Fall Conference for Paralegals: Paralegals Making A Difference-Together We Can Change North Carolina

Fri, October 14, 2022   |   8:55 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.   |  
Virtual and  NCAJ Headquarters, 701 Corporate Center Dr, Suite 450, Raleigh NC 27607
  |   CLE Hours: 6.0 CPE Hours (inc. 1.0 Ethics)

Topics & Speakers

8:55 a.m. Welcoming Remarks by Program Chair
  • Natalie Porter, Apricus Paralegal Group LLC, Winston-Salem
9:00 a.m. Secondary Trauma in the Legal Profession
  • S. M. Kernodle-Hodges, Tolliver Richardson & Kernodle LLC, Raleigh

Whether you are an advocate, a paralegal, or working with pro bono clients, integrating a trauma informed approach into your professional routine is critical. This session will address secondary trauma and how it affects the balance between your personal and professional life

10:00 a.m. Safeguarding Today’s Busy Law Firm: Tricks, Traps and Trends
  • Julie Beavers, Lawyers Mutual, Cary

An informative presentation on emerging ethics, cyber fraud, common malpractice problems and tips for prevention, and an update on recent ethics opinions issued by the NC State Bar. Discussion topics include: issues keeping lawyers and paralegals up at night; technology and digital communications impact on cyber security; malpractice trends and how to avoid them; ethics update; and reinventing law firms to maintain satisfied clients

10:45 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. Cross Cultural Paralegaling
  • Sylvia Novinsky, North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, Raleigh
  • Anh LyJordan, North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, Raleigh

Cross cultural competency is important in any job, but these skills are critical for legal professionals. This session will focus on effective cross-cultural communication to build trust and understanding between paralegals and their clients. The session identifies some ways that culture influences the legal representation and the potential issues that can arise. The session will also help to identify skills and perspectives that can be used to identify our own cultural norms and those of our clients and how to communicate effectively, knowing these differences. The session will involve an interactive exercise to apply these skills

12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Bridging the Access to Justice Gap with Paraprofessionals
  • Rachel Royal, Royal Touch Legal & Business Solutions, Wilmington
  • Shawana Almendarez, NC Paralegal Consulting Services, Charlotte

Civil legal issues impact basic human needs, including housing, safety, economic stability, and family structure. Nevertheless, a staggering 92% of civil legal needs will go unmet because of limited resources for civil legal aid and pro bono providers. The difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs is the “Access to Justice Gap.” This session will introduce paralegals to the fact that there is no right to counsel in civil legal problems and explain why legal aid providers can only offer assistance for about half of them. The session will further focus on ethics requirements related to pro bono and nationwide regulatory reform initiatives that target access to justice. It will empower paralegals to initiate programs and seek out pro bono opportunities. North Carolina Justice for All Project will explain how paralegals may be leveraged to meet civil legal needs and provide an update concerning the status of legal regulatory reform in North Carolina and other states. A Q&A session will follow the presentation. Discussion topics include: anoverview of civil legal needs assessments commissioned by state and national actors; North Carolina’s pro bono and legal aid efforts; why pro bono, low bono, and legal aid efforts fail to resolve the access to justice gap alone; an overview of proposed regulatory reform, including limited licensing, a legal regulatory sandbox, and other trends across the United States and Canada; a status update on the exploration of legal regulatory reform in North Carolina; and how various types of legal regulatory reform may impact paralegals, lawyers, and other stakeholders in North Carolina

3:00 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. Where Do I Go From Here?
  • Erica White, Elevate Services, Raleigh

This session will provide attendees with a practical overview of broader career options for paralegals, both inside and outside of law firms, and how paralegals can take proactive steps to move toward those careers. The session will also include an examination of alternative legal services providers (ALSPs) and the projected future growth in this area of the legal industry. Additional time will be available for attendees to share their insights and career paths

4:00 p.m. Honoring Ourselves Through Self-Care
  • Brittany Yearwood, Make Your Own Time, Raleigh

Empowered communication coach, motivational speaker and host, Brittany Yearwood, will help paralegals close out the day with an introduction to guided meditation, grounding techniques, and mindfulness. The stresses of our profession will melt away as we learn practical action steps to holistically navigate our way to better clarity and mental health

4:30 p.m. Adjourn