Presentation on theme: "63 rd Annual Education Conference & National Forum THE ROLE OF PARALEGALS IN CORPORATIONS STEVEN HARRIS SENIOR COUNSEL TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP October."— Presentation transcript:
63 rd Annual Education Conference & National Forum THE ROLE OF PARALEGALS IN CORPORATIONS STEVEN HARRIS SENIOR COUNSEL TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP October 2, 2014
Education I.Education and training. A.Associates degree in paralegal studies or bachelor’s degree and subsequent certificate in paralegal studies. B.On-the-job training II.Certificate, Certificated, Certification… There is a difference A. Certified paralegal – completed a certification exam or other requirements of a certifying organization. Usually includes prior work experience as a paralegal, meeting educational requirements and passing an exam. B.Certification – voluntary membership. The scope, duration and requirements vary with each certifying organization.
I.Locate, review and understand your job description. A. Typical tasks include maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, document drafting and review, prepare corporate governance documents, and monitor and review government regulations. B. Non-traditional, but expected, tasks may include making travel arrangements, ordering meals, and/or training attorneys how to use computers. II.Meet with your attorney(s) to discuss department and company expectations. III.Review your resume and compare your education and experience to the job description. IV.Meet with other paralegals to discuss similarities and differences in your job descriptions. Corporate Requirements
WHY AM I HERE? I.Assist the attorney(s) II. Support the client III. Improve your job skills IV. Earn a good salary
Assist the Attorney(s) I.Help your attorney(s) be problem solvers A. Remain calm during a crisis. B. Think outside the box, if appropriate. II.LEARN THE BUSINESS A. Develop a deep understanding of the industry and client objectives. B. Attend seminars, department meetings, client meetings, etc. C. Review the company financial reports. D. Read the company news. III.Routinely review your job description IV. Accurately and honestly represent your education and experience A.Discuss your past work experience, including limitations. B.Ask for additional training.
SUPPORT THE CLIENT I.Develop an understanding of client needs. II.Become an alternate contact for client when attorney(s) is not available. III.Ask the client relevant questions. Get institutional knowledge about how the business operates. IV.Help your attorney(s) come up with solutions to client problems. Be a creative problem solver. V.Learn how to be a team player. A. Be a good listener. B. Speak the language of the business. Learn and use acronyms. VI.Be responsive to client needs. VII. Always remember that time-sensitive work is the norm.
IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS I.Realistically evaluate your skills. II.Get certified or certificated. III.Attend continuing education seminars. IV.Ask attorney(s) for challenging assignments. V.Consider temporarily working in a business unit. VI.Review job postings to determine what skills are being sought. VII.Develop an education/experience plan and complete it.
EARN A GOOD SALARY I.Review your most recent performance appraisal and consult with attorney(s) to determine how to effectively improve your performance. II.Focus on tasks and matters that highlight your skills. III.Increase your workload to capacity. IV.Compare current salary to market survey. V.Ask for a raise.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics What makes a GREAT IN-HOUSE COUNSEL? Mike Stetz, First Chair, 2014 U.S. News, Best Social Service Jobs College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services, University of Cincinatti Ampulse, What Does a Paralegal Do?