Tips from the Legal Pros Next Door

21 Aug

North Carolina Central University’s School of Law has some excellent tips for students that want to enter law school. What might surprise you is that all of the tips are relevant for paralegal students as well.

Have a look here.



Dress for Success Triangle Hosts “Jump Start Your Job Search” Event

21 Aug
Need some help with professional attire and career coaching? Dress for Success Triangle may be able to help. We’ve attached their most recent press release. The August 28th event will be held at Urban Ministries of Wake County.  Details are in the release.

Triangle Nonprofit Accelerates Low-Income Women’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency
RALEIGH, N.C. — August 19, 2014: Dress for Success Triangle will open its doors on August 28th to all low-income women in the Triangle who are unemployed or underemployed for a special one day event, “Jump Start Your Job Search”. 
Dress for Success, which helps women achieve self-sufficiency by providing tools to succeed in the workplace, will provide each woman with a free suit and shoes for her job search and a short session with a Career Coach.
After a woman receives a suit for her interviews and obtains employment, she is invited to return to Dress for Success for her first week’s clothing at work, and becomes a free, life-time member of the Professional Women’s Group. Additional resources and support are available to her from Dress for Success throughout her professional career. Through its dedicated services and programs, Dress for Success Triangle addresses every phase of a woman’s career—from unemployed and searching for a job, recently employed and adjusting, and gainfully employed and succeeding. 
Often for many women, the suit provided is the first business suit she’s ever owned, and helps to boost her confidence when interviewing. One client, after receiving a suit and a short coaching session said, “I just wanted to let you know that I GOT THE JOB! I am so happy. I am really shy and never talk but thanks to Dress for Success, I was so ready for that interview. I am so confident and proud of myself.”
The “Jump Start Your Job Search” day, from 10 am to 6 pm, will operate at Dress for Success located in the Urban Ministries of Wake County building, at 1390 Capital Blvd, Raleigh. No appointment is needed, women only are invited. This event is for women who have not yet been to Dress for Success.
For more information, email

Kaye Summers, ACP, NCCP – What Every Paralegal Should Know

19 Aug

Welcome, new and returning students! Have a look at Kaye Summers, ACP, NCCP, as she tells the 2012 Durham Technical Community College Paralegal Club about the key skills every paralegal should know. You might be surprised to find that many of those skills won’t come from a textbook.

Tips for Newbies

15 Aug

Tips for Newbies

Welcome, Newbies!  I hope you will enjoy your paralegal technology classes as much as I do.   I began the program last fall as a part-time nontraditional (i.e., senior citizen) student.  Not having been on a class roll for more than 35 years, I was a little more than nervous.  But I found myself surrounded by eager and clever classmates, taught by first-class instructors, and reading and learning material that I enjoyed and that challenged my thinking.  Along the way, I learned a few things that I think helped me become a better student.  All of us learn differently, but in the hopes that you might find at least one of these helpful, I’d like to share my Tips for Newbies with you.

  1. Buy some three-ring notebooks and a hole punch. Many Paralegal Tech instructors provide handouts, study guides, and other materials in the classroom or in Resources section of Sakai.  You will need and want to refer to these in preparing for class or studying for exams.  It helps to have these organized for quick access.  Colorful tabs make it more fun.  And keep the syllabus up front!
  2. Take good class notes. I found it helpful to leave a good-sized margin on the left to take notes on the notes when I was reviewing or studying for an exam.  I also found it useful to draw a line near the bottom of a page when the instructor gave an assignment I needed to jot down, or mentioned something to follow up on—a website, case, statute, whatever.  Others may want to keep an assignment notebook or use an app on their phone, but I’m old school and like to get it down right then and there and see it quickly on the page.
  3. Listen to your classmates; let their curiosity inform your learning. Paralegal technology students come from all kinds of backgrounds.  I found that virtually everyone in my classes contributed to my learning, whether by a thoughtful remark, sharp question, or creative and well-informed answer on a Sakai Discussion Forum.  Paralegal students also help each other out with supportive nods and camaraderie.  You are not alone! 
  4. Ask questions. As program director Attorney Susan Sutton frequently reminds us, paralegals have an affirmative duty to get clarification about anything they do not understand.  I was reluctant to do so at first, but found it far better to get the itchy question scratched than to ignore it.  When I didn’t get clarification, my withheld question often came back to bite me.  In the work environment, going off without having the task nailed down can lead to real fiascos for paralegal, client, and attorney.  Far better to learn the lesson as a student. 

Here’s to a wonderful first-year in the Program!  I’m sure by the end of the year, you’ll have even more tips to share.

- Barb Stenross

Beef Up Your Classroom Skills

7 Aug

By popular demand, here’s a repost on note-taking and studying. Enjoy.


As exam time rolls around, some students find that their note-taking and study habits may not be up to the task. Here are a few simple tips from colleges and universities around the country.

Participation – Don’t be shy about asking questions, but do ask questions that get results. Princeton University has a guide for how to participate in a way that helps you learn as well and may also help your classmates learn as well.  The University of Pennsylvania asks students to avoid side conversations, since it distracts those involved in the chatter as well as nearby students who are trying to tune it out.

Cornell Note-taking System – This system has been around since Truman was in office, and for good reason: it works really well for most students that use it. The student divides their paper into three sections–a note-taking section, a cue column, and a summary. The cue section is later used for review. You can create a custom template here or just create the margins on your own using the notebook paper you have.

Active Listening – There’s a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a passive activity, while active listening engages your brain in what’s going on. Keep in mind that your brain can process words much faster than a lecturer can spit them out. As a result, the brain is tempted to wander when it encounters pauses. So don’t tune out–jot down a note, topic summary, or question about what’s been said, and keep going. To learn how to rev up your brain so that it’s focused on the task at hand and not what you think you might do this weekend, check out these tips on active listening and note-taking from Northshore Community College.

Time Management – You’ve probably figured out that the more time you put into a subject, the better off you’ll be. But how do you juggle a job, family, school, and some needed down-time? You’ve probably kept up your day planner to map out when you’ve got time to study, and perhaps even set a study schedule (Cornell University has an excellent guide), but if things still get derailed, take a look at what the University of Oregon suggests for students that procrastinate.

Getting Around Campus – The Short Course for New Students

30 Jul

During this time of the year, there are a lot of new students at Durham Tech. The college has invested in some great new signs that help students find where they’re supposed to be, but it’s still a daunting process if you’re new to campus. Here are some tips.

1. First, take a look at this map before you come to campus and print it out–and have one copy with you in your backpack or book bag for your first week of school, right there alongside your class schedule. You’ll notice that the buildings are identified by number and name. The map also gives you the room numbers for each building.

2. If you need to go to the admissions and financial aid offices, or visit the college book store, head over to the Phail Wynn, Jr. Student Services building. You’ll hear it referred to as the “Phail Wynn” and “Wynn building” as well. That’s Building 10–which is the big 3 story building off of Lawson Street.

3. If you need to pay for something at the business office, go to the Nathaniel B. White building, which is Building 1. It’s the long, one-story building that parallels Lawson Street. The cashier’s office is located just inside the front doors to the building.

4. Need a parking permit or a student ID? Go to the security building which is Building 8, located next to the Phail-Wynn building. And, yes, you’ll need to display that permit when you park on campus.

5. If you want to find out where to go before making the trek to the main campus, or just need a phone number or email, check out the super handy “Where Do I Go?” quick reference page on the college web site.

Remember that Summer hours run through August 8, and that means Durham Tech offices will be open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursdays and from 8 a.m. – noon on Fridays.

Job Opportunity: Durham, NC

21 Jul

Durham county government has an opening for a Tax Division Supervisor. One of the qualifications includes a paralegal degree. You can apply for the position using the link at the bottom of this post.


Position Title


Contract Type

Work Percentage

Posting Date

Closing Date

Salary Range
$43,560- $78,408.00

Position Number

Maintains Computer Assisted Assessment System (CAAS) database. Reviews and adjusts CAAS valuation tables to ensure the same reflect proper appraisal schedule rates. On an annual basis, supervises listing of individual personal property including manufactured housing, boats/motors, aircraft and unregistered vehicles. Supervises discovery process for unlisted property, corrects value and tax bills, and the release of annual personal property tax bills. Supervises personal property appraisal personnel work planning. Trains workforce in adopted personal property appraisal techniques, methods, and procedures. Reviews personal property appraisals and answers inquiries. Coordinates and monitors work flow. Assures personal property appraisals meet standards set by NC Department of Revenue and Office of Tax Administration. Acts as resource person for complex personal property appraisals. Establishes and monitors internal control processes and ensures procedures comply with NC Machinery Act and local Ordinances. On a monthly basis, ensures timely Registered Motor Vehicle NC Department of Motor Vehicles data processing for billing purposes. Prepares formal assessment appeals cases; testifies and delivers oral presentation before the Board of Equalization and Review and/or North Carolina Property Tax Commission. Serves as primary contact on any escalated personal property complaint issue and recommends appropriate resolution. Measures effectiveness of Listing Line personnel; assists with hiring, training, evaluating, and disciplining. Maintains customer service by effective personnel work scheduling and coordination. Assists in development and implementation of policies, practices and procedures of Office of Tax Administration Listing Division. Participates in and recommends best practices for special projects. An Associate’s Degree in Real Estate, Business Management, Paralegal Studies or training in Tax Accounting, Collections or other closely related setting with one (1) year of supervisory experience is highly preferred.

Require any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from a community college with an associate’s degree in accounting, business or a related field and extensive experience in a tax, accounting, collection or other related setting with six months of supervisory experience.

Special Requirements: Must complete training and obtain certification in appropriate tax area from the North Carolina Tax Collectors’ Association or North Carolina Department of Revenue within two years of employment.

Durham County Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer

To apply, click here


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