I suggest getting familiar with OSINT (Open Source Intelligence Techniques). Open source is basically any information that is gathered available to the general public. These can be search engines like Google, Duck Duck Go, Bing, which I am sure you are familiar with, however there are methods and tricks investigators can use to get better search results that someone just doing a single word search might not find. There are other resources, Voter Records, Property Records, Court Case Records that are typically all open to the public.
Closed platforms are useful too such as: TLO, Clear, Accurint, Tracers. These are 3rd party credit header databases that have information such as Names, SSNs, address, phone numbers, bankruptcies, criminal records, property records and the like. They do not provide credit scores or any financial information, since that is protected under different laws and requires consent from the person you with to obtain that info on.
Platforms such as: Tweet Deck, Dataminr, Snap Map are good for collecting social media information.
I don't want to divulge too much information here, but overall learn how to better utilize the tools already available to you. Below are a few recommended resources to type into Google that you might want to look up that will be helpful.
- Michael Bazzell
- OSINT Framework
This is a tough one because there are so many things a paralegal has to know and learn! I practiced law in New York City for 37 years and used to teach paralegal courses at a local university so let me give this a shot!
First, lawyers can be jerks! Myself included. We think we know everything and get very stubborn. Dealing with us can be a challenge. (ask my wife!)
So the first thing you need is a thick skin and a sense of humor - most times we don't really mean it! Second, you need a constant desire to learn new things. Every case is different - from the facts to the people. As a paralegal you need to adapt and learn with the changes. You have to be willing to dig into a new set of facts each new case and learn all you can. Next, communication is very important. You will be dealing with not only the lawyer you work for but clients and others in the firm. Communicating your point clearly is a very important part of your job. Working under pressure is another issue. Lawyers ofen have dead lines that need to be strictly adhered to, Court documents MUST be filed on time. You need the type of personality that wants to get the task completed before relaxing.
Michelle, above, gave some great advice. Technology is a great help in the things paralegals need to do. Take time and learn those tools to help! Trinity. I wish you all the luck in the world.You will make a great paralegal. Remember - keep learning!
Not sure if that helps, but again, it's been many years since I was a paralegal.