The Reporter March 2017


The Reporter March 2017

  • Sheila Atkinson-Baker
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  Helpful Information for Legal Professionals
  • How to Survive as a Legal Secretary
  • How Successful People Do Friday Afternoon
  • After Work Is What Determines Your Future…
  • The Changing Role of Legal Support Staff

From the President

To assist with your efficiency, here are the features of our online Client Center:

• Secure, centralized, fast online scheduling
• Shows all jobs that are current, those that were cancelled, your entire history, and future calendar
• Limit the information to a particular case, key witness, or attorney, and get the specifics on any deposition
• Review calendar anywhere, anytime
• View or download transcripts and exhibits in seconds
• Extremely easy and convenient to change, cancel, or reschedule jobs any time

For more information about the Client Center and how it can save you time, take a tour.  Then contact us so we can provide you with a secure login ID and password.  Our goal is to provide you with tools that will help you in your practice.

Best regards,
Sheila Atkinson-Baker

The Changing Role of Legal Support Staff

By Cynthia Thomas

Recent advancements in technology used by law firms have blurred the lines between legal assistants/paralegals and legal secretaries.  What were once two separate and distinct positions now overlap, and both jobs have changed significantly.

Traditionally, the terms legal assistant and paralegal were used interchangeably, with both referring to a nonlawyer legal support staff member who, after education and training, performed substantive legal tasks.  Legal assistants generally have an advanced understanding of the law and legal proceedings and routinely perform tasks such as researching cases, preparing discovery, interviewing people involved in cases, preparing case summaries, and general case management.   These tasks are generally performed independently and are billed to the client.  A legal secretary, on the other hand, performs clerical and administrative tasks under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal.  Historically, the legal secretary’s tasks commonly include word processing, dictation, handling incoming and outgoing mail, court filings, and answering an attorney’s telephone. These tasks are not billed to the client.  While serving very different functions and having distinct job requirements and responsibilities, legal assistants/paralegals and legal secretaries work very closely together and often rely on each other to play instrumental roles in providing support to attorneys and to the practice of law.

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