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According to a July 30, 2015 article in The National Law Journal, the ABA will debate next week over how much a bar applicant should be required to reveal about their mental health history during the character-and-fitness review process.

This is a topic near and dear to me, and not just in the legal world.  I have family members and friends who suffer from depression, bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.  The stigma that is associated with mental illness is huge in our society.

I have seen first hand how those with mental illness are treated, even by the health professionals.  It is traumatizing to people that suffer with mental illness to be treated by health professionals so poorly. Before my son passed away earlier this year, he would often comment to me how poorly he was treated when I was not at the hospital with him.  I didn’t want to believe that this was true, but trying to find help for him was next to impossible.  Many promises were made by mental health professionals to help him, but then there were always excuses as to why they couldn’t follow through with the help.  I began to believe that what my son told me was true.  Of course, the treatment of our mentally ill is a topic for another day.

As to the debate about bar applicants and their mental health history, I am torn.  On the one hand I think that mental health issues could be exacerbated by the pressures in the legal arena and should be disclosed (we see this many times as paralegals, not only with attorneys, but judges and fellow paralegals) but on the other hand, the stigma that comes with revealing someone’s mental health issues could be traumatizing and embarrassing and an applicant should not have to reveal their issues.  I will be waiting to hear more about this and how the ABA plans on handling this issue.  I would love to hear how others feel about this upcoming debate as well.

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Category: Family Law, Legal News, mental health, Personal  Comments off

Happy Mother’s Day to all!  I hope you all have a wonderful day!

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Category: Personal  Tags:  Comments off

According to the salary guide released by Robert Half Legal, 2013 should see an increase in paralegal salaries by 3.1 to 3.9 %, depending on the size of the firm you work for.  You can get a copy of their salary guide here.

You can also use their salary calculator to obtain salaries in your local area as well and check out the hiring trends, not only in your area but nationwide and you can check out the fastest growing industries locally and nationwide as well.

legal positions 2013

 

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One of our fellow paralegals, Chere Estrin, recently posted an interesting article on your weight and how it could be sabotaging your career in the legal field.  It is a great article (which you can read in its entirety here) and I am sure that most of us (at least those of us who carry some extra pounds) have wondered about when we have applied for a job, interviewed and then were not hired, if it was because of our weight that lost us the job.

As quoted in Chere’s article:

  • “Fat, lazy and unproductive” might be some of the stereotypes that ring true to employers who reject an obese applicant despite a stellar resume. Published last month in the International Journal of Obesity, a new study examined the role anti-fat prejudice plays in workplace hiring practices.  The study results showed that obese women received more negative responses on leadership potential, predicted success, likelihood to select, salary, total employment rating and rank order of preference relative to other candidates.
  • Fat is one of the last bastions of discrimination with very little done to curb prejudice or  intolerance.  Being overweight does not mean a person is unmotivated or lazy.  Chances are if you made it into in a law firm environment, you are smart, good at your job and ambitious.  In fact, because of excess weight, people may even be more driven than others.

While I am not looking for a new job, I am very happy where I am, thank you very much, I am giving this article some great thought.  I am lucky to work for employers who did not discriminate when hiring me, despite my extra pounds.  I wonder how some of you feel about this article and if you have felt, or have been told outright, that you were not hired/promoted because of your weight.  Please feel free to share your thoughts on this.

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Wow!! What a crazy, busy week it was at the office!  We had two staff members out on the same day, one with a family member ill and the other with a raving toothache.  That left us down to two staff members, (me being one of them) to grab the phones, prepare one attorney for trial and the other attorney for mediation.  In between the preparation for both attorneys, there were of course other clients who needed assistance and a few opposing counsels with questions as well.  Did I mention that I have discovery responses to prepare for review too?  Oh yes, it made for a very fun week in this paralegals life.

It made for an interesting end of the week trying to catch up after the busy day too.  It’s days like these that I appreciate where I work and the people I work with, always willing to assist and no matter what the task, do it without a thought about how their workload is going to be affected!  I would like to give a big THANK YOU to MARY!  I could not have done it this week without you!  thank you

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining, never!  I love what I do and I have said this a million times.  I wouldn’t trade it for any other career, but when you are in the craziness, and you feel like you are drowning in it, it can sometimes feel like it will never end.  It does end, it did end, (at least for this week, lol) and I am happy to have a day to sit back and reflect on the past week and get ready for the next one!

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I can’t believe it is 2013 and another year has flown by.  This past year has been a busy one, personally and professionally.  So much so, that it has kept me from blogging as often as I would like.  I am going to change that, or at least give it my best ‘college try’ as they say, in this new year.

I became a  great grandmother to a beautiful girl in March 2012, Lexi Jo.  She brings laughter and happiness to all of our lives.  I am blessed to have her in my life and enjoy watching her grow each day. lexi (1)

My family is healthy now, with my youngest son finally getting the insulin pump for his type 1 diabetes.  Seems like we waited for this pump forever.  This has helped to maintain his sugar levels and has prevented his having to be in intensive care on a monthly basis.  I know he is happy about this and as his mother, I am thrilled that he no longer needs to be hospitalized frequently.

Professionally in 2012, the law office expanded by adding one more person to our cast of characters.  She is young, smart and is a fast learner.  She seems to be fitting in nicely with all of us.   Our receptionist was promoted to assist me and begin using her paralegal skills.  I know I am happy as can be with this change, and I know she is as well.  I look forward to teaching her all I know and watching her grow in her new position.  With these changes of course, come some challenges.  Figuring out what job duties change and for whom, is one of the biggest challenges.

I hope that all of my paralegal friends are doing well in this new year and that 2013 brings us all happiness, not only personally, but professionally too.  Happy New Year and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you and hopefully connecting with new paralegals as well!

 

 

 

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Category: Family Law, Personal  Tags: , , , , ,  Comments off

It is Earth Day once again.  I try to practice Earth Day every day, not just today.  My oldest grandson insisted several years ago that I start recycling at home and taking care of the planet so that long after I was gone, (his words, not mine) that there was an earth for him and his family to live on.  I have a very small yard but I still manage to have a compost bucket and will for the first time get to use my own compost dirt in my container gardens this year.

I know, what does this have to do with being a paralegal?  Using green measures at the office is just as important as at home.  Most of us spend more time at the office than we do at home, I know I do, so why wouldn’t you do your part to help out?  One of the things I do at the office is to turn off the lights when they are not needed.  I don’t think we need lights on in rooms that are not occupied and I am forever going by a room and turning off the lights.  I even shut them off when I leave at the end of the day, there is no need to light an office that no one is going to be in for the night!  I don’t know about the state you live in, but California is energy poor and the price of using it keeps going up and up.

home made compost

home made compost (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What will you do for Earth Day?  Do you practice saving the earth every day?  How important is the earth to you?

 

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I can’t believe that this last month has flown past without a post from me.  It has been a busy one for me, both at work and personally. My oldest granddaughter, Anikka, gave birth to my first great grandchild, Lexi Jo. She was born on March 20th, and weighed 6 lbs. 2.4 oz. She is a tiny little bundle and cute as can be! My oldest son is now a grandfather and he and his family were down for a visit this last week and we were lucky enough to get a 4 generation picture while he was here, thought I would share it here.

Lexi Jo, great grandma, grandpa and mom

We are hoping to get a 5 generation picture soon when my mother comes to visit us in California. I am also hoping to get back to posting for all my paralegal friends!

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I know, this has nothing to do with paralegal’s but I had to share a couple pictures of California’s Yosemite Glowing Waterfall that were in my local newspaper, The Press Democrat. This happens only once a year at Horsetail Falls, and is absolutely gorgeous! As a California native, I love to show off the beauty of my state.

This marvel of celestial configuration happens in a flash at sunset in mid-February — if the winter weather cooperates. On those days the setting sun illuminates one of the park’s lesser-known waterfalls so precisely that it resembles molten lava as it flows over the sheer granite face of the imposing El Capitan.

Hopefully you will see the beauty that many photographers gather each February in Yosemite to get that awesome picture.

Horseetail Falls

Horsetail Falls, lava look

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This comes from my mother via e-mail. My mother is 76 years young and loves to forward me funny (or what she calls funny) stories. This one I liked so much I had to share.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.

We should’ve known…… Only women would be able to drag a fat-ass man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Image by KeiBi via Flickr

Merry Christmas to all my paralegal friends! I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

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