Taking advantage of this new era of social networking, a smart paralegal has identified a need and filled it. Robin Elizabeth Margolis, paralegal, realized that IP paralegals and e-discovery paralegals have positions that demand unique knowledge but no specialty associations existed to address their positions.
Using LinkedIn, Google Search, and other Internet tools, she formed two associations: The Association of Intellectual Property Paralegals and The e-Discovery Paralegal Association. "I went ahead and joined every single IP law, litigation, paralegal, and e-discovery group on Linkedin — and announced my groups," says Margolis.
The Association Of Intellectual Property Paralegals (AOIPP) (www.aoipp.org) is the first association created for intellectual property paralegals.
Many paralegals in the IP field or interested in entering the IP field can spend days searching the web for training resources, information about jobs, and news updates affecting them. The AOIPP hopes to make available to IP paralegals the same centralized professional networking and assistance that is currently available to IP lawyers and patent agents.
The association took off. Margolis has stepped down from primary leadership of AOIPP to become Director of the new E-Discovery Paralegals Network. A new AOIPP leader will be chosen in the winter of 2009.
The E-Discovery Paralegals Network (EDPN) (www.ediscoverypara.wordpress.com) is the first organization specifically reaching out to paralegals already working in e-discovery or interested in entering the field.
While several legal professional organizations in the e-discovery field, such as Women in eDiscovery and the Association of Litigation Support Professionals (ALSP) generously welcome paralegals to their membership, there is a need among paralegals for a group addressing their particular information and networking needs, somewhat different from those of other legal professionals.
One of the first acts of the organization was to welcome Danielle Marbury, Litigation Support Trainer at WilmerHale's New York office, as its Training Chair. Marbury will address what paralegals should study to enter or keep up within the e-discovery field. Her first act was to forward an extensive list of training resources to EDPN's "Training" webpage. EDPN has also welcomed, as Computer Forensics Advisor, Michael Ciaramitaro, Senior Forensic Investigator at OnlineSecurity(TM).
EDPN will eventually create a job bank for e-discovery paralegals, and serve as a web "hub" where e-discovery organizations can leave announcements of new webinars, conferences, books, reports, videos, and other developments in e-discovery that would be of use to paralegals in keeping up with this fast-growing field.