The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Employer: Freelance paralegal and translation services — currently with Law Office of David Eaker, offices in Dallas and Rockwall, TX
Years of Paralegal Experience: 34
Specialty Areas: Family, Civil Trial and Personal Injury Law
Career Highlight: Working on a workers’ compensation jury case in federal court was a career highlight. Our client, a nurse injured from a fall while on hospital duty, suffered spinal cord and brain injuries, which incapacitated her totally — requiring permanent 24-hour care. Her physician husband and young children brought suit against the insurance carrier after they denied benefits. The attorney for whom I worked 10 years fought for this family so well that the jury gave us everything we asked for and the judge lectured the insurance company. In Dallas, Texas, in the mid-90’s, this was truly momentous!
Paralegal Practice Tip: For many years, I have kept a spiral notebook next to me in which I write EVERYTHING I do each day. I jot down every case I work on, the name of the pleading(s) or correspondence (to/from whom), the phone calls I made and received, the substance of those calls, including telephone numbers, and the time I spent on each.
When I need to bill, I have all the information at hand. When it’s a contingency case, I know how I am using my time and whether I am investing too much or too little time on any particular case. The best part is when an attorney asks me, “Why haven’t you finished Project X?” I can readily reply and show him or her exactly what I have done that day, week or month! It also avoids searching for misplaced pieces of paper with critical information on them. The only time I use those is when I copy information from my spiral notebook to such a piece of paper to hand to someone else.
Favorite Internet Resource: Attorney’s Tom Mighell’s free subscription blog and weekly e-zine: http://www.inter-alia.net/. He writes about everything legal and gives great information on sites and blogs, and the latest in technology. He’s definitely a Tech Guru. He’s a Dallas guy who has gone national!
Fun Fact: I’ve watched General Hospital since 1964. It is more challenging to keep up with it now. I am very involved with local, state and national paralegal associations, and in the very thick of political activities!