Paralegal Profile: Barbara Liss

Job Title: Paralegal
Employer: Law Office of Christopher C. Jones, Santa Barbara, California
Years of Paralegal Experience: 38 (ouch!)
Education/Degrees: Paralegal Certificate from University of California, Santa Barbara, California private post-secondary teaching credential in Paralegal Studies
Specialty Areas: For most of my career was a civil litigation trial paralegal; transitioned three years ago to estate planning, trust administration and probate in which I currently engage.
Career Highlight: There have been many!  One memorable experience was the trial where I used computerized image projection for evidence for the first time – the judge insisted that no hard copies would be used in the courtroom and I had a crash course in digitized image projection software overnight; we all crossed our fingers the next morning when I connected the laptop to the projection screen and powered up!  I think that the judge and jurors even held their collective breath with me.  It was a deodorant moment!!
Paralegal Practice Tip:  Carry an emergency kit in your trial box that includes band-aids, sewing supplies, white out, coins, highlighters, fold up pointer or laser pointer, redacting tape, tape measure, ruler, clips, rubber bands, breath mints, aspirin and ibuprofen, and other travel essentials – sooner or later, you’ll need every one of them!
Favorite Internet Resource:  California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, http://www.canhr.org/  – a wonderful resource for information on nursing homes, residential care facilities, long term care, Medi-Care and elder law.
Favorite Legal Software: Abacus http://www.abacuslaw.com/
Do you use social media resources, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or blogs, for career and/or case development? 
Yes, I am on LinkedIn and Facebook.  I also participate in Paralegal Gateway and Paralegal Services groups on LinkedIn as time permits.  I also belong to LinkedIn’s Speakers and Panelists group. 
Fun Fact:  I completed the L. A. Marathon in 2006 at age 54!
One Gadget You Can’t Live Without:  My iPhone
Favorite Quote: “. . . And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” (Lennon/McCartney)
Paralegal/Legal Association Memberships: Currently active with the Santa Barbara Paralegal Association (SBPA) and through it, am a member of the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA) and the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).  In the past have been active with Channel Cities Association of Legal Assistants, Sacramento Association of Legal Assistants, Ventura County Paralegal Association and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.  Participated in NFPA’s white paper committee that originally defined the term “paralegal” in the mid-1980’s.  Testified before the California State Bar’s Public Protection Committee on UPL and paralegal licensure in the mid-1980’s; testified before the California State Senate’s Sub-Committee on the Judiciary on the topic of paralegal regulation in late 1980’s.
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Barbara originally contacted me about re-printing a post in her paralegal association newsletter. I am so glad she agreed to complete a profile and share some highlights from her amazing career with us. At 38 years, she may take Practical Paralegalism’s prize for the professional profile with the most years of paralegal experience. I’ll be adding a sewing kit to my emergency trial supplies, and telling myself that I’m not too old to rule out running a marathon.

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