Improving attorney quality of life one complex litigation project at a time

Virtual Paralegalism

The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism

Practical Paralegalism’s Recommended Reading This Week

Practical Paralegalism’s Recommended Reading This Week

I blog for paralegals – and legal assistants, legal secretaries, legal staffers (and the attorneys who want to get to know us better) – to share information they might find helpful for professional development, or a much needed laugh during a hectic week working for lawyers. Once a week, I share links to a half dozen or so articles focusing on legal news and humor, practice tips and technology.

Here’s this week’s list:

“Paralegal Today Releases 18th Annual Salary Survey Results” (PRLog) ~ It’s no surprise that annual salaries fell a little in 2009, and many of us didn’t get raises. The top-earning specialties were intellectual property, commercial law and securities law. For the full 14-page salary survey, see the April/June 2010 issue of Paralegal Today. If you don’t subscribe, you can still order single issues by calling toll-free (877) 202-5196 or contacting Sherry McCoy at I’m honored to have several articles in this issue, including “Feed Your Mind: Stay on Top of Your Career with an RSS Feed Reader.”

“Trial Prep Made Easy” (Paralegals on Trial) ~ The anonymous but always interesting P.O.T. shares great essential tips for paralegals providing support during trials. Like a good paralegal, she even prepares for her possible untimely death – because the trial must go on.

“Writing Bad Briefs: How to Lose a Case in 100 Pages or More” (New York State Bar Association Journal) ~ I know many of my readers help write briefs. While this article is more than a little tongue-in-cheek, it’s still a keeper. From mixing up the parties in the caption to over-the-top highlighting of your key points to cut-and-paste boilerplate, here’s all the ways you can sink your case, whether you’re still a paralegal student drafting a brief for a grade, or an experienced paralegal contributing to a key brief for your firm’s client. (Thanks, Trial Practice Tips Weblog.)

“Sincerely, Me: What Our Email Sign-offs Say About Us” (WebWorkerDaily) ~ I spend more time thinking about my email sign-off than I probably should. Right now, I’m a “Best regards” gal. I used to be okay with a simple “Best” until this post said it’s strange. What works best for you?

“Continuing Computer Education and Firm Efficiency” (Law Technology News) ~ Not only do we need regular ethics and practice skills education, but these days, it’s a critical investment for firms to upgrade their staff’s computer skills as well. If your firm does not make the investment, then you need to make the investment in yourself, even if it means taking a few courses at the local community college or taking advantage of free online computer training.

“Yes, Your IT Department is Watching – And Being Paid to Rat You Out” (PCWorld) ~ Just a reminder that in a digital world, our employers may know a lot more us than we think. Remember, your work computer is not really yours – and neither is that company mobile phone.

“Utah Attorney General Mark Schurtleff Uses Twitter to Announce Execution” (TechCrunch) ~ Some people found these tweets shocking. What do you think? Apropos or in poor taste?

“Throw Smelly Shoes in the Freezer to Freshen Them” (Lifehacker) ~ You can forget sprinkling cat litter in my shoes. But I am wondering if spraying them with vodka would also work…

Favorite Practical Paralegalism post from this week last year: “This Paralegal Has a Skeleton in Her Closet” Just a quick update, but when my boss gets cold, he steals the infamous Blue Sweater (the very one in the photo) from Bucky.
I hope you’ll check out Practical Paralegalism’s new CafePress store at for new paralegal merchandise, such as “Practical Paralegalism Celebrates Me ‘Cause I’m Not a Cautionary Tale”, “Litigation Would Be a Nicer Place If Everyone Brought Their Dog to Work,” as well as “The Percolatin’ Paralegal” t-shirts, totes, mugs and more.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

Website design by T.Marie Hilton-Girly Girl Geek Designs