RE: True Technical Writer (and paralegals)

Subject: RE: True Technical Writer (and paralegals)
From: "Laura A Mac Lemale" <lmaclemale -at- paychex -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 09:41:27 -0400


In her response to Carol, Jenice wrote:
<<To the list members: How many paralegals among us (current and former)? How
transferrable are the skill sets?>>

As someone who worked for lawyers in a former life, I'd have to say that the skill sets are highly transferrable. In my last job B.T. ("Before Techwriting"), I was researching property histories and writing title exams for clients who wanted to obtain title insurance on their property.

Based primarily on this experience, I'd say that the following skills apply to both paralegal and tech writing positions:

--Research abilities - Ability to sort through a lot of information and hone in on the fine points. (Law books, functional specs, etc.)
--Knowledge of information sources - Books, Internet sources, research software, knowledgable SMEs, etc.
--Communication skills - Ability to understand industry jargon and complex concepts, and translate both to "lay" people clearly and concisely. (Translating "legal-speak," software acronyms, etc.)
--Rapport with SMEs - Important skill whether dealing with lawyers and abstract companies or developers and engineers.
--Self-education - Awareness of industry trends. Laws and technologies are constantly changing, and it pays to at least be aware of the buzz words, even if you don't have all the specifics.

These are just a few that come to mind on a rainy morning. Hope you're having a great day!

Laura MacLemale
Technical Writer
Paychex, Inc.
Rochester, NY USA
lmaclemale -at- paychex -dot- com

Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies...


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