Paralegals like you are, without a doubt, the unsung heroes of the legal profession.
All too often, your hard work and long hours are hidden behind headlines of a firm’s victory in one case or another. Yet very few of those newsworthy victories would have happened without the tireless work of you, am I right?
Knowing this, we wanted to do something that would talk a little pressure off of our paralegal friends for a moment.
We’ve compiled a host of professional resources just for paralegals.
Most are useful, some may be inspirational, and the ones at the end may even make you giggle. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something more specific, check out this collection of online courses that can upgrade your tech skills.
Offbeat research tools
We know that many of you already have paid subscriptions to one or more of the powerhouse legal search engines available today. Here are a few more research tools that you may find useful at your job or in your personal life.
Google Scholar is a great (and free) resource for researching case law, including subsequent treatments of the cases you’re most interested in.
It’s also a wonderful clearinghouse for academic papers, which will undoubtedly come in handy when you’re researching potential expert witnesses.
Speaking of expert witnesses, here’s another free resource that will allow you to search for experts by topic and/or by location.
JurisPro is an easy tool to use, but why not play around with it for a while now so the next time one of your attorneys is looking for an expert, you can supply a list of names in a matter of moments?
The Law Library of Congress
The Law Library of Congress provides one-stop-shopping for everything legal-research related.
From topic-specific research guides to international law resources to secondary sources, this site has it all.
And, if you can’t find what you’re searching for on your own, there’s a phone number you can call that will connect you directly to a law librarian.
Do you need to quickly bone up on a new area of law in order to take on a new assignment?
Justia offers really useful summaries of dozens of practice areas, including links to the predominant laws that impact those cases.
If, like most paralegals, you wear several hats at the workplace, this list may be just for you.
The links provided here are to professional organizations that support non-attorney legal professionals. So, just in case you’ve been tapped to handle things you didn’t learn about in paralegal school, these resources might help.
Association of Legal Administrators
ALA is focused on everything having to do with the business of law.
The organization not only provides a wealth of resources on all things law firm related, but it also puts out numerous publications, white papers, salary surveys, and other information to keep you absolutely current on the ins and outs of the legal profession.
National Association for Legal Support Professionals
Formed nearly 100 years ago, NALS provides certification programs for non-attorney legal professionals.
The organization also provides a whole host of educational resources, including exam prep materials and a myriad of webinars on issues impacting the legal profession.
International Practice Management Association
If your firm or practice has employees spanning the globe, the International Practice Management Association is specifically focused “on the needs of managers of non-attorney fee earners” wherever they may practice.
Rules, rules, and more rules
If you’ve ever read any of my prior blogs, you know I’m a big stickler for the rules, often citing the various rules of professional conduct that regulate attorney behavior.
Of course, paralegals are also bound by codes of ethics.
Here are a couple links to some of those rules.
NALA Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility: Here you’ll find the canons regulating the professional conduct of paralegals.
National Federation of Paralegal Associations: This site provides links to the Model Code of Ethics and Responsibility put forth by NFPA.
The details you need to reduce eFiling rejections
Each year, InfoTrack analyzes hundreds of eFiling rejections to create the Rejection reasons report.
Using that data, we put together a detailed eBook that includes insights into each rejection reason and a comprehensive checklist to help you review your filings.
The top reason is always the same — data accuracy issues. Things like missing or incorrect case numbers, party names not matching the case file, and empty form fields are always the most common reasons that eFilings get rejected. Proofread your filings!
To get the stats and other in-depth data, you can download the free eBook here.
Bonus tip: InfoTrack offers dozens of free, downloadable resources for legal professionals. Check out the entire library here.
A little inspiration
Let’s be honest, the legal profession can wear on your soul from time to time. If you’re finding yourself in one of the “down periods,” check out these sites for a little much-needed inspiration.
If all you do is spend 15 minutes per day watching the videos on Paralegal Coach, you’ll be glad you did.
I won’t spoil them for you other than to say this is a good place to get your daily fix of “pick me up.”
Your job matters
Sometimes when you sit in a room full of attorneys, your own sense of importance can get lost in the fray.
Don’t ever forget that what you do, what you see, and what you have intuition about really does matter.
And in case you start to forget that, check out the Your job matters podcast with the world’s most famous paralegal: Erin Brockovich.
The humorous side of things
If there’s one thing that can lift a rough day, it’s a good chuckle. Here are some links to things particularly funny for paralegals.
Color me snarky
Color me snarky is an adult coloring book created especially for paralegals.
Why not use your break time to focus on these snarky observations about paralegal life?
Funny paralegal quotes
If you need some quick, humorous relief throughout your day, check out the paralegal-related quotes on this website.
It’s also a great place to get ideas for gifts for those paralegal friends who are just as stressed out as you.
We hope you found what you need
We hope you’ve enjoyed our paralegal resource offerings. We know that many of you work very hard with very little recognition. Thank you for everything you do to keep the wheels of justice turning.