The Fledgling Journey

Navigating a Good Life One New Experience at a Time

Month: September 2017 (page 1 of 3)

Friday Favorites

I’m linking up again for Friday favorites again 🙂

Favorite moment from the week

When my Greenblender delivery arrived. I always like getting mail. And mail I can eat drink? I’m all in. I’ve tried two of the smoothie recipes and they’re great.

Favorite thing I wore

My trust your story bracelet. It’s a good reminder.

Favorite thing I watched

Aside from numerous episodes of The Mindy Project, this video of a turkey chasing a mail carrier made me smile. Festive for thanksgiving, no?

Favorite thing I ate/drank

I tried this green bean recipe and it was really good. I guess butter goes well with vegetables? Who knew.

Favorite photo from the week

Oh kitty. #fridayvibes


Favorite quote from the week

“I steal from every movie ever made” -Quenten Tarantino

This quote reminds me it’s overwhelming to think creativity requires complete innovation and originality. All brilliant minds take inspiration from somewhere.

Favorite thing I learned

John Green and Tom Hanks are coming out with a new books! John Green’s book called Turtles All the Way Down and is about a teen investigating the disappearance of a  billionaire’s child. It comes out October 10.

Tom Hank’s book is a collection of short stories scheduled to come out October 17.

Favorite thing I tried

I’ve been getting off of the bus one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way to work. Small changes can make a big impact over time. Sometimes you have to start stupid small. Over the weekend I also did some sprints up the stairs in my building. Something is better than nothing.

Favorite thought of the week

I’m going to get preachy for a second, ok? Do you ever have those moments when you think “why does it really matter if I do this?” I mean small things, like write/make art/do my job/talk to a friend/do this presentation and so on. When these thoughts cross my mind I start to feel insignificant. But then I started to think, what if the people I cared about felt that way? What if my favorite entertainers didn’t enrich my life by bringing me little bolts of happiness? What if my favorite authors gave up on their craft? What if my best friend didn’t say that thing that made me feel good or provide that insight I hadn’t thought of? Our small seemingly insignificant actions likely have an effect we don’t even realize. The world is a funny little web.

Favorite accomplishment of the week

I’m continuing with trying to eat healthfully and my mini habits(they involve fitness, reading, and writing daily). There have been some bumps and I’ve missed a day (or two) but I’m not quitting.

Favorite new (to me) Instagram account



I hope your weekend is restful and fun 🙂

What it’s Really Like to be a Paralegal

When I tell people I work as a paralegal, there are a few standard responses, including “do you want to law school?” and “what exactly do you do?” Paralegal jobs vary widely. Paralegals might do any the following:

  • Reception duties
  • Draft pleadings and correspondence (pleadings are any legal document filed with the court)
  • Maintain files and calendar deadlines (it is time-intensive to calendar deadlines, because you need to check the state rules and local rules which vary widely. Then you count days on the calendar, factoring in mailing time. Sometimes  a holiday means the pleading is due the business day before the holiday or the business day after the holiday. You include weekends sometimes, but other times it’s only business days. Then reminders are calendared…it can get complicated)
  • File pleadings with the court and serve on the parties as needed
  • Perform legal research
  • Write memos. Memos pose a legal question and follow the IRAC formula to answer said question. IRAC stands for issue, rule, application, conclusion. For example a company might ask whether it’s discriminatory to only assign female caregivers to female patients.
  • Interview witnesses
  • Draft, review and/or respond to discovery for pertinent information (discovery is the period after a law suit commences, but before trial, when sides request and exchange information important to the case)
  • Assist during trial (coordinate with witnesses, track which exhibits are admitted)

There are plenty of other things I’m probably not thinking of, but that’s the general idea. Much of my work is document review. We receive huge volumes of documents during discovery and paralegals often do the first review to figure out what is important and if anything is missing.

How To Become a Paralegal
Almost anyone can call themself a paralegal. There are certification programs and tests, but they aren’t required. There are three main paths of paralegal education, master’s degrees, AA degrees, and certificate programs. The certificate programs are ordinarily for people who already have a bachelor’s degree, which is the route I took.

Most paralegals I know found their way into this line of work through a combination of education and experience. Nearly every paralegal has worked their way up from a legal assistant position.

Washington has a LLLT program (Limited License Legal Technician) for paralegals who have taken additional classes (typically through a law school), have significant experience, and have passed a specific test. These paralegals can independently offer limited legal assistance, usually in straight-forward family law cases. LLLTs cannot provide legal advice. To enter an LLLT program, you must have passed a bar-association approved paralegal program or have over 10 years of specific supervised paralegal experience.

Differences Between Legal Assistants and Paralegals

Legal assistant and paralegal work overlap significantly. Legal assistants tend to do more administrative work (filing pleadings with the court, opening and closing cases, maintaining files, logging case events, calendaring deadlines) while paralegals do more substantive work, such as analyzing discovery and performing legal research.

How I Became A Paralegal

After graduating from college I thought I wanted to go to law school, but wanted more direct experience before taking on more student debt. I worked as a file clerk at a bankruptcy law firm for about a year while earning my paralegal certificate. After that I worked for a non-profit as a fulltime legal assistant. Funding was cut at the non-profit, so I worked as a legal assistant for another firm for about a year and a half before applying for my current paralegal position.

I decided against law school a few years ago. It’s highly stressful and very expensive. Some students finish law school with over $100,000 in student loans. This means newly-minted attorneys ordinarily need to take high-paying legal jobs straight out of law school. These jobs are intense. Sometimes they have to work on cases they might not like (or morally agree with) and new attorneys (actually all attorneys) work very long hours. If a new attorney doesn’t take a high-paying job, there are programs that forgive the remaining debt after a certain amount of public-service work, typically  10 years.

The best advice I received about law school was not to enroll unless I was certain and determined. Law school is grueling. I’ve never felt excited by the prospect of attending law school. At this point I’m certain it isn’t for me.

What I Like & What I don’t

Like any job, there are great aspects and some not so great aspects. Case loads fluctuate, so I might be scrambling to get things done for days and then hit a lull where things are kind of boring. Many of the cases are interesting, but some are definitely not. It’s engaging to learn from attorneys about their strategies and I enjoy the analytical part of paralegal work.

However, law isn’t a particularly creative profession. I dislike that I don’t get to own my work. I’m always working under an attorney who will sign off on what I’ve done. I was initially drawn to law for the research and writing, but this isn’t exactly the kind of research and writing I envisioned.

Those are some thoughts on paralegal work. If you have any thoughts or questions, you know where to find me 🙂

What’s Up Wednesday

What up. I fell asleep after dinner last night so no post went up yesterday. At any rate, I’m here for WUW.

What I’m Eating

I have the (seemingly) most boring dinner on rotation but I love it. I only cook for myself so I don’t need anything fancy. It’s usually a piece of fruit, spinach with salad dressing, and rice/beans/salsa. It’s been about 2 weeks and I’m not tired of it yet.

What I’m Reminiscing About

When I had super dark hair. If only salon coloring weren’t $100.

What I’m Loving

We ordered new bins for our blankets and they’re my favorite colors: black & sparkle. Sometimes mundane things bring me happiness…such as not cramming blankets into a small box.

What I’m Dreading

Every year at work we set stretch goals and mine this year is to do a 3-part presentation on happiness/habits/responses to expectations. Basically snippets of what I’ve learned from Gretchen Rubin. I’m a paralegal, so it’s not entirely related to the work our office does, but I think I can tie it in well. I love the content, but presentations always cause me some stress. Hopefully my co-workers will come and find it interesting.

What I’m Working On

I’m in the planning stages of starting a podcast and am very excited about it. We will see what happens 🙂

What I’m Excited About

Trying more vegetarian recipes.

Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta

Peanut Lime Cauliflower Salad

What I’m Watching/Reading

I’m watching a lot of The Mindy Project. Mindy Kaling is my role model and I appreciate that she’s created a unique female character who is smart, light-hearted, fun, funny, girly, earnest, outgoing, colorful, warm and romantic. Needless to say, she breaks the mold. At first I didn’t find it believable that her main character is a doctor, but realized I need to check my preconceived notions about what a doctor is and isn’t. Not all doctors are serious and logical people with impeccable judgment in every facet of their life.

I’m reading Mansfield Park, The Lord of the Rings, and I Am Pilgrim. I’m not far enough along in reading any of them to have any insights. However, I already know LOTR could be shorter. The first 150 pages were dull. I Am Pilgrim, however, drew me in right away. It’s over 800 pages though, so I’m curious how it will unfold.

What I’m Listening To

I’m tired of my top 40 music (which I have zero shame about, btw)  so I’ve ventured out a little. Some of my favorites are:

Vera Blue – Hold

Portugal. The Man – Feel it Still

Arcade Five – Everything Now (doesn’t get good until about 48 seconds in FYI)

Flux Pavilion – I Can’t Stop

What I’m Wearing

Pulled out a statement necklace I hadn’t worn in a while and realized I need to wear it more often.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

I usually like the idea of making plans, but when it comes time to actually do something, I actively rebel. I’ve embraced this about myself and just wing my plans on most weekends.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

My sister is hosting a Halloween party. One of my friends is moving back to Seattle. I might sneak away for a weekend and head to Portland to see some friends. All good things.

What Else is New

I’m awaiting my first GreenBlender delivery. It’s a bit of a splurge ($49/month for 5 smoothies delivered weekly; each smoothie is 2 servings). Their recipes look delicious, but I know I wouldn’t take the time to buy the more unique ingredients on my own. I found a coupon for $20 off and figure it will be fun.

That’s a glimpse of what’s up in my life lately. I hope my Stanley meme at least made you smile and that your Wednesday goes swimmingly 🙂


Favorite Art Instagram Accounts to Follow

I’m always searching for artistic inspiration on Instagram. I’m always curious what people follow on Instagram aside from their friends. Accordingly, here are a few of my artsy favorites.

Hodge Podge

Art_for_breakfast & worldofartists — both excellent ways to find new-to-you artists and a different styles of art




bejamin –stunning nature shots


allthatisshe — fun and unexpected


jessiekuruc — her gemstone paintings are gorgeous and combine two of my loves — art and gemstones


 tinamariaelena — This isn’t for the faint of heart. If it were a movie it would be rated R. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, some of the greatest art pushes boundaries. I won’t post photos here but you know where to find it 🙂





Abstract painting






tory.deorian.illustration — illustration isn’t just for children’s books

Drawing Lessons







elizabethelliottstudio & savoreverystitch — not your grandma’s quilting


cindylaneart — just go watch a video of her work. It’s gorgeous.


I’ve never seen tattoos like this

See you tomorrow for Show & Tell Tuesday — Reverse Bucket List Edition

Friday Favorites

I’m linking up again today for Friday Favorites. I happen to have the day off from work, so it will be extra special. Also happy first day of fall. If you haven’t seen the new doodle graphic on the Google home page, it’s adorable 🙂


My friend is moving to Hyderabad, India in a few months and I could not be more excited for him. He’s been looking for a big change for a while and taking this leap of faith is something many people (myself included) aren’t gutsy enough to do. He will also have an extra room in his new place, so I am planning to visit him (hopefully) next year. The Peru trip I’ve been mentally planning will be put on hold because this is a unique opportunity. When he visited before taking the job, he said it’s unlike anyplace he’s ever seen. It’s an opportunity for him to do a lot of good, though he also knows he needs to get to know the place he’s living. He doesn’t want to be the white person who comes in and pushes cultural beliefs on other people without understanding the intricacies and complexities of how differently people live around the world.


If you read my post yesterday, A Bunch of Truths and a Lie, the lie was that I’m a dog person. In reality I’m more of a cat person. I like dogs but they’re a little more care-intensive than I’m ready to take on at this point. My cat lives with my parents right now, but she’s a sweet little monster. I mean she tries to be good, but she’s not often successful. The funny thing is that she always looks grumpy even when she’s not. See Exhibit A, below.


Wearing all black is no longer out of season. Not that it stops me from wearing all black during the summer, but now that it’s more seasonally appropriate. Wearing black and adding fun accessories makes getting dressed much easier. It’s a go-to when I’m in a hurry or can’t decide.


My sister bought this print for our front hallway a few weeks ago and it makes me smile every time I walk in the door. I love things like this that are a little unexpected. If you don’t get the reference, please drop everything and watch Jurassic Park immediately. This is not a drill.


I get every other Friday off. I try to do something out of the ordinary on these days, even if it’s tiny. Today I’m going to try a new coffee place. As you’d imagine, Seattle has tons of coffee shops and I tend to get in a rut of visiting the same few. Right now a few of my favorites are Caffe Fiore, Cafe Ladro, and Monorail Espresso. Monorail is probably my #1, their coffee is smooth but not weak. If you need good coffee in Seattle, don’t just go to the original Starbucks, visit Monorail Espresso and you will not regret it (particularly if you occasionally find Starbucks’ standard dark roast tastes a little burnt). Fun fact: the store we now call the original Starbucks is technically not the original. The original was a block or two away before it moved to its current location.


I found the blog The Girl Who Loved To Write and have enjoyed browsing through. Three posts I’ve liked so far: Easy Ways to Celebrate Your Life This Week, Spending Your September: A To-Do List for Adventuring Through the Month, and Ten Ways I’m Trying to Become a Better Person. She’s a talented writer and her content isn’t fluff. Also her blog design is bright and engaging #BlogGoals

Wishing you a happy weekend.

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