Paralegal Studies Info Meetings Scheduled For Jan. 31 and Feb. 7, 21, 28

Cal State East Bay Continuing Education will host several information sessions on the Paralegal Studies certificate program in the upcoming weeks.

Cal State East Bay Continuing Education will host several information sessions on the Paralegal Studies certificate program in the upcoming weeks. Participants will meet the program director, learn more about program requirements and course offerings, as well as network with other professionals.

The American Bar Association (ABA)-approved CSUEB Certificate in Paralegal Studies qualifies aspiring paralegals for entry-level positions in the field, whether in law offices, corporations, government agencies, or other organizations. Earning a certificate is also an excellent option for existing paralegals who seek to differentiate themselves, increase earning potential and meet or exceed the educational requirements dictated by California law.

See below for a list of upcoming information sessions:

Thursday, January 31
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Hayward Campus, North Science 125 

Thursday, February 7
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Concord Campus, LB 149

Thursday, February 21
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Oakland Center 

Thursday, February 28
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Oakland Center

For more information on the Paralegal Studies program, visit here.

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Californicated1 January 30, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Eventually after 2-3 years of being a Case Clerk and proving oneself proficient at this position, one may find themselves promoted to Legal Assistant, but it is not consistent in all firms. For instance, some firms have the senior Case Clerk keep the Case Calendar, while other firms, depending on the complexity of their case(s) may have the junior Paralegal do that. As a junior Paralegal/Legal Assistant (once again, they are the same position and anybody who asks you a trick question about that during a job interview is expecting that for an answer) one may also find themselves preparing attorney notes for their upcoming depositions, working with that attorney's secretary on travel plans and even setting up the facilities for that deposition, including getting the conference room, refreshments, court reporters and even the videographers so that they can all be present. One may also be preparing Tables of Authorities and pulling supporting cases for those for any Attorney declarations in support of their moving briefs. Junior Paralegals will also go offsite to attend document reviews, sit in on depositions and take notes, but give no questions, attend meetings between attorneys, clients, experts and witnesses and fetch anything from documents to coffee to who ever requests them. Junior Paralegals will also be writing reports at the attorney's request, be they the Senior Partner to the Senior Paralegal. On occasion, you may also supervise Case Clerks.
Californicated1 January 30, 2013 at 07:44 PM
From what I have seen, the Senior Paralegals are usually the ones with the Paralegal Certificates. But the certificate is usually not required if the Paralegal has years of in-depth experience. Once again, it is because the ABA is reluctant to set standards for Paralegals because if they establish them, they establish a profession that may in turn require standards for the job as well as a set pay scale, and most companies and Law Firms don't want to do that, which when it comes time for raises and promotions to be given out, may become a source of contention when the person already doing the work of the next level up in the hierarchy is denied that promotion and that bump in salary. And speaking of salary, once again, the paralegal may find that a good chunk of their salary came from overtime and bonuses, usually the more senior staff have to do less of these than the Case Clerk might do, so if you have a family to support and love spending time watching your children grow up, you may find that this job may not be for you because of the great amout of time that might have to be sacrificed for the job. Usually those that sacrificed the most for their job in this line of work get paid the most as a base salary but in the end may wonder what the actual costs were in terms of the time taken away from their families. So there will be a trade-off in the quality of their life, even though they may prosper in this line of work.
Californicated1 January 30, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Senior Paralegals supervise entire case groups of staff, or they even work in the rungs of the management of the Law Offices depending on the size of the firm. They are responsible for seeing to it that all the work is done and that they are adequately staffed and sufficiently trained for the tasks they have to face in their case teams as well as the rest of the firm. Senior Paralegals may also be responsible for department budgets as well. Their role can be management in some firms or staff in others, which also can blur the line somewhat in their job classifications when it comes to "exempt" or "non-exempt", once again going to the problems in acknowledging paraprofessionals working in Law by the ABA. I have even seen in some firms, where the department head of all the Paralegals may be an attorney themselves, who have set aside their practice for the good of the firm's existence. At that point, the Paralegal there may find that the only way up is through the rungs of the Law Firm's Office Management, where they may find themselves in charge of facilities, IT, Practice Development, Personnel, Risk Management (especially if the firm is "Prestigiously Self-Insured") and in charge of firm-wide functions like a Records department and will work with others who rose through their ranks, along with Attorneys and Partners who also became part of the Office Management team.
Lisbeth Allen January 30, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Californicated1 January 30, 2013 at 08:02 PM
So if one is looking into being a paraprofessional in Law, know what you will be in for and decide whether or not it is the right career for you. I have seen many a paralegal come and go from this line of work. Some of them go to Law School and pass The Bar Exam and either become attorneys or just Law Clerks in a Firm, which is nothing more than a Paralegal with a Law Degree. Others get out of this field altogether and for some reason, I have seen many of my old co-workers go into finance, especially if they went back to school to get their MBA's. And then there's people like me, who got out of that line of work and went into something completely different after taking some night courses in my spare time and getting my industry-recognized certifications. Being a Paralegal can be a fun job, can be a crazy job, and can even be a rewarding job for a while, especially when one is young. But you may find that you won't spend much time with your children watching them grow up as you would want, even though they might be well provided for while you slave away in a Law Firm racking up billable hours for the Lead Partner to present to their client. But there may be better lines of work out there and better jobs that best suit what you need throughout your life.


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