Practical Paralegalism’s Recommended Reading this Week

My most recent mental vacation is watching The Office on Netflix straight through from season one. I’ve discovered I have two sets of friends – the ones who adore the show, and the ones who don’t get it think it’s funny at all. The gags are consistently successful – but never more successful than when Jim is pranking Dwight.

I’m pretty sure that’s Dwight’s stapler. Thanks, Fail Blog, for the yellow jello.

Top Top Ten Jury Verdicts of 2010 (Lawyers USA) ~  How much do you think a jury awarded the estate of a woman who was given free cigarettes as a child? I’m [almost] speechless. (Thanks, The Trial Technologist’s View.)

E-Discovery: For First Timers, E-Filing Might Not Be So Easy (Connecticut Law Tribune) ~ Legal assistant Susan Tenore shares good advice for new e-filers, including registering for an account in advance of the date you need to file, creating searchable PDF documents, and becoming BFFs with someone at the clerk’s office who is both knowledgeable – and patient.

Who you gonna call? (Sonoma Freelance) ~ Virtual paralegal Daphne Drescher loves owning her own business, but sometimes misses the camaraderie and support of her former BigLaw co-workers. In this post she shares the many different methods, personal and virtual, she uses to create a network of other professionals she can turn to for support and friendship. If you haven’t already subscribed to Daphne’s free e-newsletter, Drescher ProParalegal Newsletter, now is a great time to do so at http://sonomafreelance.blogspot.com/.

How to Communicate More Effectively in Email (Business Hacks) ~ Get to the point quickly.

How to Authenticate Social Networking Sites (Legal Intelligencer) ~ Start with pointed discovery requests.

What to Do When You Lose Your Computer (Inc.com) ~ Or what to do if your boss loses his laptop. I was especially interested to learn there is a free app, Prey, that not only regularly emails you status reports about your laptop – but can also take pictures of the thief if it’s stolen.

10 Easy Ways to Show Your Employees You Love Them (Mashable) ~ No, I am not sharing this just because one way is to allow your employees access to social media sites at work. One of the recommended ways is to include every employee on the company’s website. Legal staff members are not only key members of the legal and marketing teams; they are often the ones with the most frequent contact with clients. Their bios and photos should be included on law firms’ websites.

Politician Caught Looking at Escorts on iPad While at Work (PadGadget) ~ If your employer does allow you to have your beloved smart phone or tablet at work, don’t try to hook up get an, er, expensive date. If you get busted, definitely don’t try the uber-lame “my fingers slipped” defense.

Thanks to fashion posts from Hope and the Dress Code, and The New Professional, I had a career-dressing epiphany this week: I can get more mileage out of my sheath dresses by wearing shirts underneath them, too. Also, for you recessionistas (you probably can’t afford to be a fashionista if you’re reading Practical Paralegalism), for a wee mental break, I like to play the SheFinds guess which item is less expensive than the other game, like with this khaki coat, a classic outerwear option for spring (if it ever gets here). Sometimes the game is pretty easy – sometimes not so much.

I find tons of articles that might interest legal professionals on the ‘net each week. No doubt I forget more of them than I have time to share here, but I frequently use my own Twitter stream to keep track of them, so if you’re interested in the micro-blogging stream of consciousness of a slightly obsessive-compulsive, definitely chocolate-addicted paralegal, but refuse to tweet, you can see them here: http://twitter.com/expertparalegal. I also share some of them at Practical Paralegalism’s Facebook page.

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