Summer Conference for Paralegals

Fri, June 16, 2023   |   8:55 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.   |  
Virtual and  Omni Hotel, Charlotte
  |   CLE Hours: 6.0 CPE Hours (inc. 1.0 ethics hour)

Speakers & Topics

8:55 a.m. Welcoming Remarks by Program Chair
  • Natalie Porter, Apricus Paralegal Group, Winston-Salem
9:00 a.m. Legal Project Management: Using Agile & Scrum for Efficient and Ethical Legal Matter Development
  • Alicia Mitchell-Mercer, Lex Project Management Consulting Group, Charlotte

This continuing legal education course will introduce paralegals to Agile and Scrum case development methodologies, starting with a brief explanation of the difference between Waterfall or Traditional Project Management and Agile Project Management. Participants will learn how to apply Agile and Scrum techniques to enhance collaboration, increase efficiency, and improve case outcomes while complying with ethical rules. The course will cover the principles of Agile and Scrum, including creating and managing a product backlog, using sprints to break down work, holding effective stand-up meetings, and monitoring progress through visual tools such as Kanban boards. Additionally, the course will map Scrum artifacts and events to various Rules of Professional Conduct. Through interactive exercises, participants will learn how Agile and Scrum can be applied to a legal setting while maintaining ethical standards. The course will highlight the advantages of
Agile and Scrum methodologies over traditional Waterfall Project Management, such as increased flexibility, collaboration, and adaptability to changing circumstances. This course is ideal for litigation and transactional legal professionals seeking to enhance their project management skills and streamline case development processes while adhering to ethical guidelines. By the end of the course, participants will have a basic understanding of Agile and Scrum methodologies and be able to begin applying them effectively to legal case development.

10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. What Practitioners Need to Know: Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Considerations When Working with Individuals, Families & Organizations
  • Milan Pham, NicholsonPham, Durham
  • Sarah Saint, Brooks Pierce, Greensboro

The legal landscape regarding gender, sex and gender identity has changed considerably over the past several years. Additionally, an increasing number of law firms and organizations have a renewed focus on diversity, equity, access, inclusion and belonging. As legal professionals, these trends impact not only our substantive law practice, but also how we interact with one another, our clients, opposing counsel and the judiciary. These rapid changes have left many legal professionals, who are aiming to show respect, feeling behind the eight ball. This presentation provides a primer to paralegals, and other legal professionals regarding emerging language; the meaning of gender; the impact of gender marker on an identification document; and appropriate uses of pronouns, honorifics, and other language in legal documents. This program will help you identify issues that LGBTQ+ clients face as the legal landscape continues to develop, in substantive areas from torts to employment. Finally, the panelists will lead a deeper exploration of civil rights issues (Title VII, Title IX, ADA and Equal Protection Clause) and family formation issues (assisted reproduction, surrogacy and parentage) that specifically impact LGBTQ+ clients.

12:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. Building Awareness and Understanding of Human Trafficking
  • Nancy Hagan, PhD, North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission, Raleigh

The North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission’s Policy Analyst, Nancy Hagan, will join us to provide an overview of sex and labor trafficking and will highlight vulnerabilities, indicators, response, and resources, with a focus on the potential role that paralegals may play in efforts to combat the crime. Human trafficking is an insidious crime that can be difficult to identify and address. This training will explain how victims and survivors often go unrecognized and unserved, and traffickers may elude justice.

2:45 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Staying Vigilant Against Fraud and Scams
  • Julie Beavers, Lawyers Mutual, Raleigh

The State Bar continues to receive reports of fraud and scams on lawyer trust accounts resulting in six-figure losses. Cybercrime continues to plague law firms of all sizes. We also know criminals continue to leverage technology to infiltrate law firm systems, often targeting the legal professionals supporting the attorney of record. In this program, we will review three major types of scams, identify vulnerable access points in technology, and discuss best practices to protect your workplace and your professional reputation. While these types of scams vary in sophistication, all three have the potential to cause significant harm and everyone inside the law firm must remain vigilant for any fraudulent activity.

4:00 p.m. Well-Being in the Legal Profession: Strategies for Finding Happiness, Satisfaction and Meaning in Your Personal and Professional Life
  • Julie Beavers, Lawyers Mutual, Raleigh

Well-being is a hot topic in the legal profession, and with good reason. Legal professionals are suffering higher rates of anxiety, depression, and stress than ever before. The problem has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. What do we mean by well-being? Is it the same thing as happiness? How can we, as individuals, improve our personal and professional well-being? What can the profession do to help foster improvement in well-being? In this program, we will explore practical solutions backed by science to improve our overall well-being and reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

4:30 p.m. Adjourn