Paralegal Career for Dummies

ISBN-10: 0471799564
ISBN-13: 9780471799566
Edition: 2006
List price: $24.99 Buy it from $11.34
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Description: Paralegal is one of the fastest growing career choices in America and Paralegal Career For Dummies gives students and other future paralegals all the information they need to succeed in this exciting field. Readers will discover the vital basics of  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.99
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/31/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 7.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.738
Language: English

Paralegal is one of the fastest growing career choices in America and Paralegal Career For Dummies gives students and other future paralegals all the information they need to succeed in this exciting field. Readers will discover the vital basics of the career, from preparing documents to performing legal research to law office management. Plus, this fast and friendly guide features up-to-date and unbeatable guidance on paralegal job-hunting. This practical and powerful resource also includes a CD-ROM packed with useful forms and examples, including legal memorandums, summons letters, special verdicts forms, and more. Scott Hatch, JD, and Lisa Hatch, MA (Golden, CO), teach a paralegal certification course at their firm, Center for Legal Studies, as well as SAT, ACT, LSAT, PSAT, GRE, and GMAT test preparation.

Introduction
About This Book
Conventions Used in This Book
What You're Not to Read
Foolish Assumptions
How This Book Is Organized
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
A Snapshot of the Exciting and Lucrative Paralegal Profession
Discovering the Paralegal Profession
Almost a Lawyer: What a Paralegal Does
On the Job: Where Paralegals Work
What It Takes: The Skills, Knowledge, and Training You Need
Membership Has Its Privileges: Paralegal Associations and Their Certification Exams
To Join or Not to Join
Deciding Whether to Get Certified
The Hunt Is On: Securing a Paralegal Position
Finding the Perfect Job
Creating the Documentation
Setting Up Shop: Starting a Freelance Paralegal Business
Important Legal Concepts Every Paralegal Should Know
"All Rise": The American Judicial System
Everything Old Is New Again: The Importance of Legal Precedence
Checks and Balances: Branches of U.S. Government
Playing Fair: Levels of the U.S. Judicial System
Judge and Jury: The U.S. Jury System
The Big Three: Categories of Law
Cutting Through the Red Tape: Administrative Law
Eliminating Any Reasonable Doubt: The Nature of Criminal Law
Maintaining Polite Society: Civil Law
Taking a Case to Trial: The Litigation Process
Constructing the Criminal Case
Carrying Through a Civil Case
How It's Done: Important Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence
Distinguishing Between Procedural Law and Substantive Law
Following the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Sticking to State Procedural Rules
Figuring Out the Federal Rules of Evidence
Because I Said So: The Categories of Legal Authority
Deja Vu All Over Again: Review of Stare Decisis
Who's the Boss? The Premises of Primary and Secondary Authority
Applying the Law: Mandatory and Persuasive Authority
Helpful But You Can't Rely On It: Nonauthority
The Substantive Law Areas Most Commonly Practiced by Paralegals
Facing the Family: Domestic Law and Estate Planning
Building the Boom and Blanketing the Bust: Business and Bankruptcy Law
Compensating for Pain and Suffering: Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice
Getting It in Writing: Entertainment and Real Estate Law
Putting It into Practice: The Paralegal in the Civil Litigation Process
The Paper Chase: Preparing Documents
Communicating in Writing: Types of Legal Documents
Worth the Paper They're Written On: Effective Document Drafting
Elementary My Dear Watson: Legal Investigation
Searching for Clues: Gathering Evidence
Keeping Track: Identifying and Protecting Evidence
Keeping Order: Organizing the Evidence
Chewing the Fat: Legal Interviewing
Getting to Know You: Initial Client Interviews
Completing the Story: Witness Interviews
Preparing Clients and Witnesses for Testimony
Burning the Midnight Oil: Legal Research
Conducting Legal Research in Four (Easy?) Steps
Tools of the Trade
Getting Technological: Computerized Legal Research
Citing Cases Properly: Citation Format
Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Trial Performance
Creating the Ultimate Source of Information: The Trial Notebook
Selecting the Jury: The Paralegal and Voir Dire
Keeping Track of Witnesses
Weighing Testimony: The Paralegal's Take on the Jury's Reaction
Preparing Questions for the Attorney
Settling Up: Preparing the Cost Bill
Blood from a Turnip: Collecting a Difficult Judgment
The Official Word: Ethical Codes for Legal Professionals
Doing What's Right: The Importance of Ethics
Abiding by the Rules of Professional Conduct
Sorting through the Codes of Paralegal Associations
Skills Paralegals Need to Soar Ahead
Write On: Presenting a Clear, Concise Legal Writing Style
Careful Correspondence
Grammar: The Foundation of an Effective Writing Style
Sentence Structure: Positioning the Sentence's Elements
Punctuation and Mechanics: Mastering the Rules
Organization: Structuring the Finished Product
Proofreading: Polishing the Finished Product
Avoiding Plagiarism
The Latest Thing: Using Technology in Law
Operating Computer Hardware and Networks in the Law Office
Getting Savvy on Software Applications for the Law Office
Surfing the Net: Online Resources
Carting Computers into the Courtroom
Law Office Management 101
Buying Time: Management Systems
Keeping Account: Billing Systems
A Place for Everything: File Management
The Part of Tens
The Ten Most Important Rules of Ethics
Avoiding the Unauthorized Practice of Law
Maintaining Client Confidentiality
Disclosing Your Paralegal Status
Reporting Ethics Violations of Other Legal Professionals
Disclosing Information to Prevent Death or Serious Bodily Harm
Sharing Information with Your Supervising Attorney
Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
Obeying All Applicable Attorneys' Ethics Rules
Giving Something to the Community: Pro Bono Services
Making Your Voice Heard: Supporting Efforts to Improve the Legal System
Ten Things Every Paralegal Should Know
How to Ask for Help
Your Role
How to Communicate Effectively
The Value of Being Organized
Your Limitations
How to Research
How to Use Technology
The Rules of Professional Responsibility
How to Draft Fundamental Legal Documents
How to Weigh the Value of Paralegal Organizations
Ten Survival Tips to Thrive in the Legal Environment
Continue Your Education
Keep a Good Legal Dictionary Nearby
Maintain the Integrity of Your Profession
Be Polite and Patient with Court Clerks
Take a Mind Reading Course
Enjoy Problem Solving
Refrain from Badmouthing Other Paralegals and Attorneys
Never Act as though You're Irreplaceable
Don't Count on a Normal Work Schedule
Resist the Urge to Gossip about Clients
Appendixes
Glossary of Important Legal Terms: A Mini Legal Dictionary
About the CD
System Requirements
Using the CD
What You'll Find on the CD
Documents on the CD
Links to Web Sites
Troubleshooting
Index

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