Amongst a struggling economy there is one area in the legal industry that is rapidly expanding and showing significant growth in job market – the paralegal and legal assistant industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is estimated to grow 18% by 2020, compared to only 10% for Lawyers. Jim Fine, a bankruptcy attorney and full-time professor can speak directly to this. “This economy has kept paralegals viable…a law firm can lower overall costs by using paralegals to complete certain tasks,” says Fine.
Fine has been teaching various courses involving legal technology at Roosevelt University in Chicago since 1983. In 2008, Fine was asked to develop a bankruptcy law course for paralegals. He immediately looked to Best Case Bankruptcy to be an integral part of his curriculum.
The Best Case Educational Version is similar to the demo version of the software but geared for students with built-in exercises and accompanied with printed or digital course materials.
Fine assigns students customized exercises for his local jurisdiction which teach them about the various Forms and Schedules. He also assigns students to take different scenarios from the book, ABCs of Debt: A Case Study Approach to Debtor/ Creditor Relations and Bankruptcy Law by Stephen P. Parsons, published by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, and enter the scenarios into the Educational Version.
For the student’s mid-term, Fine assigns a complete Chapter 7 petition and for the final, a complete Chapter 13 petition, both using the Educational Version. Each student sends final PDF files to Fine, where he is able to review and easily grade them.
“When you’re done with this class, you’ll know everything you need to complete a petition from start to finish,” Fine tells his students. Currently, Best Case is being taught in more than 300 paralegal programs and law schools across the country. You might find that the next paralegal or legal assistant you hire knows Best Case.
James Fine is a full-time professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. He is also a Bankruptcy, Litigation and Transactional Attorney who is practicing with The Law Offices of Thomas C. O’Brien in Antioch, Illinois. Fine’s passion extends beyond bankruptcy. He is a tennis pro and singer, songwriter and guitar player. He even has an album on iTunes, “I’ve got ‘em Covered” released in December 2010.