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Finding Time for Professional Development

Posted By NALS Editorial Board, Friday, November 18, 2016
Dear Eula Mae:



I just started working in a large, very busy law firm and it is my secret desire to be an excellent legal secretary.  Everyone is so busy that I do not know whom to ask or what to say to improve my skills.  This is a great job for me because I am shy and do not mind reading a lot to learn more.  There is not much spare time at all on the job, but I can squeeze in about 15 minutes of reading time at lunch.  I belong to a professional organization, NALS, but our meetings are only once a month.  What can I do to get better at my job?


Shy in Kansas



Dear Shy in Kansas:


The fact that you desire to be great at your job will bring you greatness!  Even if you only have 15 minutes a day, that is a great place to start!  That makes an hour and 15 minutes a week of education and skill-polishing!  That is 60 hours a year of knowledge.  A good place to start your educational journey is with your boss.  Set up an appointment to visit with the boss about your current skills and ask what skills you could develop further.  If you are too shy to talk with your boss just yet, start on your own.  Watch for the Basic Legal Training Course offered through NALS.  Becoming certified as a legal professional is a big deal and demonstrates your commitment to professionalism.  Another way to gain skills is to look for online resources.  One skill always needed is the ability to find information fast, especially if you are proofreading.  English grammar needs steady attention.  You can develop that skill through websites like http://proofthatblog.com/ and http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl.  For general office skills, you could subscribe to newsletters such as http://www.adminprotoday.com/ and http://paralegalmentor.com/.  The Paralegal Mentor, Vicki Voisin, has a fantastic resource titled 151 Tips for Your Career Success.  (Yours truly still reads this every six months to recharge.)  This is your journey and you will do a great job because you want it.  Enjoy!


Eula Mae

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Susan J. Mano says...
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2016
This article pertains to me in so many ways. If it was not for NALS and the many friends in my state and other states I would not have taken the plunge to become state president. I can only go up now.
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Amylyn Riedling PP PLS-SC2019 NALS Board of Directors
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