Archive | October, 2014

Scholarship Opportunity

22 Oct

This just in from our friends at the North Carolina Paralegal Association:


The North Carolina Paralegal Association, Inc. (“NCPA”) will be sponsoring its annual Student Scholarship Essay Contest opening October 1, 2014. Any paralegal student enrolled in an accredited North Carolina paralegal educational program is eligible. An essay competition will be the basis of the scholarship.

Essay Topic: “I have chosen to be a paralegal…”

Essay Requirements: The essays must be typed, double spaced, and on letter sized paper. They may not exceed two pages in length. Please be aware that spelling, grammar and punctuation will be taken into consideration, so please review your work before submitting. The essays will be judged anonymously, so do not reference your name or your paralegal program within the body of the essay.

Awards**: First Place: $400.00
Second Place: $300.00
Third Place: $200.00
Fourth Place: $100.00

In addition to the scholarship, all awards include one free student registration to NCPA’s 35th Annual Seminar and Meeting to be held March 19-21, 2015 in Wrightsville Beach.

Send your typewritten essays by January 1, 2015 to:

Charlotte A. Ward, CLA, NCCP
Student/School Relations Chair
PO Box 36264
Charlotte, NC 28236-6264

Please contact Charlotte A. Ward at (919) 906-1822 with any questions.

**All award scholarship checks will be made payable to the winners’ educational facility. Please note that winners for the previous year are ineligible.**


Advising and Registration for Spring 2015

21 Oct

Make sure you have an appointment to meet with your academic advisor prior to registration. Your advisor has to “clear” you on the college’s Colleague system to register. If you procrastinate, you may not be able to get into the classes that fill quickly!


Being prepared will help you make the most of advising.

  • Check your ConnectMail account regularly for updates from your advisor and other college departments.
  • Schedule appointments with your advisor in a timely manner and don’t be late.
  • Review your plan of study and think about which classes you would like to take prior to your meeting.
  • Become familiar with the academic policies and procedures outlined in the College Catalog.
  • Seek assistance as soon as a problem arises. Do not wait!


All students must be cleared by their academic advisor prior to registration. It is strongly recommended that you see your advisor early, prior to November.

Are you a new student? You will learn about the advising process during your ConnectSession, Durham Tech’s student orientation. After you submit your enrollment application, you should reserve a spot in a Connectsession. Students who attend a ConnectSession will receive advising during walk-in hours. If you need more than 30 minutes for your advising session, you may schedule an individual follow-up appointment with a first-year academic advisor. Beginning the enrollment process early will help you avoid long wait times during walk-in advising and give you access to a wider selection of course options.

Are you a continuing student? Are you admitted to a program? If the answer is yes to both questions, you have an assigned advisor. Check your profile inWebAdvisor for your advisor’s contact information. It is your responsibility to schedule an appointment or submit an online request for advising prior to registration. Please contact your advisor as soon as possible, if they have not responded within 5 business days, you may meet with an advisor during walk-in hours in the Admissions and Enrollment Services office, Wynn Center, room 1200, or at the Orange County Campus. Walk-in hours are posted in the advising section.
Are you a continuing visiting student? Have you previously earned more than 12 hours of transferrable college credit? Continuing visiting students or new students with 12 or more transferrable college credits who choose not to attend a ConnectSession, may submit a request for online advising or meet with an advisor in the Admissions and Enrollment Services office, Wynn Center, room 1200, or at the Orange County Campus during walk-in hours. Online advising forms and walk-in hours are posted in the advising section. Online advising ends December 19 at 5 p.m.

Early Registration

Early registration is reserved for continuing students who have been admitted to a program as of Fall 2014 or prior and have enrolled in courses during at least one of the past three semesters. Eligibility is determined by credit hours completed by the start of the early registration period.

Early registration for eligible students with 35 or more credit hours begins: November 3

Early registration for eligible students with 17 or more credit hours begins: November 5

Early registration for eligible students with 4 or more credit hours begins: November 7

Early registration for eligible students with fewer than 4 credit hours begins: November 11

General Registration

During general registration, all advised students can add courses to their schedule using WebAdvisor, Durham Tech’s online system for student information and services.

Open registration for all advised students: November 13 – January 11*

Waitlist function available: November 13 – January 8

Registration is available through WebAdvisor all day except from 1:00 – 1:10 a.m. for daily maintenance and Fridays from 6 – 8:00 a.m. for weekly maintenance. WebAdvisor will remain available for schedule adjustments until Sunday, January 11.

*Ensure you are able to log into WebAdvisor prior to the end of the registration period. If you are unable to access WebAdvisor and require registration assistance, visit the Admissions and Enrollment Services office in the Wynn Center, room 1200, or the front desk at Orange County Campus by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 9.

Late Enrollment and Advising

Last day to receive Online Advising, by 5 p.m.—  December 19

Last day to submit an enrollment application, by 5 p.m. — March 11**

Last day to take a placement test, arrive by 1 p.m. — January 6

Last day to attend a ConnectSession at 2 p.m. — January 6

January 7-8 are late advising days, the last opportunity to meet with an advisor.  Registration is not permitted if you have not completed an application, orientation, testing and advising by the deadlines.  Please note that by late advising time, course availability is limited. You are encouraged to complete enrollment steps early.

Main Campus late advising hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Orange County Campus late advising hours: 1 – 6 p.m.

**Any applications submitted after Monday, January 5 may not be processed in time to begin classes on Monday, January 12. However, applications submitted between Tuesday, January 6 and Wednesday, March 11 should allow enrollment for Mini-Session II, which begins on Monday, March 16.

Tuition and Fees Payment Deadlines

Full payment of tuition and fees is due according to the schedule below.  During the week before classes start, full payment is due daily.  If you do not pay on time, your courses will be de-registered and made available for other students.

If you register the week that begins November 3, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. November 9.
If you register the week that begins November 10, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. November 16.
If you register the week that begins November 17, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m.November 23.
If you register the week that begins November 24, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. November 30.
If you register the week that begins December 1, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. December 7.
If you register the week that begins December 8, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. December 14.
If you register the week that begins December 15, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. December 21.
If you register December 22 – January 4, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. January 4
If you register January 5 – 8, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. the same day.
If you register January 9 – 11, full payment is due by 11:59 p.m. January 11.

Payments may be made online through WebAdvisor all day except from 1:00 – 1:10 a.m. for daily maintenance and Fridays from 6 – 8:00 a.m. for weekly maintenance. Payment may also be made in person at the Cashier’s Window (White Building entrance foyer, Main Campus), from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays – Fridays unless the college is closed.

All of this information and more can be found on the Durham Tech web site. We just thought it  was handy to put it in one place on the blog.

2014-15 CPE’s from the NCBA

21 Oct

From our friends at the North Carolina Bar Association:

The NCBA Paralegal Division has an exciting line-up of live and webcast CPE programming for the 2014-2015 year! Make plans now to attend the following programs:

• March 12-13, 2015 NCCP Examination Review Course (Live and Webcast)
Bar Center, Cary (video replays in Cary and Charlotte TBA)

• April 30, 2015 IP Institute for Paralegals (Live)
Bar Center, Cary (video replays in Cary and Charlotte TBA)

• May 8, 2015 Paralegal Division Annual Meeting (Live)
Grandover Resort & Conference Center, Greensboro

Our popular monthly Webcast Series continues, so save the dates now for the following one-hour CPEs, each of which will be presented from 12:00-1:00 p.m. on the day of the program:

• October 21, 2014 North Carolina Legislative Update for Paralegals
Speaker: Kimberly Crouch, North Carolina Bar Association

• November 19, 2014 Patent Law After the America Invents Act
Speaker: Andrew R. Shores, Esq., Ward and Smith, P.A.
(online registration pending)

• December 17, 2014 Legal Research Refresher for Paralegals
Speaker: Carolyn Scott, Young Moore and Henderson, PA

The NCBA Paralegal Division Webcast Series is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification. Each presentation is offered free to members (use code PARALEGALDIVISION at checkout) and only $25 for non-members.

Volunteer Opportunity – Saturday Oct 25th, 2014

9 Oct

Both Lawyers and non-lawyers are needed for this event.

From the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association:

The Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association will address the underserved needs of the LGBT community by providing advice and drafting Wills, Health Care Powers of Attorney, and Durable Powers of Attorney for all qualifying couples and individuals, regardless of sexual orientation.  The inaugural Estate Planning for Equality event in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Saturday, October 25th, 2014, from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm (the last appointment will be scheduled for 3:15 pm) at the Wake Forest University School of Law located at 1834 Wake Forest Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27109.  No prior estate planning background is required to serve as an attorney or non-attorney volunteer.

Licensed NC attorneys are needed to draft the Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney and Health Care Powers of Attorney.  Participants are provided with a questionnaire to fill out beforehand, and it corresponds with the fill-in the blank HotDocs software used to draft the estate planning documents.  Notaries and witnesses are also needed.  We would like everyone to volunteer all day, if possible, but we appreciate any time that you can volunteer.  If you can only volunteer for part of the day, please indicate if you would like to volunteer for the morning session (9:00 am-1:00 pm) or the afternoon session (12:00 pm-4:30 pm).

Training for this event is scheduled at 9:00 A.M.  for the morning and all day sessions and at 12:00 P.M. for the afternoon session.  During this time, we will have about 30 minutes of training on basic NC law regarding Wills, Durable Powers for Attorney and Health Care Powers of Attorney and about 30 minutes of practicing on the computers using HotDocs software in case there are any questions.  If you are a licensed attorney practicing in the area of wills & estates, please let us know if you would be willing to help with the training.  In addition, if you have experience in the area of wills & estates, please let us know if you are willing to serve as a floater during the actual event to answer any questions that the other attorneys drafting the wills may have.  

Additional materials will be e-mailed to those who sign up to participate, however prior to the event date it will also be helpful to review the following “This is the Law Pamphlets” available on the NCBA website :

(1) Living Wills and Healthcare Powers of Attorney and

(2) Protecting Your Assets: Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney.

As you can see, there is plenty to do and we need as much help as possible.  If you or someone you know (including non-attorney staff members at your work or friends) would like to volunteer for this event, please email Sections/Divisions the following information:

Phone Number:
Email Address:
NCBA Membership #:
NCSB Membership #:
Volunteer Type (Attorney, Notary, Paralegal, Law Student, Other)
Availability: AM, PM or ALL DAY
Do you have Malpractice Insurance? Yes|No
Do you have Estate Planning Experience? Yes|No

If you have any additional questions, please contact Collin Cooper or Jillian Brevorka or by telephone at (336) 271-4780.

Thanks and best regards,
Collin Cooper

Voter Registration Deadline is Friday, October 10th

9 Oct

Stop what you’re doing and read this. Then do what you need to do to make your voice heard…and count.

The voter registration deadline is Friday, October 10th.

You’ve got time to research issues and candidates for November 4th general election, but you do NOT have much time left to register.

To find out how to register, go to the NC State Board of Elections website. It’s easy to use.

You can check your voter registration status on this page. Your query will also return precinct information.

Do it.

Take a Minute…

8 Oct

Some students are wrapping up their first Mini-mester, while others are cruising right along in full semester classes–or perhaps you’re doing both. Either way, it’s a great time to take a moment to look ahead to Spring 2015 registration. You can get a sneak peek at key dates by checking out the Important Dates for Spring Term 2015 (pdf) document. Remember to do a little planning before contacting your advisor–look at your plan of study, and consider your home and work schedule requirements to see how many hours you can take without compromising academic success, home life, and your sanity. Visit the blog’s Paralegal Toolkit page for a downloadable planner template.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

7 Oct

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

It’s not a phone.

It’s a Cisco IP phone. Or maybe it’s a 10-line PBX system.

And you’re not answering the phone. You’re assisting clients or customers by answering customer service related questions and directing calls.

Think about the difference between telling an employer that you can pick up a ringing phone, and convincing them than you are the best candidate in that big stack of resumes. Answering a phone is a skill most children learned before they entered first grade, while wrangling a multi-line system with professionalism and courtesy is a valued skill needed in a busy office.

As an entry level paralegal competing in a tight job market for a place in that office, you must find a way to stand out as a skilled professional even if you’re new to the paralegal field. An attention-grabbing resume may convince whoever is screening those resumes that you have relevant work skills, even if your resume is thin in the actual paralegal experience area.

To create that resume, think about the things you have done well at previous jobs and start illustrating those skills. How? Instead of jotting down that you’ve answered phones, think before you write. Was it a multi-line phone system? Can you find out from a manager the volume of calls averaged per day? Take a look at the difference:

  • Answered phones


  • Operated a multi-line phone system to answer an average of 75 customer service questions daily. Politely and efficiently directed calls to 10 office specialists

You’ve figured out by now that this isn’t just about answering phones. This is about applying the same resume writing strategy to all of your skills. If you stocked shelves, did that include a routine to make sure your inventory was accurate? If you had a job where you regularly gathered data, how much data was there? What was the end result?

Did you create an Excel spreadsheet that enabled management to track spending in certain areas? If so, that sure sounds better than sticking to just one tired old line that says you can use Microsoft Office.

Quantify what you have done whenever possible.  If you’ve accomplished something that resulted in increased sales or efficiency, find out what the number is. If you don’t have access to those numbers anymore, then work your way through your resume quantifying what you can.

But remember: don’t over-embellish your resume. If it was a simple task, leave it alone instead of trying to cover your would-be employer with fertilizer. And likewise, don’t ever lie on your resume, cover letter, or application. Ever.

You already know to keep a resume to two pages at most. If you need to save valuable real estate on those two pages, consider dumping a mediocre “objectives” statement. Everyone knows you’re “looking for a challenging position at ____ that will utilize your ____ skills”. Those lines of space might be better invested in telling your next employer exactly what those skills are and how you can put them to work in your new job. Don’t sell yourself short when you have so much to bring to the table.