The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Employer: Chain Cohn Stiles, 1430 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301; http://www.chainlaw.com/
Years of Paralegal Experience: 26 years as paralegal; 4 as a legal secretary
Education/Degrees: 2010 ~Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) in Personal Injury/Wrongful Death from National Association of Legal Assistants, Tulsa, Oklahoma; 2009 ~ Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) in Trial Practices from National Association of Legal Assistants, Tulsa, Oklahoma;
2002 ~ California Advanced Specialist in Civil Litigation (CAS) from National Association of Legal Assistants, Tulsa, Oklahoma; 2000 ~ Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) from National Association of Legal Assistants, Tulsa, Oklahoma; 1989 ~ Certificate – Attorney Assistant Program from California State University, Bakersfield
Specialty Areas: Personal Injury Civil Litigation
Career Highlights: I am an Administrative Legal Assistant with the law firm of Chain Cohn Stiles in Bakersfield, California. I began my legal career in 1980 working for some of the finest civil defense attorneys in the area. Since 1995, I have worked for David Cohn, Managing Senior Partner of Chain Cohn Stiles, one of the most successful and prominent law firms in the San Joaquin Valley. I am Mr. Cohn’s lead legal assistant and administrator of his multi-million dollar personal injury practice. I exclusively handle all of Mr. Cohn’s trials, complex litigation, Federal, and Appellate matters.
I am also the creator and author of The California Litigator, a bi-weekly newsletter for California legal professionals who are interested in enhancing their knowledge and strategies in the arena of California state civil litigation support.
In 2001, 2003, and 2005, I was an instructor of Personal Injury law at California State University, Bakersfield Extended University, Attorney Assistant Program; and in the Spring, 2011, I am scheduled to teach this subject, along with introducing my textbook on the Anatomy of Personal Injury Civil Litigation. Most recently in April, 2010, I was a speaker at the Bakersfield Business Women’s Conference, a nationally recognized women’s conference speaking on the Ethical Boundaries of the Paralegal and the Legal Consequence.
In 2003, I was the recipient to the Kern County Paralegal of the Year award, and in June, 2002, was featured in the Bakersfield Californian as One of Kern County’s Devoted Paralegals.
Paralegal Practice Tip: This is what I have told my children and have applied in my life: Do not stop learning. Knowledge is a powerful tool in your life. Never give up on yourself! If you can think of it, you can do it! Apply yourself to be the best at whatever you choose to do, and help others along the way.
Favorite Internet Resources:
- California Courts (http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/find.htm)
On this website, I check on cases, tentative rulings, local court rules, register of actions, telephone numbers, maps to the court, etc. You can view California Rules of Court on this site, Judicial Council Forms, court updates, rule changes, and filing fees. This is a go to website for the California Superior, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Courts.
- California Codes (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html) This site consists of the 29 California codes.
- U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety & Health Administration http://www.osha.gov/comp-links.html
- Skid Speed Calculator http://www.harristechnical.com/skid33.htm
- Federal Rules of Civil Procedure http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/index.html
- Free People Search http://www.iaf.net/
Do you use social media resources, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or blogs, for career and/or case development?
I use LinkedIn. I have found this site to be an effective means of getting to know other legal assistants and professionals that I otherwise would never have met. I particularly like this site because it is for professional networking, and not the average social site where you get bogged down with what someone ate for breakfast.
Fun Fact: I am a brown belt in Taekwondo. (Obtained in 1979, so it has been awhile). I love to golf, hike, and float in my swimming pool.
One Thing You Can’t Live Without: My family and close friends.
Favorite Quote: “I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Paralegal/Legal Association Memberships: I have volunteered for multiple terms on the Board of the Kern County Paralegal Association. I am a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants and an associate member of the Kern County Bar Association. I am on the Legislative and Website Committees of the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations.
Professional Links: http://www.thecalifornialitigator.com/;
http://www.chainlaw.com/ ____________________________Many thanks to Barbara for sharing so much great information. Also check out the many terrific online resources she shares at her website: http://thecalifornialitigator.com/resources.