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Since 1997, thousands of students have walked through the doors of Northwest and have gone on to become successful Massage Therapists, Dental Assistants, Medical Assistants, Medical Insurance Specialists and Paralegals. Won’t you join the fine group of Northwest Alumni now serving the community in a variety of professions? Explore Northwest Career College and see where your future can lead. Come tour our campus today!
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Every Alumni is welcome back on the campus of Northwest Career College. We love to hear your successes and share in your life’s progress. The absolute best, though, is when you return to the classroom and speak with our current students. Alumni come-backs always give students that extra bit of inspiration to help them see that their goals are achievable and real.
Northwest Career College has created a beautiful and peaceful testing space for both our students and our visitors to enjoy. We know how important and stressful test taking can be and we want to make your time here a positive one with successful outcomes! Make sure to allow yourself some extra time to arrive early, get settled, grab a drink or a snack from the front and prepare to PASS your exam! We look forward to seeing you on campus and in our testing center. Best of luck to you!
Northwest Career College takes great pride in creating beautiful campus facilities for our students, staff and faculty. We invite all of you to visit our campus in person! But, until you get here, please enjoy a virtual tour of our buildings, program labs and learning centers. We look forward to seeing you on campus!
Strong writing skills are essential to your job as a paralegal. The legal industry relies on good communication, and written communication is one of the most commonly relied upon modes. Between emails and letters to clients, opposing counsel, and court officers and various pleadings and responses, paralegals play an important role in helping ensure that the law firm clearly transmits its message.
You can find a lot of great tutorials out there about how you can learn to write in active voice. I’ll give you the same advice I received in high school from my 11th grade AP English teacher, Ms. Grove. Do what you can to rid your writing of the following “be” verbs:
Have Has Had Is Are Be Been Was Will Were
It can be difficult to do. You must spend time thinking about how you can reframe the sentence to eliminate those words (and their counterparts; i.e., “having”). However, it helps your writing. Look at a few of the sentences in this paragraph. Note the number of “be” verbs (outside of the example in the parenthesis in the second sentence). Notice that most of the verbs make a stronger sentence because of the lack of “be” verbs.
As a paralegal, you may draft responses on behalf of the firm. Of course, your supervising attorney reviews, approves, and submits the response with their signature. Very few clients truly fall under clean hands. That doesn’t mean your firm won’t successfully represent the client. It just means that sometimes you must admit to facts that are less than appealing about your client.
You must also address the opposition’s claims in your response. In both instances, you want to embrace those very “be” verbs I told you to stop using. Why? Because you want to minimize less than flattering information about your client and you want to minimize the effect the opposition’s asserted claims. We don’t remember information as well when it is presented in a passive voice. Passive writing, unless the argument is really strong, is easier to gloss over.
Most paralegals (and lawyers) proudly display their ability to research and write a convincing argument. If you’ve ever looked up a case on Lexis, WestLaw, or any other legal research site, you’ve read pleadings, responses, and opinions with huge paragraphs and never-ending sentences.
If you were a busy judge or law clerk working for the judge, how thrilled would you be? Long paragraphs and long sentences make it difficult for your reader. What if time constraints mean they can’t read the entire pleading or response in one sitting? Short sentences and paragraphs make it easier for your reader to find a natural place to stop.
When I taught Legal Research and Writing for paralegals, there was one concept that I wanted my students to hold onto (even if they felt they didn’t learn anything else. If you’re a student and you haven’t taken LRW I, please understand that at least the first half of it is a return visit to Grammar Island!). I wanted my students to understand the importance of fully defining or explaining what they meant because what happens in vagueness stays in vagueness. It also gives the opposing side the opportunity to define what you’re attempting to say. Write in a way that is clear.
Do you explain a complicated concept to a 50-year-old and a six-year-old in the same way? Of course not. You wouldn’t want to patronize a 50-year-old. You wouldn’t want to talk over the head of a child. In the legal industry, you must consider who will receive and read the document, the purpose of the document, and the experience the recipient has when it comes to legal concepts.
Using Latin terms that clients may not understand because it’s the right term could make you look smart. However, it doesn’t help the client. You want to explain things in a way that your reader understands it.
Here at Northwest Career College, we run the top paralegal program in Nevada, offering our students the skills and experience they need to successfully enter the field of paralegal work and position themselves to maximize their earnings. Our Paralegal instructors are seasoned attorneys and highly trained professionals who are able not only to teach you the law but also to guide you through the many ways a paralegal integrates into a Las Vegas law practice.
We offer on-campus and online paralegal classes to accommodate your work and family schedule. Our Career Services team will work with you to help you find the best paralegal employment opportunity in Las Vegas, and their expertise in this area has given us a 100% success rate in job placement rate for paralegal graduates. Call us today at (702) 403-1592 to find out what our paralegal program can offer you.
Written by: Lisa Myers, J.D., L.L.M. Legal Studies Department Director J.D. L.L.M. Campbell University B.A. Corllins University