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Paralegal conference heads to Dearborn.

Byline: Thomas Franz

An annual event focused on teaching paralegals and legal assistants is heading to Dearborn this month.

The Day of Education hosted by the State Bar of Michigan Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section is set for May 31 at The Henry, Autograph Collection in Dearborn.

The lineup of guest speakers for the event includes Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Amy Ronayne Krause and Genesee Circuit Court Judge Joseph J. Farah.

"We have a really great lineup of speakers this year. It's for everyone, not just paralegals," said Elizabeth Cary, a council member of the State Bar of Michigan's Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section. "We're trying to offer something for everyone, and it's all aspects of the law. Anyone is welcome to attend."

The event goes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will cover several areas of law, including rules of evidence, legal writing, the appeals process, ethics rules, interviewing, stress management, and more.

Guest speakers will examine the case of someone who was wrongfully imprisoned and discuss their prison experience and the role of a paralegal in an exoneration.

"The Day of Education is scheduled to provide excellent educational materials to all attendees," Ronayne Krause said. "Paralegals and lawyers would all benefit from this program. From understanding how to talk with clients, to understanding evidentiary issues from Judge Farah, who is simply top-notch on teaching evidence, it is a must-attend event."

Speakers will also provide updates on topics that are impacting the role of paralegals, such as case law and technology.

"The biggest update is the ethics update we have. For attorneys, that's constantly on their mind, but paralegals don't really realize how much the ethics rules affect them as well, it's not just attorneys," said Cary, who works at Chartier & Nyamfukudza PLC in East Lansing.

Given how technology has impacted the legal industry over the last 10 years, Cary said paralegals still provide a vital role in the success of attorneys and law firms.

"Even though technology is making life easier in law firms, you still need that person who's back at the office being the face-to-face contact with clients," Cary said. "It's the paralegal who's helping prepare for trials or dealing with clients on a daily basis. You still want that client experience, and that's not really something that technology can replace."

In addition to the legal offerings of the event, a drawing will be held to give out products or gift cards from many local businesses. A photographer will be on hand to take professional headshots for attendees, and a continental breakfast and lunch will be served.

"We're trying to offer more to our attendees rather than just the education aspect," Cary said. "We're really trying to offer as much as we can within a day."

For more details and registration information, visit

If you would like to comment on this story, email Thomas Franz at

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Author:Franz, Thomas
Publication:Michigan Lawyers Weekly
Date:May 10, 2019
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