispo, there weren’t any positions opened for my kind of experience. There is more opportunities now for paralegals that don’t necessarily mean one has to work in a law firm.

4. Why did you decide to become a Paralegal?
⚖️As I have mentioned above, I didn’t seek out to be a paralegal. It was work that I could enjoy and get paid with benefits. I grew into a paralegal. I have been lucky to work in good law firms.

5. What is the most interesting type of law to you, and why?
⚖️I like employment law but it is getting very complex. I like the personal aspect of it. Since I started in litigation I stuck with it; but, estate administration would have been an area that I believe I would have liked.

 Thank you for your answers, Dawn! Stay tuned for next months A.P.P. 😄

A Paralegal’s Perspective

Welcome to A Paralegal’s Perspective⚖️

The CCPA is excited to announce our new initiative, where we interview current Paralegals about their profession!

This first months interviewee is none other than our President, Jessica Blessing!

1. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Paralegal?

✨The best advice I could give is to always be willing to learn new things. Knowledge is your friend. The more you know, the more you can assist your attorney and help your clients. Also, never be afraid to ask questions if you aren’t sure about how to do something. The best thing I did was surround myself and create relationships with other paralegals and legal assistants that have helped me through the years.

2. How did you discover the Paralegal profession?

✨I found out about the profession because one of my friend’s mom was a paralegal. I was having a hard time trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a profession and so I reached out to be an intern at a local law firm and ended up enjoying it.

3. What is the most interesting type of law to you, and why?

✨The most interesting type of law I do is landlord tenant. It is very fast paced and always seems to be changing especially since the pandemic

4. In your opinion, what makes a ‘good’ paralegal?

✨A good paralegal is an individual that can multitask because you will have many projects coming your way all at once. The individual must also be able to pay attention to the small details and be able to anticipate what the attorney might need. A good paralegal is also one that is willing to learn and not get set in their old ways of doing things.

5. How do you juggle your work/life balance being in such a demanding field?

✨It’s not always easy to juggle but I always try to set some time for myself each day during my lunch to either go for a walk or just get out of the office to feel normal for a bit. I’m a bit of a workaholic so I have to actively tell myself to go and get out of the office to walk away from what I am doing.

6. What is your favorite part about being a Paralegal?

✨My favorite part of being a paralegal is getting the opportunity to help others. Some of these people are dealing with frustrating and horrible situations and as a paralegal I get to help alleviate some of the stress and make a difference to someone’s day.

Thank you for reading, we’ll see you next time! 😄

JOB OPPORTUNITY – Family Law Paralegal

1320 Osos Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Tel.: (805) 781-0330 / Fax.: (805) 781-0331

Family Law Paralegal Wanted (San Luis Obispo – Downtown)
– Danielle E. Plevel, A Professional Law Corporation is seeking an experienced paralegal. This is a 3/4 time position with flexible hours, competitive pay, health insurance, reimbursement, paid time off, and parking at our downtown office. We believe in a good work-life balance and having a positive work environment.
The candidate must have: a paralegal certificate and ideally would have experience in family law and/or juvenile law. Experience in using Word Perfect, Essential Forms, Excel and Odyssey E-file is preferred. The candidate must have strong organizational, communication, and grammatical skills. We are seeking an individual that is self-motivating and able to work independently.
Job responsibilities include: answering telephones and emails, assisting clients in a professional manner, organizing client files, drafting pleadings and correspondence, preparing financial disclosures, assisting with discovery, maintaining calendar and meeting deadlines, preparing exhibits, filing pleadings.
Please email a resume and references to DaniellePlevel@gmail.com.

Job Opportunity! Full-Time Trust Administration Paralegal at Stephen K. Hall & Associates

Full-Time Trust Administration Paralegal

Job Description:

Stephen K. Hall & Associates, a well-established law firm specializing in estate planning, probate, trust administration and elder law, is seeking a full time (37.5 hours per week) Paralegal. Experience in estate planning/trust administration required.

Job Responsibilities:

Duties and responsibilities include file set-up, collecting asset information, marshaling those assets for re-titling, drafting affidavits, deeds and assessor documents, notarizing documents with clients, working with clients, beneficiaries, advisors, CPAs and other professionals to complete trust administration for upwards of fifteen or more matters at one time, answering phones, greeting and assisting in-office clients and various office support assignments both in and out of the office (personal vehicle is necessary).

Ideal Candidate’s Talents:

Pro-active thinker, strong ability to work independently, self-directed, exemplary customer service and communication skills, professionalism, flexibility, attention to detail, organized, strong multi-tasking and time management skills, excellent typing skills and computer literacy. Experience using Word Perfect, Time Matters and Time Slips is a bonus! Current Notary Public certificate preferred, but not required, however, candidate will be required to obtain Notary Public certificate.

Why our Firm may be for you:

Competitive salary, stable firm with long-term track record of success, excellent work-life balance, paid holidays and vacation, health, vision and dental insurance after 90 days.

Please forward cover letter, resume and references to: kelly@skhassociates.com with subject line: “SLO TA.” Please do not telephone nor deliver documents directly to the law office.