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Surviving and Thriving in the Law Office

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ISBN-10: 1401838960

ISBN-13: 9781401838966

Edition: 2005

Authors: Richard L. Hughes

List price: $99.95
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Description:

This career guide gives current and future paralegals the inside scoop on how to select the right job for them and how to thrive in their work setting. A well-respected supervising attorney who now is a paralegal educator lets paralegals know what law firms look for in their paralegal staff in terms of time and work management, quality assurance, interaction with various segments of the office and much, much more. The Paralegal Perspective feature gives the reader first-hand advice on how to handle situations they encounter on the job. Further, this publication fully addresses such important issues as finding the right paralegal job, producing high-quality work, understanding billable…    
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Book details

List price: $99.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Delmar Cengage Learning
Publication date: 8/2/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Foreword
Preface
Setting Goals: What Should You Expect From a Paralegal Career?
Why Have Goals?
A Career Is Too Important to Leave to Chance
Why Employees Fail
Fear of Failure
Fear of Success
Those Who Don't Know Why They Are in the Legal Profession
Goals Cause the Behavior Needed to be Successful
Goals Are a Road Map to Success
Prepare Before You Go on the Career Trip
How Career Goals Make a Difference in Real Situations
Goals Are a Measuring Stick for Success
Chapter Summary
What Should Your Goals Be?
Your Goals Should Be Your Own
An Example of the Importance of Setting Your Own Career Goals
You Cannot Afford a Poor Job Situation
Goals Should Be Specific
Self-Assessment Is Critical
Your Paralegal Education Is an Example of Specific Goal Setting
Setting Time-Frames Is Important
How High Should You Set the Bar?
Proper Application of Goal Setting Will Guide You
Aim High in Setting Goals
Chapter Summary
Who Can Help You Achieve Your Goals?
You Can't Achieve Success by Yourself
You Did Not Accomplish Your Achievements Alone
Learning the Hard Way
Your Inner Circle
Tailor Your Inner Circle to Your Abilities and Goals
Sources of Inner Circle Members
Inner Circle Members Must Be Positive People
Don't Let Pride Stand in Your Way
Beyond the Inner Circle: Others Who Can Help
Coworkers
Current and Former College Professors
Court Personnel
Incidental Legal Profession Members
People Unrelated to the Legal Profession
Establishing Professional Relationships Is an Ongoing Process
Chapter Summary
What Is Possible in the Paralegal Profession?
How Do I Evaluate Salary and Benefits?
Minimum Salary Requirements
The True Price of a Salary
Salary Structure Versus Starting Salary
The Whole Package
Lies, Darn Lies, and Statistics
The Role Money Should Play in Decision Making
How Much Can I Make?
How High Can I Go?
Chapter Summary
Beyond Survival--How to Thrive as a Paralegal
Getting Off to a Good Start
First Impressions Are Important
Steps to Creating a Postive First Impression
How to Correct a Poor First Impression
What to Do Before Your First Day on the Job
Getting Off to a Great Start
What to Expect the First Day, Week, Month and Year
Your First Day
Your First Week
Your First Month
Your First Year
Chapter Summary
What Is Important to a Law Firm?
Knowing What Is Important ... Is Important
Clients Are Important
Fees Are Important
Hourly Fees
Flat Fees
Transactional and Contingency Fees
Status, Prestige and Reputation Are Important
Your Time Is Important
You Are Important
Chapter Summary
Handling the Dreaded Billable Hour
What Are Billable Hours, and Why Are They Important?
A Word About Ethics
How to Achieve Billable Hour Success
Don't Become Obsessed
Chapter Summary
How to Manage your Workload
How to Approach Your Workload
Treat Every Hour as If It Is the Last Hour of the Day
Never Forget the Value of Time
Do Every Assignment as If the Boss Were Watching
View Your Work in Segments
Pressure Is a Motivator
Recognize How Much You Have Yet to Learn
Keep a Proper Perspective
Prioritize by Due Date, Assignor, and Nature of Assignment
By Due Date
By Assignor
By Nature of the Assignment
What to Do If You Are Unable to Finish Your Work on Time
Chapter Summary
What Kinds of Assignments Can You Expect?
Transactional Versus Litigation Assignments
Differences Between Transactional and Litigation Work
Typical Transactional and Litigation Assignments
Nonlegal Assignments
How to Turn In High-Quality Work
Understand the Assignment
Don't Reinvent the Wheel
Do It Right the First Time
Use the Englihs Language Correctly
Proofread Your Work Carefully
Cite to the Law Correctly
Use the Best Secondary Legal Resources Available
Consider Your Audience
Anticipate Your Future Needs
Chapter Summary
Where Do You Go For Help?
Whom to Seek Out and Whom to Stay Away From
Other Paralegals in the Office
Attorneys in the Office
Legal Secretaries
Other Resources That May Help
Chapter Summary
Communication: Coworkers, Clients, the Court, and Other Firms
Coworkers: What They Like and Don't Like
Communicate in Direct, Plain Language
Never Forget to Be Courteous
Tell the Truth
Be a Good Listener
Think Before You Respond
Limit Your Response
Know Your Purpose
Have a Sense of Humor
Clients: Don't Assume Anything
The Court: Courtesy and Helpfulness Are the Keys
Other Firms: Minefields Everywhere
Chapter Summary
Office Politics: Danger Lurking Around Every Corner
Politics Exists in Every Office
Office Politics Will Always Exist
Relationships Are Important
Office Politics Ebb and Flow
Don't Be a Gambler; Play It Safe
When It Is Necessary to Be Involved
When Not to Become Involved
Chapter Summary
How to Know What You Are Worth
Economics--A Dismal But Necessary Science
The Market's Influence on Pay and Benefits
Noneconomic Factors Firms Consider
How to Ask for a Raise
Be Prepared Before You Ask
Don't Confront
Good Timing Is Essential
Don't Procrastinate
Be Positive
Be Persistent
Chapter Summary
The Importance of Growing Professionally
What Does It Mean to "Grow Professionally"?
Job Security and Advancement
Using Your Inner Circle
Chapter Summary
Taking Stock of Your Paralegal Career
Achieving Professional and Personal Balance
Is It Just About Money?
Steps to a Happy, Successful, and Balanced Career
You Are In a Marathon
Chapter Summary
Staying Motivated: Keeping Your Career Interesting
Balance and Variety Are Important
Take Advantage of Opportunities Within Your Law Firm
Seek Out Continuing-Education Opportunities
Volunteer
Be a Regular Guest Speaker
Teach a Class
Chapter Summary
Mission Accomplished: Now What?
Losing That "New" Tag
Now What Happens?
Looking Back and Looking Ahead
Chapter Summary
Model Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Guidelines for Enforcement of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.
Sample Resume with Comments
Sample Cover Letter with Comments
Sample Thank You Letter with Comments
Alternative and Nontraditional Career Resources