Archive | February, 2014

Graduation 2014

28 Feb

Commencement this year is scheduled for May 28 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The graduation application deadline is April 18, 2014.

Check out Durham Tech’s commencement page here.


Save the Date! NCBA Paralegal Career Fair – April 4, 2014

26 Feb


From the NCBA Paralegal Division:

It’s Career Fair Time!

The fourth annual paralegal career fair will be held on April 4, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Greensboro campus of Guilford Technical Community College.  Students from paralegal programs across the Triad and surrounding counties are invited and encouraged to attend.  We are grateful to the GTCC paralegal program for their support and providing the space to host this year’s fair.

Our focus this year is to provide attendees the opportunity to gain valuable insight on the paralegal profession from working paralegals, hiring managers, paralegal associations, and legal vendors.

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to visit with working paralegals from a variety of practice areas and talk to them about their jobs and the area of law they support.  We will also have the Paralegal Division’s Pro Bono Committee on hand to discuss the Guardian Ad Litem program, an excellent opportunity to gain immediate exposure to the court system.

We have also invited law firm hiring managers, firm administrators, and recruiting agencies to attend and speak about today’s hiring practices and what to expect during the interview process.  In addition, we will also have legal support companies in attendance.  Attendees should take the opportunity to speak with these companies and learn about how they support the legal profession, as opportunities for alternate or hybrid careers for paralegals are becoming more prevalent. Please note that we cannot guarantee these firms or companies will have employment opportunities at the time of the fair.

In addition, we are excited to have Joy Belk, Assistant Director of Paralegal Certification, from the North Carolina Board of Paralegal Certification attend.  She will be available to discuss certification and answer any appropriate questions about the paralegal certification exam.  We are also excited to have the Guilford Paralegal Association join us to volunteer and sponsor the resume review.  The resume review allows attendees to receive positive feedback and tips to help tailor their resume for applying to a job in the legal profession.

Finally, this year’s fair will feature a professional dress corner!  Attendees can view some sample outfits that would be appropriate for interviews, court room visit and a day at the office, as well as tips on how to dress without breaking the bank!   Attendees who visit the corner will have the opportunity to register and win door prizes including gift cards to local department stores that can help them purchase the right interview attire.

Please contact Leslie Pegram via email at with questions or to sign up to volunteer.

You can sign up to attend this year’s fair at the following link.


  • Dress professionally
  • Have your resume reviewed
  • Network
  • Talk to all the exhibitors and volunteers about their jobs
  • Visit the career dressing area

A New Addition to the Paralegal Student Family

25 Feb

Traci Ruffner has just given birth to 7 lb, 7 oz baby boy Oliver.   

NALA Exam Schedule

24 Feb

The 2014 NALA Exam at Durham Technical Community College has been tentatively scheduled for May 16 and 17 in White 48. 

The Certified Paralegal Examination is divided into five separate sections. The sections and allowed time are as follows:

• Communications – 1 ½ hours

• Judgment & Analytical Ability – 2 hours, essay required

• Ethics – 1 hour

• Legal Research – 1 hour

• Substantive Law – 2 hours (American Legal System, Civil Litigation, Business Organizations, and Contracts.)

Tentative Schedule:

Friday May 16

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.            Examinee sign in

9:00 a.m.                                    Communications – 1.5 hrs

10:45 a.m.                                  Ethics – 1 hr

12:30 p.m.                                  Substantive Law – 2 hrs

Saturday May 17

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.            Examinee sign in

9:00 a.m.                                    Legal Research – 1 hr

10:30 a.m.                                  Judgment & Analytical Ability – 2 hrs

  • For an overview of the NALA exam and fees, visit the DTCC Paralegal Program blog’s certification page.
  • For comprehensive information on the exam, visit and click on “certification”.

Job Opportunity – Durham Co. Tax Office

11 Feb

Four previous paralegal program students are working in this department! Consider this a great opportunity to be exposed to local government law.


Position Title
Contract Type
Work Percentage
Posting Date
Closing Date
Salary Range
$27,119 – $46,687
Position Number
Assists the Tax Division Supervisor in providing assistance to citizens in listing real, personal, and business personal property for the purpose of taxation, assessment and collection of fees. Assists in the collection, reconciliation, balancing, and posting of monies collected on a daily basis. Prepares and maintains various reports, summaries and compiles fiscal data. Assists in the distribution of collected funds. Generates and mails collection action notices and document actions taken.

Responsible for maintaining information on new and existing accounts. Assists with property ownership, ownership 
transfers, mapping, exemptions, exclusions, appeals and related documents. Assists in the preparation of bond letters. Respond to inquiries, complaints and service request on the phone, in person, mail, and internet. Monitors and maintains real property hardship payment plans. Maintains control records, reviews work orders, maintain phone coverage, and assists with enforced collections. Researches approved sites for maintaining, correcting, and updating account information. Assists with filing, opening and distributing mail, faxing, corresponding, researching, codification, and data entry. General knowledge
of standard office practices, procedures and equipment. Knowledgeable in real estate, property tax laws and the ability to interpret information to/from a diverse population.
Requires any combination of experience and education equivalent to graduation from high school and three years of experience in a customer and/or public service oriented job in the areas of office/clerical work, accounting or bookkeeping. 

Applicants may apply online at

Building Up Your Business Attire on a Student Budget

6 Feb

Some of us have this to work with:



For the rest of us, here are a few tips.

A few years ago, former Durham Tech paralegal student and current rock star paralegal Scott Barrow-West gave a presentation to Durham Tech paralegal students that included a lot of good advice that came from experience. Two things stood out: get certified to stand out among job applicants, and start working on your professional attire early so you won’t have to spend money all at once.

At the Lunch and Learn session on February 5th, similar advice came through: it’s important to dress for success, understanding the different between professional attire and “business casual”. You can find some tips here and here.

How can you re-tool your wardrobe when you’re on a student budget? First, consider Scott Barrow-West’s advice of slowly building up your wardrobe before you graduate–a blazer here, some shoes there, a couple dress shirts or blouses as they go on sale. That way, you’re not dumping a lot of your money into a wardrobe all at once, or before you’ve got the lay of the land in terms of dress code at your new firm.

If sale prices still aren’t putting a week’s worth of business attire in reach, take a hint from Macklemore and visit your local thrift shop.

In the Triangle area, there are quite a few, but two stand out in terms of selection or the chance you’ll hit the mother lode of new, tagged clothes that were donated.

Cause for Paws – A solid inventory of men’s and ladies business attire, plus outerwear. Also a good selection of plus sizes for men and women. Check out the location at 1634 S. Saunders St. in Raleigh. They’re open at that location 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, and  10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They frequently run student discount specials.

Goodwill – The Kilmayne store has women’s clothes organized by color, and it’s not unusual to find new clothes with the tags still on them–including high end designer clothing. You can find this store at 220 Kilmayne Dr in Cary. Their website says their hours are Store hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and Noon – 6 p.m. Sunday

There are plenty of thrift shops located in the Triangle; make a scouting run and see which ones have the kinds of clothes in the size you need. The Paralegal Technology Class of 2013 regularly exchanged thrift shop tips–like which shops seem to have a good supply of nice threads. Ask your friends about a good tailor so you can turn some bargain slacks into something sharp. Sharing this information is another form of networking to help each other get ready for interviews and the first month on the job.

Do you have the clothes but your glasses need updating? Take advantage of Durham Tech’s Optical Shop, located in White 51. They have “Starving Student” specials that start at $50 for a complete set of glasses, and many of these are name-brand frames. You’ll need to have a current prescription.

Got ideas? Exchange them at the next Paralegal Club meeting.

NCPA – Breakfast and Networking – Feb. 8

5 Feb

The North Carolina Paralegal Association is sponsoring a Meet and Greet that’s open to paralegals and paralegal students.

NCPA president Patti Clapper encourages paralegal students to attend due to the material covered. Go enjoy a good breakfast, soak up some great career information, and network with the pros.

Saturday, February 8th 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Location: Golden Corral – 5707 Dillard Drive, Cary, NC (Crossroads) 


  • Top 10 Tips for Finding Employment as a Paralegal – by Patti Clapper, ACP, NCCP
  • Top 10 Tips to Excel in Your Position as a Paralegal – by Bonnie Ruffin, NCCP, CLVS

Members and non-members of NCPA including paralegals and paralegal students are invited.The program is sponsored by the NCPA and Ruffin Consulting.

For more information, contact Patti at LGLDUCK@AOL.COM or Bonnie at  BONNIER@RUFFINCONSULTING.COM

Please purchase breakfast at Golden Coral in exchange for them lending their room for free.