Skilled paralegals play a critical role in the success of any law firm, and those employed by Elk & Elk are no exception.
While there is no standard educational background or licensing required to work as a paralegal in Ohio, the Ohio State Bar Association offers a voluntary credentialing program guided by objective standards which measure the training, knowledge, experience, and skill of paralegals.
In an effort to support professional development across the firm and provide clients with the highest quality service, Elk & Elk recently offered its paralegals the opportunity to achieve the OSBA’s paralegal certification.
In addition to offering OSBA membership and the certification exam for 27 paralegals, Elk & Elk will host a series of in-house continuing legal education (CLE) seminars taught by the firm’s attorneys. Elk & Elk plans to offer opportunities for its paralegals to earn 12 CLE hours throughout the year.
Providing the opportunities in-house helps eliminate any financial, transportation, or scheduling barriers while enabling the coursework to be tailored to the firm’s practice areas, software, and procedures. It also allows for relevant questions and discussions specific to the firm’s clients and their unique circumstances.
According to Elk & Elk Human Resources Manager Gloria Donnelly, this major undertaking by the firm raises the bar and sets an example for other firms who could benefit from an initiative of similar scale.
“Elk & Elk believes all our staff should be growing in their careers. We want to support our staff in doing so by offering the opportunity to take these classes and making it as convenient as possible to earn their certifications,” says Donnelly.
Topics covered in the scheduled CLE sessions include ethical issues with engaging personal injury clients, use of medical experts in medical malpractice cases, preservation of issues for appeal, research and writing, mediation, and documenting and supporting damages in personal injury and wrongful claims.