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Paralegal Career For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-471-79956-6
384 pages
July 2006
Paralegal Career For Dummies (0471799564) cover image
Apply important legal concepts and skills you need to succeed



Get educated, land a job, and start making money now!

Want a new career as a paralegal but don't know where to start? Relax! Paralegal Career For Dummies is the practical, hands-on guide to all the basics -- from getting certified to landing a job and getting ahead. Inside, you'll find all the tools you need to succeed, including a CD packed with sample memos, forms, letters, and more!

Discover how to
* Secure your ideal paralegal position
* Pick the right area of the law for you
* Prepare documents for litigation
* Conduct legal research
* Manage a typical law office


Sample resumes, letters, forms, legal documents, and links to online legal resources.

Please see the CD-ROM appendix for details and complete system requirements.
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Introduction 1

Part I: A Snapshot of the Exciting and Lucrative Paralegal Profession 7

Chapter 1: Discovering the Paralegal Profession 9

Chapter 2: Membership Has Its Privileges: Paralegal Associations and Their Certification Exams 21

Chapter 3: The Hunt Is On: Securing a Paralegal Position 27

Part II: Important Legal Concepts Every Paralegal Should Know 37

Chapter 4: “All Rise”: The American Judicial System 39

Chapter 5: The Big Three: Categories of Law 57

Chapter 6: Taking a Case to Trial: The Litigation Process 79

Chapter 7: How It’s Done: Important Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence 99

Chapter 8: Because I Said So: The Categories of Legal Authority 115

Chapter 9: The Substantive Law Areas Most Commonly Practiced by Paralegals 123

Part III: Putting It into Practice: The Paralegal in the Civil Litigation Process 137

Chapter 10: The Paper Chase: Preparing Documents 139

Chapter 11: Elementary My Dear Watson: Legal Investigation 167

Chapter 12: Chewing the Fat: Legal Interviewing 179

Chapter 13: Burning the Midnight Oil: Legal Research 193

Chapter 14: Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Trial Performance 211

Chapter 15: The Official Word: Ethical Codes for Legal Professionals 225

Part IV: Skills Paralegals Need to Soar Ahead 239

Chapter 16: Write On: Presenting a Clear, Concise Legal Writing Style 241

Chapter 17: The Latest Thing: Using Technology in Law 269

Chapter 18: Law Office Management 101 281

Part V: The Part of Tens 293

Chapter 19: The Ten Most Important Rules of Ethics 295

Chapter 20: Ten Things Every Paralegal Should Know 299

Chapter 21: Ten Survival Tips to Thrive in the Legal Environment 303

Part VI: Appendixes 307

Appendix A: Glossary of Important Legal Terms: A Mini Legal Dictionary 309

Appendix B: About the CD 335

Index 347

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Scott Hatch, JD, and Lisa Zimmer Hatch, MA, are founders and administrators of The Center for Legal Studies, which offers training and certificate courses, including paralegal certificate courses, to thousands of people through hundreds of colleges and universities every year.

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