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12 Ways to Stay Current in the Fast-Evolving World of Legal Support

Editor's note: This article was written by an industry professional and guest contributor. The views and opinions in this article are of the author and do not reflect the views of ServeNow. If you are interested in becoming a guest contributor or have a story to share, send an email to [email protected]

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

Will Rogers

The world of legal support is evolving around us much faster than most of us anticipated and were prepared to address. Technology waits for no one and pushes forward constantly, shrinking the world and putting everything right at our fingertips. It is so very crucial now to ride the crest of that wave and not get left behind. The days of old-school service of process have given way to the demands of the legal practice embracing current new technologies, thereby raising their expectations of what legal support professional provide and how quickly they can deliver. It is so crucial that we, as a whole, embrace this trend and engage fully in the art of staying current and relevant. The following are some suggestions that can be useful to that end.

1. Educate yourself

  • Attend professional workshops, seminars, and Legal Tech conferences
  • Read, learn and understand the codes that affect our profession
  • Understand the trend within law offices to meet their evolving needs

2. Join and/or Sponsor Local, State and National Associations

  • Process Serving, Photocopy, Investigation and Collections Associations
  • Secretary, Paralegal or Legal Professional/Assistant and Bar Associations
  • Chambers of Commerce, Business Groups, and Service Organizations
  • Sheriff, Marshall, and Constable Associations

3. Join Topical User Groups, Newsgroups, and Stay Current with Discussions

  • Observe trends and use foresight to predict likely directional shifts
  • Identify top commentators and follow their posts

4. Join Job Listing and Job Posting Sites

  • Ask for additional information to give an accurate quote
  • Respond quickly with details of what you will provide

5. Make a Commitment to Educate Your Staff and Contractors

  • Encourage or require participation in training programs and events
  • Bring in educators and experts to provide in-house training
  • Take advantage of online educational opportunities

6. Sign Up for Public Notices from the State and Federal Courts in your Area

  • Be among the first in your area to receive alerts and info blasts
  • Forward relevant information in a newsletter or e-blasts to your clients

7. Read and Follow Professional Publication, Trade Magazines, Newsletters and E-zines

  • Example: CALSPro Press (CA), The Docket Sheet (National)
  • The Serve Report

8. Use Social Media and Locate Blogs that Keep you Informed

  • Check in daily to stay current
  • If available, sign up for auto-notification when new content is released

9. Follow Proposed Legislation and Legislative Digests on Matters of Potential Concern

  • Track State and National Bills potentially impacting service of process
  • Digest and fully understand all related legislative changes and how they affect you

10. Educate Your Clients and Customers

  • Host trainings for your customers at your location or theirs
  • Forward upcoming MCLE opportunities as a service to your clients

11. Get Active and Participate at a Higher Level in Associations and other Professional Groups

  • Submit articles and/or posts, and weigh in on current topics
  • Become a committee member or even chair a committee
  • Run for an elected office or seek appointment and help shape our future

12. Embrace Changing Technologies, Keep your Website Fresh and Lively, and Improve Your Timelines and Methods of Delivering Information to Your Clients and Customers

These suggestions are only some basic ideas to be a springboard for your ongoing effort to position yourself or your company in a way to remain ever relevant. By continuing to keep this concept at the forefront of your thoughts and business plan, you will, in fact, be engaged in the evolutionary process and may even become an agent for what legal support will become in the years ahead.

About the Author:

Cliff Jacobs is the National Affiliate Relations Manager for One Legal, LLC, and has been a legal support professional for the past 23 years. He has been serving on the Board of Directors of CALSPro (the California Association of Legal Support Professionals) for the past 6 years and is currently in his 2nd term as Vice President. He has just begun his 6th year as their Continuing Education Chairman, and is a past Technology Committee Chairman as well. Cliff is also an active member of the Marin County Legal Professionals Association.

Become a guest contributor

This article was written by an industry guest contributor. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, have an article suggestion, or would like to share your story, send an email to [email protected]

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