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The official blog of the NALS docket, used as a timely resource for sharing content from our email newsletter. This includes Grammar Nuggets, Career Corner, chapter and members spotlights, and more! Articles are written and provided by our own members, Resource Center Staff, and our community of legal professionals. All content and articles will be published directly to our NALS.org website and linked to the NALS docket newsletter. This email venue for NALS will inform you of upcoming deadlines and monthly education product highlights from our online store. Copy + paste this link to sign up for updates: https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin?v=001JH2FKM034UVKDAYd6vkCfwIybKDCjBA-5dH7wJhSTjXN-eWSgRsnK6Q_LdfewGHvnwcVoakgipMvhoKPHed-94e5siy7js7FrJp_sV9e8Aw%3D

 

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Member Spotlight on Kara White

Posted By Rachel Daeger, Thursday, April 2, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Kara White, B.A., a paralegal at Rosell Law Group, loves education and the law. She is driven, determined and wants to know everything about the law so that she may set a good example for her two children. At the Rosell Law Group, she assists eight civil litigation and transactional attorneys. Before moving to Rosell, Kara specialized in consumer bankruptcy as a legal assistant for the North Alabama Bankruptcy Court in Huntsville, and Chris Mudd & Associates, PLLC, in Oklahoma City. Then Kara moved to trust administration, guardianship and estate law at Brady R. Hunt & Associates in Midwest City, Oklahoma. 

What she likes best about her job and legal career is the constant opportunity to learn. Her favorite words of wisdom support that: “Stay Curious” from Chris Voss, former lead international kidnapping negotiator and founder of Black Swan, a negotiation training business.  Her curiosity is demonstrated daily through communicating with her supervising attorneys and in her classes at Rose State College.

Kara’s legal career started only four years ago after serving as a L.I.N.K.S (Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills)  Mentor / Volunteer and as a Family Readiness Assistant/ Volunteer supporting the training of Marine Corps families at both Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and Camp Allen, Virgina Marine Corps bases. Kara was also Marketing Director for Chick-Fil-A in Hampton Cove, Alabama. 

Her work ethic, determination and drive come from being raised in the military. “From the time I was born until six years ago, I moved 11 times to two countries and eight states.” Her parents encouraged her to push forward, do better, and set goals. “Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do something.  Set your goals and keep working towards them, even if it takes small steps.”

After moving so much, Kara was able to graduate with a double bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Criminology and Sociology, following an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.  In January 2019, Kara entered the Paralegal Program at Rose State College in Oklahoma and will graduate in May 2020.  “It has been a long, hard road. I have carried a full courseload, worked full-time and have been able to make it to almost all of my boys’ activities and still have date nights with my husband.  Please don’t ask how I do it, because I don’t know.” This shows that if you want something bad enough and work for it, you can have it. 

Part of Kara’s interest in building a legal career comes from the education and resources that a professional organization can bring. The impetus for Kara to join NALS is being able “to network with other legal assistants and paralegals at the local and national level.”  This came true when she attended the 2019 National NALS Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. Attending the conference was also a great way to continue her legal education. She appreciates that NALS membership offers “additional education, resources and networking in conjunction with my paralegal degree.”

Holding memberships in several organizations certainly keeps the learning and networking fresh.  Kara is a member in good standing with NALS … The Association for Legal Professionals, NALA … the Paralegal Association, COALA … Central Oklahoma Association of Legal Assistants, and The Rose State College Paralegal Association.  Kara is “constantly attending continuing legal education events, both online and in person; workshops and leadership summits.” She will be attending her second Global Leadership Summit this year.  This demonstrates a serious desire to learn about law and network with others who love it too.

After a week of full-time legal work and continuing legal education, Kara’s calm center is her husband.  “He has the ability to get me to focus when my mind is going in a million different directions.” She loves him and their two boys, 10 and 14 years old, above all else. The family attends church, where Kara works in the nursery, and high school events where their oldest son plays in the band.  Any free time is spent running, swimming, reading, gaming, and other activities with the guys.  The whole family is a bunch of bookworms and they like to build shelves to display the best books worth revisiting.  Some of Kara’s recent books read include Sacred Slow, 360 Leadership, and Hope in the Dark.

Kara’s plans for the future are to “obtain at least one Paralegal Certification, obtain ACEDS (association of e-discovery specialists) Certification, and spend time with my guys.  Maybe at some point learn to completely sit still and just be.”  Somehow, for a person with this much interest and determination, being still might be too slow. It will be interesting to see where Kara’s career in law goes from here.

- by Allison Streepey, B.A., CRS, CLP

Have a member you'd like to recommend to be interviewed by the Editorial Board? Please email rachel@nals.org.

Tags:  member spotlight 

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Want to Work Fast

Posted By Rachel Daeger, Thursday, March 12, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Dear Eula Mae:

I’ve been in the legal support field for a few years now. My previous position as a data processor/typist was all about production and speed and it is a little different now that I’m a legal assistant. I want so much to do my job fast but I’m having to go back and correct little things almost daily. I get frustrated by handling the same documents over and over. This really slows down the process and I’m sure my boss is not happy about having to look at these documents over and over too. I don’t want him to think he made a mistake in hiring me for this job. I want to do well as a legal assistant and need advice on this.

--Want to be Speedy

 

Dear Speedy:

It seems like everything in the world today is all about speed, however, in a legal office, it is more important for the work to be exactly correct. The rhythm of the legal assistant’s job is different than a production position like a typist. The legal assistant is required to take exceptional care in handling clients’ information. This means a lot of reading and proofreading which takes time.

The work needs to be perfect before it leaves the office. My best advice to you is to be sure you have the right resources (grammar books and websites marked) and skills (which can be developed) in order for you to do the best job that you can. At the desk, a legal assistant’s job is about dependability and accuracy. After you type some documents, take a moment to occupy your mind a different way--take a short walk around the office, go get a cup of coffee, do some copying or filing—anything that is different than what you just typed. Then come back to the document and read it backwards from the end of the document to the top.

There is something about how the brain works when doing this that will help you spot any mistakes. But before you turn the work in to the boss for signature, try reading it out loud (silently of course) one more time to look for any other corrections needed. You can learn to slow down in the office with the goal of having the best outcome possible in your work.

It will take you a little effort to do this, but you will be very happy with the results and your boss will notice the improvement too.

Tags:  ask eula mae  docket 

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February 2020 Docket - Ask Eula Mae

Posted By Rachel Daeger, Thursday, February 13, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2020
How to Prioritize a Mess

Dear Eula Mae:

I work in a relatively small law firm with three attorneys and three legal assistants.  Two of the bosses were out of town today when one of the legal assistants was fired.  I was assigned the duty of getting her files and other tasks in order before her boss comes back.  It turns out that she was a real mess, disorganized and only did what she had to do and didn’t file anything back in the file room.  I even found unpaid bills!  I’m worried that I won’t be able to get all of this straight with the duties that my boss assigned me before he left.  Can you help?

--Afraid in Alabama

Dear Afraid in Alabama:

Sometimes you just have to face what has been given to you to handle.  I can tell you that it will probably take more thinking power than doing power to get things in order.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could get it done and ready for signatures by the time the attorneys get back? You can do it!   

To get started on tackling this mess is to put like items together before processing.  You will need a space to spread out the stacks of paperwork, some sticky notes and a pencil. Gather all the things that need to be done from the fired person’s desk and try to think about how you can group all of the documents and files into categories such as bills, documents to proof and sign, ready to file, ready to mail, etc. Write the category name on a sticky note and make room to build groups of like items. Pick up one document or file at a time, write the due date in pencil on the top right of the first page and place in the appropriate named category for processing. If there is no due date and it doesn’t fit in any of the categories and must be processed before going to the file room, make a separate stack for that. If there is no due date needed (not urgent), it will need its own stack too. This is the one that you will do last.

Then you will gather up each category in a stack for processing.  Pick up a stack and organize it in date order from oldest due date (on the top of the stack) to the newest (on the bottom of the stack).  Do that with every stack.  Look for the oldest date of all the stacks.  That is the category that you will complete first (urgent). Items for the file room are not as urgent and can wait a little longer.

The purpose of this process is twofold—you will feel like you are in control of the situation and you will only have to think about the steps for each task one time. There is something about repetition that will help you move through the stack with ease.  After you have completed your part of all items in that stack, then take it where it needs to go for the next step, which is usually the boss’s office.  

Next, look for the oldest date in the remaining stacks and start again with that one.  The stacks with no due dates are not urgent but still need to be handled.  For the one that still needs processing, assign a date to complete it.  For the final stack that needs to be filed in the file room, schedule 30 minutes at the end of the day on Friday to file these documents.

After you get a grip on the paperwork you inherited, it will probably make your job look easier. You will know exactly what to do there to get ready for your boss’s return.  Be brave.  You can do all of this and more.
 

Tags:  ask eula mae  office procedures  paralegal career 

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Migraines: The Best Treatment is Prevention

Posted By Dr. Steven Zodkoy DC, CNS, DACBN, Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dr. Zodkoy is the author of the popular book: Misdiagnosed: The Adrenal Fatigue Link talks about how prevention is the key to avoiding migraines.

I have been treating migraine patients from around the world for 25 years, and long ago realized that it was much easier to prevent my patients' migraines than relieve them. Utilizing a combination of clinical nutrition, state-of-the-art therapies, and hands-on techniques, I have been able to help thousands of patients relieve, and more importantly, prevent even the most severe and chronic migraines. While each patient may require personalization of their migraine prevention care, the basic is the same.


Migraines are a type of headache that refers to the location, symptoms, and cause, NOT the intensity. Migraines are usually located on one side of the face, and behind the eyes, a prodrome of symptoms often precedes them; a dramatic fluctuation causes flashing lights, nausea, hypersensitivity to smell and are caused by a dramatic fluctuation of blood flow to the head. Migraines are usually found in women, worse with menstrual cycles and triggered by food: alcohol, cheese, and nitrates. Migraines are among the easiest headaches to prevent because the underlying mechanism for their triggers is well known.


It is estimated that 40% of migraine sufferers have a genetic mutation at C677T, which means it is difficult for these people to utilize Folate. Folate is a crucial vitamin used by the vascular system for stability and by the liver to detoxify their body. I believe that the decreased liver detoxification causes toxins to increase in the blood and eventually leads to irritation of the compromised vascular vessels, which over-react and trigger a migraine. This premise would explain why menstrual cycles which increase hormone production by 400% and thus the need for liver detoxification are linked to migraines. The idea that the liver cannot handle the toxic burden would also explain why alcohol, chemical exposure, and food with nitrates also trigger migraines. The liver's burden is exacerbated by the OTC and prescription medications utilized to relieve migraines, all of which need to be detoxified by the liver. The chronic toxic load that medications cause is the reason for rebound headaches and their eventual loss of effectiveness. Strengthening the liver's ability and speed to detoxify the body is a key step to preventing migraines.

There are several steps to reduce the amount of endo- and exotoxins in the body. Lifestyle changes include increasing pure and alkaline water intake, exercise, meditation, and adopting a diet that reduces artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives. Avoiding concentrated chemicals in perfumes, cleaning products, body products, candles, and other household items will also relieve the detoxification burden on the liver. Lifestyles changes for migraines means living a more natural, active, and clean lifestyle.

Several vital nutritional supplements can also help improve liver function. Essential herbal supplements include: Milk Thistle, Artichoke, and Curcumin to accelerate liver detoxification. Vitamin B11 or Folic acid in the form of 5-MTHF (5-Methyltetrahydrofolate) is vital to help circumvent the genetic mutation common to migraine sufferers. Other nutritional supplements that have been proven helpful in liver detoxification are: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), Glutathione, Magnesium, CoQ10, and Omega oils. I strongly recommend using an all-natural, multi-nutrient as a base for your nutritional supplementation and adding in the liver detox supplements because the liver requires dozens of cofactors to function correctly.


The hidden reason why chronic migraine sufferers never fully heal has to do with the prolonged burden the mind-body has suffered. When I meet or speak with migraine sufferers from around the world, most of them have been suffering for decades, are toxic from their medications and emotionally and physically exhausted from their condition. Each migraine sufferer I have treated also needed to strengthen their adrenal glands to help with their energy, mood, and recovery. Often weakened adrenals are significant triggers. When in a weak state, adrenals exhibit symptoms including dizziness with rising quickly, fatigue, poor sleep, and decreased motivation. Weakened adrenals or adrenal fatigue makes it difficult for sufferers to deal with stress and is why stressful situations trigger many migraines. Nutritional supplementation with adrenal glandular and adaptogens are essential to rebuilding the migraine sufferer and providing long-lasting relief.


The hottest nutritional supplement on the market to help with the pain associated with migraines is CBD oil. While CBD oil will not prevent migraines like the suggestions above, it does have some unique benefits. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it will reduce the irritation in the blood vessels to minimize the migraines. It also helps people deal better with stress and anxiety, which are primary triggers. I recommend a full spectrum of CBD oil from an organic source that is tested for purity, and all CBDs are not the same.
 
Detoxifying and rebuilding the body to prevent migraines takes time. Most of phone-consult patients from around the world can dramatically reduce the severity and frequency of their migraines by the 8th week of care. By the 12th week of care, most patients are ready to speak to their doctor about stopping their medications if they haven't already. There are several treatments I use in my office to speed up this process and offer immediate relief.

 

  • LiteCure laser therapy uses the power and speed of light to relieve migraine pain nearly immediately. LiteCure laser therapy is unlike other laser therapies in the fact that you feel relief quickly, it is long lasting and promotes cellular healing to prevent future episodes
  • Applied Kinesiology is a hands-on technique that gently relieves muscle tension and strengthens the body's ability to detoxify and heal
  • Alpha-Stim uses a gentle electrical current to promote the relief of endorphins from the brain. Endorphins are the most potent pain relief mechanism known to man and Alpha-Stim has been proven in hundreds of studies to raise endorphin levels and keep levels higher over time immediately
  • Chiropractic care is also beneficial for migraines. Chiropractic care can help relieve muscle tension that triggers migraines and improve the biomechanics of the neck to enhance normal function. Chiropractic care has also been shown to stimulate the Endocannabinoid System, like CBD oil, which helps promote pain relief and reduce inflammation.
    Migraines can be a lifetime sentence of pain, BUT they do not have to be.


Dr. Zodkoy has 30 years of treating Migraines successfully at Monmouth Advanced Medicine in Freehold, New Jersey. You can contact him at szodkoy@hotmail or 732–308–0099

 


 

All content found on the NALS.org website, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.


Links to educational content not created by NALS, Inc., are taken at your own risk. NALS, Inc., is not responsible for the claims of external websites and education companies.

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Ask Eula Mae: Too Much Time on My Hands

Posted By NALS Editorial + Marketing Board, Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Updated: Friday, June 14, 2019

Dear Eula Mae:

I work in a small legal office and most of the time we are really busy with legal work. However, there are just a couple of times a year when I run out of things to do and I’m not sure how best to use this extra time or where to start.  It’s nice to have a breather when the boss goes on vacation or at Christmastime, but it is also boring, too.  I love legal work and love the daily routine.  It is stressful when the work is on a pause.  I would rather be doing something than sitting around all day waiting for the work to come rolling in again. Do you have any suggestions?

 

--What to Do in Delaware

Dear What to Do in Delaware:

 

This is really an easy problem to solve.  Just like any good Scout, the best thing you can do is be prepared.  Besides just basic cleaning tasks, there are many other thoughtful and useful odd jobs you could do in a relatively short time.  Starting today, make a list of all those annoying things around and in your desk, and if you work for one attorney, include the entire office.  This would be annoying things like how to corral all those loose pens, figuring out a schedule to keep enough copy paper handy, or keeping the scanning jobs going. 

 

Now is a great time to really clean and organize your desk and office area and the workroom. While you are at it, have paper and pen handy to make a list of office and other supplies that you might need and prepare an inventory of office equipment. Remember to include serial numbers and phone numbers.  Review any contracts that you have for the copier and the coffee and water service.  Is it time to have the copier and printer cleaned?  Just like a car, this will extend their usefulness.  This is information that should be included in your desk manual.

 

Is there anything that you need that would make your job easier?  Check to see that you have the latest reference books that you need. Make a list of professional goals and include educational webinars, classes and conferences that you wish to attend.  Does your town have a local or state NALS chapter that you could benefit from joining?  If not, get involved with the online classes, publications, and network. 

 

One of the most important tools that you have is the desk manual with information from your office, including policies and procedures, contact information for the office staff, court filing fee schedules, and document formatting information, et cetera.  Now is a good time to get it up to date. (Really, you should do this once or twice a year.)  Be sure you have the latest contact information of all the service companies and businesses that the office uses. 

 

Start with a list of items mentioned in this column and add your own ideas of monthly, semi-annual, and annual tasks to keep the office running smoothly.  This is a great list to keep in the front of your desk manual and add to it when you think of things.  There is always so much to do, and this list will come in handy to manage your area and your time—and you will never be bored.

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