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Skill Enhancement for Paralegals: Legal Writing and Public Speaking

published June 26, 2012

By Harrison Barnes, CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 124 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Paralegals and their supervisors are constantly frustrated because most paralegal training courses are concerned only with the basics. Additionally, one of the constant sources of frustration is the lack of legal writing skills and non-comprehension of ‘legalese.' As paralegals have to shoulder more and more legal work, the focus on paralegal training is shifting inside law firms. For example big firms like Clifford Chance LLP have rosters listing individual trainers to enhance the skills of their paralegals. Due to the lack of training courses other than courses offered on legal writing run by law schools under extended campus programs, law firm paralegal training is gaining importance.

Planning for a Solo Practice
Legal Writing Skills for Paralegals

Even in case of initial recruitment of paralegals, today, employers want to see proficient writing samples. As stated by Nancy Caine Harbour of Eastern Michigan University, “A paralegal's inability to write a coherent sentence will undermine the paralegal's credibility and the attorney's faith in his or her work product.”

In an interview in 2009, Lynda Wertheim, then director of legal assistants for White & Case New York, made the same observation, “I think writing skills have become diluted over the years. We provide training in writing skills for paralegals.” Even major firms like White & Case now have training programs to enhance legal writing skills for paralegals, and as expected, the same courses also act as a screening process. For instance, if you succeed at the top of your training class, you have better chances, if you fail to prove your competence, whether you will continue as an employee becomes doubtful.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

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