Friday, April 28, 2017

PRLGL 121-Paralegal Ethics and Professional Responsibility ONLINE this Summer with a Special Focus on Civility among Legal Professionals

There has been a State wide initiative promoted by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism to "promote a culture of civility and inclusion, in which Illinois lawyers and judges embody the ideals of the legal profession in service to the administration of justice in our democratic society".

We teach, preach and promote these principals in all of our American Bar Association approved Paralegal courses for two reasons.  One, we want our graduates to leave and find success serving the public with character and in a manner that best serves the administration of justice. And second, we want our graduates to understand that a long and prosperous career in the law comes from living these principles and a chaotic and less prosperous career is often relate to actions in the opposite direction.

PRLGL 121 offers a review of the cannons of professional responsibility for lawyers and paralegals. In addition to discussing recent cases or news items related the various ethical topics that most often impact Paralegals, this Summer's edition of the course will explore the concept of Civility within the Legal profession for both Lawyers and Paralegals. This enhanced focus will allow students to leave the program with an ability to know what civility is and is not and how choosing to work for lawyers who live by and promote these principles will lead to a much more satisfying career.

There is no text book for this course. All course materials are provided. Opportunities to witness Civility or lack thereof will be provided. This is a great course for current students or students who may be entering the program officially for the first time this Fall semester.

To be enrolled, contact Michelle Weghorst at: 309-690-7691 or go to:

For additional information on this course, contact Tom Higgins at or 309-690-7693

Thursday, April 27, 2017

POSITION: Legal Assistant – Felony Division DEPARTMENT: State’s Attorney


POSITION:                 Legal Assistant – Felony Division
DEPARTMENT:        State’s Attorney
REPORTS TO:          State’s Attorney
                                    Assistant State’s Attorneys
                                    Office Administrator


To perform all secretarial tasks required in assisting in the preparation of felony cases presented to the courts for prosecution of criminal acts pursuant to the laws of the State of Illinois.


Felony cases can carry a punishment extending from probation to capital punishment and are the most serious category of crime in Illinois.  Approximately 1300 felony cases are filed each year in Peoria County. This position has responsibility for the secretarial duties involved in the prosecution of felony cases performed by Felony Assistant State’s Attorneys, the Administrative Prosecutor, Chief Criminal Assistant State’s Attorney, and the First Assistant State’s Attorney. Three legal assistants currently perform the duties in this description.


A Felony Legal Assistant performs the following duties:

·         Provides secretarial assistance to the First Assistant State’s Attorney, Chief Criminal Assistant State’s Attorney, Administrative Prosecutor, and Felony Assistant State’s Attorneys.

·         Prepares case files for arraignment by preparing and filing “Motion for Discovery” and “Answer of State for Discovery” legal documents for each case; checking to be certain all discovery material regarding prior arrests and convictions and relative police reports are in the file; and photocopying and assembling discovery information for the file to be given to defense attorney at the arraignment.

·         Generates all notices, subpoenas, and summons to be issued in felony cases by examining each assigned felony case file for relevant attorney notations.

·         Contacts all victims and witnesses involved in a felony case to advise them of upcoming court dates, pre-trial conferences, and necessary court appearances and notifies them when cases are continued and not resolved. Due to court schedule changes, sometimes the notifications are urgent and must be done quickly and repeatedly.

·         Researches Department of Corrections records and other counties’ records in order to locate incarcerated defendants or witnesses needed for a trial.

·         Maintains and organizes each felony file from arraignment to final disposition and is responsible for assuring copies of all court orders, informations, notices, subpoenas, and summons are placed in the file as well as police reports, petitions, warrants, bonds sheets, attorney notes, address changes or phone messages relative to the case.

·         Researches and types appropriate jury instructions in cases involving a jury trial.

·         Examines daily court dockets and provides the felony attorneys with the proper files for various court hearings.   If an attorney is unavailable to handle an assigned court appearance, the Legal Assistant must notify and secure another assistant state’s attorney to handle the appearance.  The Legal Assistant retrieves additional files and provides them to the courtroom as requested throughout the day.

·         Examines court orders for any court notations requiring action on the part of the State’s Attorney’s office or involving future court hearings.

·         Performs confidential criminal information searches through the computer by using County, City, State (LEADS) and FBI systems. Accesses City and County police reports via the computer.

·         Communicates on a daily basis with professional and non-professional people in answering questions and relaying information regarding felony cases.  Some communications may involve confidential or sensitive information.

·         Organizes, boxes, labels and indexes closed felony cases on a yearly basis and prepares them for microfilming.

·         Performs other assignments as directed by supervisor.


Education: Must have an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies and/or 5 years equivalent law office experience, with at least one year of progressively complex secretarial experience in criminal case work.  Must be proficient in the following: legal terminology, understanding of criminal justice system and structure/functions of law office in addition to legal research experience (law library).

Must be able to complete a training course sponsored by the Illinois State Police and be certified as a LEADS operator within 6 months of employment.  Must be willing to submit to fingerprinting as part of the certification.

This position is considered to be a top level legal assistant position within the State’s Attorney’s Office.  Someone in this position must be extremely trustworthy and dependable.

Must be able to process a large quantity of information in a quick, accurate, and confidential manner with special attention to detail.

Must be knowledgeable of computer programs and word processing and have the ability to type 60 wpm with accuracy.

Must have the ability to perform tasks of a complex and varied nature requiring independent judgment and be able to solve problems with minimal supervision.

Must have the ability to construct letters, memos, and reports that are grammatically correct, precise, informative, and accurate.

Must have prior experience working with the general public.  Excellent organizational and communications skills and the ability to maintain confidentiality are necessary.  Record keeping skills are necessary.

Must be trusted to keep confidential information secure and away from public view.

Physical:  In order to accomplish the filing aspects of this position, the Legal Assistant must have the ability to stoop, kneel, and crouch as well as the ability to grasp, pull and lift files.   This position also requires the use of fingering when entering data into the computer or  typewriter.   Sitting for prolonged periods of time while answering the telephone may occur.

This position requires the hearing ability sufficient enough to hear others in person, over the telephone, and over an intercom; the speaking ability sufficient enough to speak to others in person, over a telephone, and over an intercom; and the visual ability sufficient to read and complete reports, correspondence, etc.


The Legal Assistant is expected to communicate at times with illiterate and uneducated persons to assist them in understanding their role in the criminal justice system.   Someone in this position may infrequently be exposed to a verbally hostile person.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

4 Reasons to Choose Illinois Central College's Paralegal Programs over ANY other Option

There are 4 general reasons the Illinois Central College Paralegal programs are the only Paralegal Education choice for anyone living in Central Illinois.
  • ABA Approved: ICC is the ONLY community college to offer American Bar Association Approved Post Degree Certificate and Associate degree Paralegal Programs in Central Illinois.
  • Affordable: Tuition at other institutions may be as much as 4 to 5 time more expensive. ICC tuition is a Fraction of the Cost of any other option in Central Illinois, and ICC has agreements in place to allow for in-district tuition rates for students living in all other surrounding community college districts throughout Central Illinois (Carl Sandburg, Heartland, Illinois Valley, Lincoln Land, Spoon River and Carl Sandburg and more). Our Graduates and our current students come from all over Central Illinois because of the quality, affordability and convenience of this program.

  • Convenient: The course schedule is as Convenient as can be expected of a quality Paralegal program. Five of the Ten paralegal courses and many other courses are offered partially or completely online. The remaining Paralegal courses are scheduled both day and evening in a high qualityand nicely appointed Poplar Hall at ICC Peoria Campus.
  • Established, this program is WELL Established as evident by the Success of 3 decades worth of Graduates.  Our Paralegal graduates enjoy some of the Highest Paying and Most Satisfying Paralegal Jobs in Central Illinois. Though these are Career programs, Graduates from our Associates degree program have Successfully Transferred and completed Bachelor degrees with distinction at several fine 4 year institutions such as Bradley University, Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and the University of Illinois at Springfield. We survey our graduates and their employers on a regular basis and we can provide to the data to back up this point. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Excellent Opportunity!

The Dunlap Law Office, P.C., a downtown Peoria firm, has an immediate opening for a temporary position.  The law firm handles family law, estates, insurance defense work and creditor’s rights litigation.  This position is full time, temporary (2 weeks) and may turn into a permanent part-time position.
The position would require answering telephone calls, taking messages, filing, light typing, scheduling hearings and depositions.  Position may further include drafting pleadings, discovery and abstracting deposition transcripts.
Successful applicant will earn $10.00 per hour.
Please contact Blake Dunlap at:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Administration of Justice ONLINE Summer Course. A Look at the Laquan McDonald Case. A MUST course for Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement Majors. No TEXT book required.

ICC Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement or Paralegal Students and Criminal Justice Students from other colleges home for the Summer, consider joining Professor Tom Higgins for a completely Online section of CRJ 227, Administration of Justice, and a long look at the events leading up to the tragic death of Laquan McDonald.   

We will review important criminal procedures involving use of force, arrest, search, seizure, civil rights, self-incrimination, assistance of counsel and other aspects of Constitutional Law intended to protect the public while assisting law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties.  The value of students from these programs and career fields knowing these very important principles has been diminished somewhat as focus and curriculum changes squeezed this type of course out to make room for more liberal arts based courses.  While other courses are arguably also valuable, knowing what the public should expect from you and what you are able to expect from the public as a police officer is knowledge that you need in greater detail and with more frequency than once if ever in college and barely once in the police academy for those of you who take that career path.   

This is a MUST have course for persons intending to pursue a career in Law Enforcement. Additionally, this course provides an interesting and very valuable learning experience for any person intending to pursue a career serving the law and justice systems in any manner.

Current ICC students should get in to see their Advisor or talk to Professor Higgins to get enrolled in this course.  Students from other colleges should go to: and follow thee instructions on that page.

The class begins June 5th.  There is NO text book so your cost is tuition only.  

Any issues getting enrolled or other questions?  Contact Professor Higgins at:

Attention NEW Paralegal Students or Current Paralegal Students Seeking an Elective

Attention NEW Paralegal Students!  If you plan on beginning your Paralegal course work in the Fall you would benefit greatly from completing Prlgl 121 this Summer.  This is a great Summer Elective Course for new Paralegal Students.  And because we cover Ethics so extensively during the Fall and Spring semester the course is a great Summer course option for current Paralegal students as well.  

PRLGL 121-Paralegal Ethics and Professional Responsibility offers a review of the cannons of professional responsibility for lawyers and paralegals.  In addition to discussing recent cases or news items related the various ethical topics that impact Paralegals, this Summer's edition of the course will explore the concept of Civility within the Legal profession for both Lawyers and Paralegals. 

To be enrolled, contact Michelle Weghorst at: 309-690-7691 or go to:

For additional information on this course, contact Tom Higgins at or 309-690-7693

Summer Classes at ICC are a Great Option for College Students who are Home for the Summer or Students Who Want to Get a Jump on Fall Semester

Summer Classes at ICC are a Great Option for College Students who are Home for the Summer or Students Who Want to Get a Jump on Fall Semester.

If you are or you know someone who happens to be a college student returning home to Central Illinois for the Summer and they benefit from completing one or more of our Summer courses, please go to:

Likewise, if you or someone you know will be coming to ICC or going to another college in the Fall, Summer courses are a convenient, cost effective opportunity to get ahead of the curve.

You won't regret the quality of the course or the cost of the Illinois Central College Experience

The online Summer/Fall course schedule is available at: and you can register for classes NOW.

If you happen to be interested in our American Bar Association approved Post Degree Paralegal program or our Paralegal degree program call 309-690-7691 or go to:

If you are interested in our Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Fire Science or 911 Dispatch programs schedule an advisement appointment online at: or call: 694-5501

Friday, April 21, 2017

Position with Afni, Bloomington, IL

Afni is hiring a Regulatory Lead who will be responsible for leadership of the regulatory portion of the compliance department. The Lead is also tasked with a variety of legal duties including, but not limited to, licensing application and renewal, escalation management, and lawsuit intake, research, tracking, and resolution. 
Additional responsibilities include assistance with vendor oversight, documenting compliance obligations, monitoring such compliance obligations, and managing the creation and change of compliance documentation.
The individual will also respond to all subpoena requests received by the company.
What you will be doing:
·     Management: Leadership and development responsibilities for the regulatory portion of the compliance department. This includes support and direction of the employees specific to their development level. 
·     Litigation: lawsuit intake, research, tracking, maintenance, and coordination of resolution. Respond to correspondence received from attorneys including but not limited to subpoenas, actual lawsuits, and threats of lawsuits. Assist in maintenance, development, and strategy of cases sent to outside counsel. 
·     Policies and Procedures: creation and maintenance of new and existing policies and procedures. Change Management responsibilities for notifications of changes in compliance expectations within policies and procedures; this may include training, verbal communications, and written communications. Documentation all local, state, and federal compliance obligations and controls in place to comply. 
·     Licensing: Act as a liaison between Afni and ACA International related to state and local collection agency licensing, including completion of applications, gathering of internal documentation, and managing payments,. Tracks and reports new employees and terminated employees to the applicable licensing entities. Provides vendor letters to licensing entities for approval. Applies for and maintains other licenses, as needed. Maintains Afni's collection agency license display. Maintains tracking of all licenses, along with all digital records of all applications sent, and licenses received.
·     Perform and assist with legal research. 
What you will need:
·     Bachelor degree preferred with minimum of two years relevant experience in litigation, and comparable compliance duties.
·     Collections familiarity desirable but not required.
·     PCS certification from ACA International required, in progress or to be obtained within the first 90 days of employment in position.
·     Proficient use of legal research tools, such as Lexis, desired.
·     Experience with computers and related applications including Microsoft Word, Outlook, Access, and Excel required.
·     Must be able to analyze facts, demonstrate sound judgment and be able to make prompt decisions.
·     Maintain continuity of work, despite interruptions; concentrate and check on details for accuracy.
·     Excellent organizational and time management skills.
·     Demonstrated strong written and verbal communication skills.
·     Travel may be required

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Great way to gain experience and network!

Available:  Immediately
The Bloomington office of Prairie State Legal Services is seeking a legal secretary (37.5 hours). 
Job Description: The legal secretary will participate in a full range of office duties in a fast paced environment including daily typing; operation of office equipment; drafting legal pleadings, correspondence, and other documents; maintenance of case files; performing a variety of other office tasks such as faxing, copying and emailing; making appointments; answering the telephone and greeting clients/guests as needed; and otherwise assisting the Executive Secretary in the performance of her duties. 
Qualifications: Interest in and commitment to assisting low-income individuals in the resolution of their legal problems. Successful candidate must have strong computer skills and general office experience, legal experience preferred. Spanish-speaking is a plus. 
Salary and Benefits: Salary depends upon experience.  Excellent benefit package includes health, dental and vision coverage, with a modest employee co-pay; liberal health and vacation leave and a 403(b) retirement savings plan with an employer match

No phone calls please. Please send resume to Kathy Boyle, Prairie State Legal Services, 201 W. Olive St., Bloomington, IL 61701 or via email to Women, minorities and handicapped persons are encouraged to apply. Prairie State is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer.