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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, NALS news, NALS Foundation, chapter and members spotlights, and more!

 

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NALS Member Spotlight: Charniece Rollie

Posted By Allison Streepey, B.A., CRS, PLS, Thursday, March 22, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

NALS of Missouri - Charniece Rollie - Legal Professional SpotlightCharniece Rollie started her legal career 25 years ago and joined NALS a few years later.  She began as a legal assistant with experience in pro bono, employment law, and civil litigation. She is now Executive Assistant at Baker, Sterchi, Cowden, & Rice LLC, where she has worked for the past four years. She enjoys coordinating and planning events for the staff and attorneys in the firm.

 

Charniece was first featured in the NALS docket eNewsletter in 2013. A lot has happened in five years. Legal careers can take many turns and experiences with NALS can grow too. Charniece has served in various capacities on the local, state, and national levels of NALS. On the local and state level, she has served as President, Vice President, and Secretary. She was the Membership Director for her home chapter, HALPA, the Heart of America Legal Professionals Association and Editor of The Briefcase newsletter for her state chapter, NALS of Missouri. Her favorite local and state event is the annual meeting when the newly elected officers are installed.

 

She joined NALS because she was interested in the organization and because of old and new friends. She said then she wanted to gain more knowledge about what NALS had to offer and now she continues to take advantage of the educational conferences.  “It is a great tool for furthering your career. NALS helps me to stay in contact with people.  If I have a question about anything, there is a connection, there are resources that I can use either to get my questions answered or just to have a friendly conversation.” 

 

She stays connected with NALS members from her local and state chapters too, and feels that this is the most important part of sharing and growing the organization.  Charniece recommends finding out what made the member join and working as a team in the chapter to customize the offerings and communications. “All our members are valuable and have special talents to bring to NALS.”

 

Charniece is a natural leader with a positive outlook.  Her personal goal with NALS is “to be able to work with an awesome group of people and also to grow as a leader. “  All of this happened when she became a member of a NALS National Committee, where she served on the Webinar Committee and now is on the Leadership Identification Committee.  Charniece feels this is one of her greatest accomplishment at NALS.

 

Charniece says everyone at NALS is her role model because they are there for the same reason that she is and this is very motivational.  At the national NALS conferences, she enjoys the welcome reception where she gets to see old and new friends and participate in the NALS Foundation Raffles. 

 

As if a legal career doesn’t keep Charniece busy enough, she has two children, Jasmine 31, and Jereme 26, and two grandchildren, Mario, 4 and Nichyi, 7.  Any spare time she has is spent reading, shopping, planting flowers, hanging out with family, and going to the movies.  Her favorite book is the Holy Bible, “which builds your character, you find out the plan that God has for your life, and teaches you how you should conduct yourself in your everyday life.” Charniece also volunteers frequently at “Harvesters,” the Community Food Network, and is a “Lead to Read” Volunteer at Garfield Elementary School in the Kansas City, Missouri School District.

 

In 2013, she said, “Leadership is service. Service is leadership. Do what you can wherever you can.” This motto is still serving her well at work, at NALS, with her family, in church, and in the community. This statement truly describes Charniece and her connection to all people.

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I AM EULA MAE: Individualism

Posted By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS-SC, ACP, Monday, February 19, 2018
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018

The next piece of this series on the Spirit of Eula Mae (stolen from the Disneyland Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln display) is Individualism.  The definition of individualism is “a view that stresses the importance and worth of each person.” 

 

I imagine that in Eula Mae’s time, being a working woman was much tougher than it is now. She had hurdles we can’t even fathom. According to an American History USA article1:

 

. . . [W]ith the rise of the corporate office, a number of other types of jobs opened up. Typists, filing clerks, stenographers, and even some secretarial roles all became possibilities for the ambitious young woman. In an era with absolutely nothing in the way of mass data storage, entire floors of office buildings were filled with the sound of typewriters and filing drawers.

 

In most offices, desks were lined across a central room in rows, with no cubicle walls and often not even a window. Tasks consisted of things like listening to dictations and typing their contents, of creating and updating ledgers, or of creating bills and sending out requests for payment.

 

I imagine it is hard in a sea of typists to let your individualism shine, but I have a feeling Eula Mae did that. She took the advice of a court clerk and used that to make herself and her peers better legal professionals.

 

It is possible to be an individual in a sea of other office workers. Only you can decide that you will be the best you can be. Only you can use your time to learn more about your career. Only you can do whatever you can to make youself better at your career of choice. Only you can use your money, your time, your energy, and your desire to be what some might call the cream of the crop of legal professionals.

 

You spend so much of your lifetime working that you should spend it doing something you love. If you spend your energy being good at it, it should pay off for you.

 

NALS helps its members develop their own individualism through CLE, networking, and certification. Having the knowledge and resources to answer questions and solve problems for your firm and your co-workers with information you’ve learned at a NALS conference, meeting, webinar, or printed article help make you part of the “cream of the crop.” Being able to get the name of a process server, get a judge’s specific likes and dislikes for an out-of-state court, or setting up a conference room with people that you’ve met through your NALS membership shows that you are working at this like it is your career.

 

Studying and sitting for a certification exam is a true show of individualism. The percentage of legal support professionals who are certified is small, so if you are certified, you definitely stand out from the crowd and are showing your “importance and worth.” Will being certified guarantee that you will see an increase in pay? No. But I can tell you that when you obtain certification, it shows your employer or potential employer that this is your career and that you are proving that your interest in learning as much as you can about it. It proves to your co-workers that you are learning as much as you can and can help them learn it too. It proves to you that you are worth it and that you are making a huge difference in your own life. It shows your individualism in improving your knowledge, your network of like-minded peers, and your position in your field among a sea of average legal support professionals.

 

How do you show your individualism to prove that #IAmEulaMae?



  1.  https://www.americanhistoryusa.com/working-voting-women-1920s/

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How To Present a Problem to the Boss

Posted By NALS Editorial + Marketing Board, Monday, February 19, 2018

Dear Eula Mae:

 

I’m a legal assistant who works for two attorneys in a small office that has a receptionist, paralegal and office manager.  I’ve only been here for six months, but as time goes on, there are more surprises that crop up nearly daily.   I’m not so sure how to deal with these problems and not very comfortable with interrupting the attorneys to ask about solutions because I don’t want to waste their time. Although it is a small office, it is a busy one.  Do you have any advice?

 

--Hesitant in New Hampshire

Dear Hesitant in New Hampshire:

 

This is a very important question.  You know bosses don’t really like problems, but they are asked to solve them every day.   The issue of presenting problems is really about planning and management.  There are different types of problems and each requires different solutions.  Problems could be urgent, priority, or your work problems.  An urgent problem must be dealt with immediately and, typically, this would need to be solved by the attorney boss. A priority problem is important but can be dealt with later.  Your problems on the job are also important, but you will need to do the thinking toward a solution first, then present to your boss if needed.  First, we will think this out and then prepare for a conversation with the boss.

 

To begin preparing for how to present problems to the boss, think about situations that you have had on your job or that could possibly happen. What do you consider urgent and immediate?  What are some examples of problems that are important but could be solved later?  Do you have ideas about problems on your job that affect your performance?  Write these down in the three categories and prepare to have a conversation with your boss on how the boss would like to handle these issues and consider these questions:  What if they are on their way to work, or in court, or going to the airport? What if they are in a meeting at the office? Is there someone else in the office that could manage the problem until the boss is available?

 

Now, how to manage your problems, issues, or concerns?  One wise boss said, “Don’t just bring me problems, bring  me solutions.”  When you have an issue, think about three solutions to it.  This takes a lot of thought, maybe some research, maybe visiting with the office manager or other legal support people who might have had the same problem.  Remember, this cannot be specific to any client, just a problem in general.  When the boss is receptive and has the time, present the problem and solutions.  The boss will give you a wise choice of a solution and you will both have peace of mind toward a successful outcome.

 

Having this conversation with your boss could save you both a lot of grief later.  Start by considering a time most convenient for your boss to talk about this and when they might be most receptive.  Do you need to schedule a meeting with them or do they have a more open-door policy?  Be thoroughly prepared for this meeting and you both will have a greater understanding of working together.

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We Appreciate Proofreading Tips Each and Every Day

Posted By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS-SC, ACP, Monday, February 19, 2018

Use of the phrase each and every is really duplicative. Each really means the same thing as every. They both mean “a single thing.” You should use either one of those words but not both of them together:

  • Jeff brings his lunch every day.
  • They clocked in each day at 8:00 a.m.
  • Each worker worked 50 hours last week.
  • Every car in the lot was stuck in the snow.

Another issue people seem to have is every day and everyday. Everyday means commonplace or ordinary as in an everyday occurrence.

  • Cooking dinner is an everyday occurrence in my house.

Every day means something that happens every single day or each day. In fact, if you can add the word single between every and day or replace every day with each day, then every day should be two words. If not, then you use everyday.

  • She stopped at Starbucks every [single] day.
  • The chaos of getting ready for school with five siblings was an everyday occurrence. [you cannot replace everyday with each day so it is one word]
  • Her Starbucks stop was an everyday habit.
  • Someone was crying every [single] day while getting ready for school.

So here’s hoping writers will stop using “each and every” and practice adding single or replacing with each day to determine the proper usage of every day v. everyday. One can hope!

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Keep Your 'Self-Limiting' Beliefs in Check

Posted By Tashania Morris, ALS, Monday, February 19, 2018
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us

By Mariane Williamson

 

Recently I was having a mini attack. I had all these self-limiting beliefs floating around in my mind.   I thought about the lofty goals I had set for myself, disappointments I encountered along the way, and failures I thought I was never going to bounce back from.  For a brief moment all I wanted to do was lay in a fetal position, cry, and feel sorry for myself.  “My goals are really scaring me,” I thought, “ how am I ever going to achieve them?”   Earlier that day I had applied to a program I was hoping to get into and by doing so, all of the sudden I was on  an emotional rollercoaster.  This was the challenge I needed to take my ideas to the next level and for the first time I was scared by the idea of both success and failure all at the same time.  Listed below are some of the thoughts that popped into my mind.  

  • Maybe I am not smart enough
  • Maybe I am not  good enough
  • Maybe this is just out of my league
  • What were you thinking?
  • What made me think I could do this?
  • This was not a good idea

Later that day, while attending a networking event, I was reminded by two different individuals, a friend/mentor and someone I had met the night before, just how truly awesome I am.  As I stood there and listened to both their stories, I realized I wasn’t in this alone, that my career wasn’t going to end simply because I decided to take another path.  I was reminded that:

  • I am smart
  • I am enough
  • This is within my league and, as a matter of fact, it felt silly to think otherwise
  • I was thinking about my son and leaving him a legacy
  • I know I can do this
  • This was a great idea

In that moment I decided I needed to create an I AM AMAZING file accompanied by a picture frame to act as a constant reminder of how amazing I am.  An I AM AMAZING file is a folder that has all my achievements, both personally and professionally.  It reminds me of all the amazing work I have already done, it also has the goals that I hope to achieve in the future along with deadlines and strategies of how they will be achieved.  I also have a picture frame that says “YOU ARE AMAZING.”  We are sometimes our harshest critic, forgetting how amazing we truly are.   

 

Things to put in the I AM AMAZING file

 

It should be separated by both your personal and professional accomplishments.  By doing this, you can easily provide documentation of your work to a potential employer, if needed.

  • Any achievements or certifications received
  • Emails received from a boss or client stating that you are doing a great job
  • Projects you have created detailing the impact you have made at work or in the community
  • Cards and letters received from friends, family, clients, work—anything that makes you feel fuzzy on the inside

 

Remember everything being placed in the file is supposed to remind you of your successes—not your failures.  Be very deliberate about what goes in there. 

 

Work on overcoming your limiting beliefs  

 

By nature I am a jovial person and an optimist—I try to see the good in everything and everyone until shown otherwise.  I don’t often dwell on failures or regrets.  I am extremely self-aware and can tell you what my strengths and weaknesses are at the drop of a dime.  For others, it might be a bit harder.  Some people see the glass as half full while others might see it as half empty.  I recommend replacing the negative feelings with positive ones.  You have to be honest with yourself about your capabilities and believe you can do it in order to convince someone else that you are capable of getting the job done.  Exuding a certain level of confidence is essential for people to buy into what you are selling. 

 

Sample—sometimes writing things out makes gives more clarity

 

Negative Thoughts

 

Replaced by positive thoughts

I can’t do it

I can do it

I am not good at my job

How can I get better at my job

 

Most of us would never talk to other people the way we speak to ourselves so I challenge you to be nice to you.  Create an I AM AMAZING file accompanied by a picture frame to act as a constant reminder of how awesome you are.  Take the steps you need to become self-aware so when these limiting beliefs resurface, you are able to decipher fact from fiction.  Be careful of the stories you tell yourself, Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I just found 10, 000 ways that didn’t work.”  Don’t ever forget how amazing you are.  

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NALS Traveling Gavel Challenge

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NALS 2018 Online Leadership Course + Discussion

4/1/2018 » 6/30/2018
NALS Foundation Full Circle 5K

4/16/2018 » 4/16/2019
Online ALP Exam

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