Monday, December 19, 2011

Paralegal Careers: The No. 1 Personality Trait You Need for Success

Many studies, surveys and discussions focus on the personality traits needed for career success.

Some say it’s confidence. Others list high self-esteem, assertiveness, attitude, etc. There really isn’t a clear picture of what it takes to have a successful career. It seems that a lot depends on the career and the individal.

One thing I do see in common among all of my successful paralegal friends – and there are many – is this: they are persistent.

Why is persistence so important?

With anything you do, you must have a stick-with-it attitude when the going gets tough. There is no quick fix or easy outcome for anything worth doing. If you are looking for quick and easy, you are apt to quit.

The going can get tough – very tough -- when you are building a successful career.

The tough times may be financial. They may be emotional or stressful. They probably include completing your education, finding and doing your job, working on association projects, pursuing certification – and more. Hard times can even be all of these simultaneously.

You see, it is all tough and you have to be persistent through it all. The people who make a success of their careers keep going, even when the going gets tough. This takes strength and faith and a good support system, but above all else persistence is key.

Persistence leads to consistency. To build a career that can sustain itself requires consistency. If you’re not consistent in your efforts, you may as well quit.

Consistency means you do the things that build your career on a regular basis. You show up when you say you will. You keep appointments and commitments. You do what you say you will do. In other words, you deliver and you do that 24/7.

What this looks like. A common mistake is thinking that behavior on the job is significantly different from behavior after the work day is finished and that after-work actions have nothing to do with career success. This is not true.

In the legal community, when you make a commitment you must meet that commitment. That includes meeting deadlines, having a rapport with clients, and being on time for work. People expect you do show up and to do what you say you will do. If you do not, you appear unprofessional at best, untrustworthy at worst.

You grow your career every day and your behavior 24/7 says everything about your character and the depth of your commitment, as well as whether or not you can be trusted.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to be persistent so those who work through the hard times and come through when they promise are often a rarity. If you have persistence, you will stand apart from your colleagues who don’t have that important trait.

Sometimes it can be easy to be persistent – such as returning phone calls promptly and being on time for appointments. Other times, it can take more work, especially when it means doing something you would rather not do in the first place.

When you see your efforts to be persistent pay off with good results -- increased responsibilities, salary and job satisfaction -- and people are singing your praises to colleagues, you will realize the power of persistence and understand why persistence is the No. 1 trait you need for career success.

Your challenge: Are you persistent? Do you have what it takes to keep going when the going gets tough? Think about this. Examine the times when you look for the easy way out. How can you turn that around so that you meet your career goals?
© 2011 Vicki Voisin, Inc.

Do you want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or Web site? You can, so long as you include this entire blurb with it: Vicki Voisin, "The Paralegal Mentor", delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals to create success and satisfaction by setting goals and determining the direction they will take their careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethics issues, and other areas of continuing education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes Paralegal Strategies, a weekly e-newsletter for paralegals, and co-hosts The Paralegal Voice, a monthly podcast produced by Legal Talk Network.

More information is available at where subscribers receive Vicki's 151 Tips for Your Career Success.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paralegal Mentor Audio Tip: How to Stop Procrastination

Today's Paralegal Mentor audio tip provides ideas  addressing the issue of procrastination...something we all do and wish we wouldn’t.

For some it’s worse than for others.

For everyone, though, living with procrastination means living life with the brakes on and this is not a good way to live.  The things that are unfinished weigh you down and are always on your mind.
If you find yourself often thinking "I wish I had completed that project before leaving work." Or, "I wish I had planned this morning what we’re having for dinner tonight.” Or, "I wish I had finished ___X_____ before I started _____X_____." You’re procrastinating.

These thoughts stay with you day and night. And they just keep the procrastination merry-go-round spinning.
The good news is there is a solution. And, it is amazingly simple. Follow this link to learn the steps you can take.  

I'd love to hear what you are going to work on first! Leave a post below so we can celebrate as you finish those projects you’ve been putting off.

Remember...I'm dedicated to your success!

Paralegals: Thursday's Trivia Question

Thursday, December 15, 2011: What is the best answer to this ethics trivia question?

Paralegals who give legal advice to clients are committing the unauthorized practice of law (UPL). Which of the following functions is NOT considered to be giving legal advice?

A. Telling the client what you think his case is worth.

B. Explaining contract provisions to a client and his duties pursuant to the provisions.

C. Reading and analyzing cases at the lawyer's direction.

D. Directing or recommending to a client that he take a specific course of action. 

What do you think? I'll be back later with the answer and to add my comments.

Copyright 2011 Vicki Voisin, Inc.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Professional Profile: Rhonda Henning

Rhonda Henning is a Paralegal/Office Manager at Buckmeier & Daane Lawyers, P.C. in Sioux City, Iowa where she specializes in personal injury litigation, criminal, family, juvenile, and probate law in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota as the attorneys she works for practice in all three states!

She has Associates Degrees in Accounting and Paralegal Studies, as well as a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. Rhonda is also President of the Iowa Association of Legal Assistants (IALA) and, in addition, a member of both the South Dakota Paralegal Association (SDPA) and NALA.  Thanks, Rhonda!
1.    What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  The ability to assist individuals through challenging times in their life.

2.    What is your favorite part of your job?  The challenge of being able to assist in finding the correct case or piece of evidence to prove our argument to a judge or jury.

3.    What professional associations do you belong to?  Iowa Association of Legal Assistants (IALA), South Dakota Paralegal Association (SDPA), and National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).

4.    How has your membership benefited you?  Most of all, the benefits is the networking with individuals who become lifelong friends, the educational opportunities and opportunities to promote the profession

5.    What has been the highlight of your career?  A huge highlight was being elected to be President of the Iowa Association of Legal Assistants.

Another was finding a key piece of evidence that not one party involved in the case thought was there.  It was sheer luck that I stumbled across the case law for my bosses’ brief, but in the end it was an important element in deciding the case.

6.    What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry?  State level regulation of paralegals.  This is a trend that the Iowa Association of Legal Assistants is taking upon itself to become implemented in the State of Iowa, and is now being considered by the Iowa Supreme Court for implementation.

7.    If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be?   Join your local, regional, state and/or national professional association. The networking that you will develop is priceless. 

8. Is there a quote that inspires you?  The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie,deliberate, contrived and dishonest -– but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~John F. Kennedy

9.     You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career.  To what single event or person do you attribute that success?  The attorney I work for who took a chance on someone with no experience in the legal field, and let me have an opportunity at every turn to “soak up” knowledge, make mistakes and grow into this profession. 

10.    What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting?   Always be willing to learn, be open minded, take on a new challenge, and be a team player. 

11.  What electronic device can you not live without?  My cell phone

12.   What advice would you give yourself if you met you as a first-year paralegal?   Find a mentor! Having someone to guide you through the “getting your feet wet” stage is an essential part of getting your career off on the right track.

13. What web site do you visit daily?   I visit court websites on a daily basis. With attorneys practicing in multiple states, knowing what is going on with pending cases is essential

Bonus Question: What is the one thing you wish you were better at?  Time management – working a significant portion of the day in a litigation practice – time can definitely get away from you.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday's Ethics Trivia Question for Paralegals

Thursday, December 8, 2011: What is the best answer to this ethics trivia question?

When a paralegal is offered a job by a law firm, what should he/she do to guard against conflicts of interest?

A. Reveal the names of clients in only litigation matters on which he/she has worked in the last 3 years.

B. Refuse to reveal any information about the clients or matters on which he/she has worked.

C. Reveal the minimum information about clients and matters needed to conduct a conflicts check.

D. Reveal only client names on matters on which he/she has worked.

What do you think? I'll be back later to add my comments.

Copyright 2011 Vicki Voisin, Inc.

Paralegal Profile: Lou Stoker, ACP

Lou Stoker, ACP lives in Bakersfield, CA and is a Legal Assistant with Chain | Cohn | Stiles where she specializes in Tort Litigation – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury. 

She is active in the
Kern County Paralegal Association and a member of NALA. Lou has an Associates of Applied Arts degree. Thanks, Lou!

1.    Where do you work and what is your job title?
I am a Legal Assistant with Chain | Cohn | Stiles
2.      What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  I had a friend who worked in a law firm in Fort Worth, Texas (back then it was called Cantey, Hanger, Gooch, Munn & Collins) and she asked me if I wanted to come to work there.  That was in 1977 and I have been in the legal field ever since.

3.      What is your favorite part of your job?
  Responding to discovery and preparing lawsuits.

4.      What professional associations do you belong to?  Kern County Paralegal Association and NALA...The Association of Legal Assistants and Paralegals.

5.      How has your membership benefited you?
   Attending the monthly luncheons to earn MCLE credits, thus far, and meeting other members where I can put a face to a name of those I deal with (the adversary on a case) throughout the process of a lawsuit.  Also, now that I am on the Board as newsletter editor, I am becoming more intimately aware of the significance of our organization and the role we play in our community.

6.      What has been the highlight of your career?
  Being awarded the title of Kern County Paralegal of the Year in 2010/2011. Read more about Lou's award here.

7.      What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry?
  The level of professionalism and recognition of many of the fine people within the work force.

8.      If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be?
  Even if you have a paralegal certificate, start as a file clerk or at the very most a legal secretary so you can learn the profession from the ground up.

9.      Is there a quote that inspires you?  Here is one of many:  Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.  Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.  George Sand 1804-1875

10.       You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career.  To what single event or person do you attribute that success?  There is no substitute for showing up every day, working hard while at the office, and a good, amiable attitude.

11.       What’s your favorite vacation getaway? New York City

12.       If you could not be a paralegal, what would be your dream job?
  Photographer for NatGeo!

13.       What is your favorite hobby?  Golf

Bonus Question:
What makes you lose your patience?  Rude, pushy people

Paralegal Mentor Audio Tip: Paper, Paper ~ Everywhere!

Today's Paralegal Mentor audio tip provides ideas for handling the insane amount of paper that comes your way.

If you are ever going to keep up with all of the paper in your life, you have to become an instant decision maker.
The decisions you have to make are simple and those are covered in this brief audio.  These are not decisions you make once and then --voila!-- your paper is gone forever. NOT! This is an ongoing process you must follow every day. You'll also learn more about this process when you listen here.

You'll also learn one simple step you can take to stop the onslaught of catalogs you receive. These are a distraction and a time waster.

What questions do you have about those piles of paper that are multiplying in your office and your home?

Remember...I'm dedicated to your success!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Paralegal Practice Tip: Billable Hour Goals? Do the Math!

Most firms set annual billable hour goals for attorneys and paralegal. Reaching those goals is very important for a variety of reasons, the primary one being to demonstrate value to the firm.

If you do not break down the billable hour goals into 'chunks,' it's a good possibility that come December 2012 you'll find yourself falling short of the goal or scrambling to do two months' time in one month.

Neither is good, one is virtually impossible. Instead, you need to do a bit of math and some simple planning NOW to be sure you meet your goals 12 months from now.

I'll be revealing how to do the math and the planning this coming Tuesday, December 13th at 1:00 pm Eastern time when I present Your Big Billable Hour Breakthrough: How to Turn Your Time into a Billable Hour Gold Mine. For more information, follow this link.
Note: This course will provide 1.5 hours MCLE credit. Certificate of Attendance provided to all registered attendees.
As always, I'm dedicated to your success!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Practice Tip: Court Approval of Paralegal Fees

Today's Paralegal Mentor Practice Tip provides information for the recovery of paralegal fees.

Courts may award attorney fees to the prevailing party under statutes and contract provisions.  In these cases, the courts determine the appropriate fees, including whether to approve fees for paralegal time. 

Federal courts and most states have followed the reasoning of two US Supreme Court cases, Missouri v Jenkins and Richlin v Chertoff (see below), and allow attorney fee awards that include paralegal time. 

In some states, statutes have been amended or court rules have been added to clarify that paralegal time could be included in attorney fee awards and that the paralegal time could be charged at market rates.

Courts do not automatically approve fees for paralegal time. There are several important elements that should be included in the fee petition. Today's Practice Tip discusses those elements. 
Follow this link to listen and then let me know if you have had any experience with the court approval of your paralegal fees.
Remember...I'm dedicated to your success!

Skip Tracing: 4 Things Every Paralegal Should Understand

Thanks to  Guest Contributor Christa Blair  for this information regarding skip tracing. Christa is a staff writer for Be-A-Private-Investigator.Net. She writes mostly about skip tracing and skip tracing techniques.
Are you a paralegal who is faced with a situation where someone you need to locate is simply nowhere to be found? I'm sure you have had to deal with a case or two in your career where you needed to have a "skip" (someone missing) located in order to proceed with litigation. In these instances, skip tracing is necessary to track down such people and it is important that you understand the basic principles of this type of procedure.

Once you know that you are most likely dealing with a skip case, it is important to first determine why the person is missing.
There are two types of skips; intentional and unintentional.

  • Unintentional skips refer to cases where a person is hard to locate simply because of some missing or incorrect information that they are unaware of. 
  • Intentional skips, on the other hand are people who for more obvious reasons such as prosecution or financial debt have purposefully made their whereabouts unknown.  
  What Information is Needed?  The next critical and most extensive step in the skip trace is to collect any leads and information that may be able to help in building a picture as to where the skip may have gone. 

For starters gather all your “identifiers”; full name and any previous names, date of birth, information on spouse if applicable, last known address, last known phone number, motor vehicle records, any prior arrest records and such.

Sometimes you are lucky and it ends up being easier than you think it’s going to be, so start with the most obvious sources first: 411 directory assistance, reverse number lookups, phonebook listings.  If these leads end up as dead ends, there are other measures that can be taken such as running the person’s social security/insurance number to pull a credit file on them, requesting change of address information, searching online databases and contacting relatives and others associated with them.

In some instances more involved methods such as surveillance are used but much can be done on a computer and there are also some helpful software programs designed for this purpose.

How Is This Done?  It is important for you to remember that skip tracing is not a procedure that can be performed carelessly.  There are certain laws that dictate how it can be carried out.

Skip tracers must abide by federal and local regulations as well as privacy and trespass laws when it comes to collecting information.  If they collect it illegally it will inadmissible in court as evidence. In general these rules determine how information can be collected, how much of it can be disclosed and to whom.

Who Does Skip Tracing? 
Although anyone can attempt a skip trace on a basic level, such as searching public records and online databases there are some techniques that only professionals have access to. 

There are companies, usually private investigation firms that will perform skip traces for a fee.  These businesses are normally licensed and hold an account with at least one major credit bureau which gives them access to normally confidential files. You may want to hire a professional skip trace service if the skip seems particularly challenging to find.

Guest Contributor Christa Blair is a staff writer for Be-A-Private-Investigator.Net. She writes mostly about skip tracing and skip tracing techniques.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paralegal Profile: Wil Antonides, ALS

Wil Antonides, ALS resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan and commutes to work in Richland, MI where he is a paralegal specializing in family law, criminal defense, civil litigation and personal injury.

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as a Post- Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies. He earned the ALS credential from NALS.
1.    What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  I was down-sized from my human resources position.  I had taken a “Paralegal 101” course a few years prior out of curiosity, and decided that it was the time to pursue this permanently.

2.    What is your favorite part of your job?  Client meetings and writing briefs.

3.    What professional associations do you belong to?  NALS (National Association for Legal Professionals)

4.    How has your membership benefited you?   It has connected me with a committed group of individuals that I can reach out to, learn from, and share a laugh.

5.    What has been the highlight of your career?  Being nominated and elected Treasurer of the Board of Directors of my local NALS chapter when I was a brand new paralegal.  A member heard my story, saw my determination and thought I showed leadership.

6.    What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry?  Keeping clients happy with the services they pay for.  

7.    If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be?  Make sure your writing skills are strong, technology doesn’t frighten you, and that you can handle things at the last minute, all while knowing that you will never make as much money as the attorney does.

8.    Is there a quote that inspires you?  Success is the best revenge.

9.     You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career.  To what single event or person do you attribute that success?  My partner, Tom, for pushing me to reinvent myself at age 40.

10.    What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting?  READ. Read everything.  Stay current and even ahead of the issues that are coming in the future.  Also, reading good writing makes you a better writer.

11.    What electronic device can you not live without?  My iPad

12.    What unusual item do you own? My grandfather’s pocket watch.  The first-born son in every generation of my family, takes the name of his paternal grandfather.  This has been handed down for over 100 years.

13.    What advice would you give yourself if you met you as a first-year paralegal? Read the Court Rules.  Really!

Bonus Question: If you could not be a paralegal, what would be your dream job? White House Chief of Staff

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oops! Paralegal Donates Firm's Used Paper to School

My mission to be sure all law firm employees receive complete, thorough and ongoing ethics training has just been reinforced and fortified..

Confidentiality of client's information is of utmost importance in a law firm. There are many ways to breach the duty of confidentiality (talking, email to wrong party, etc) but even used paper can be a problem. 

If your firm doesn't have a shredder, get one NOW and put everything through it. DO NOT DONATE IT TO ANYONE!

A paralegal in Minneapolis learned this the hard way when she donated her firm's used paper to her child's school, Hale Elementary. The paper was then used as scrap paper for an after school program at the elementary school. One of the school's students took his drawing home and his mother, Jennifer Kane, found it as she was straightening up the dining room.

When Mrs. Kane turned the drawing over, she discovered confidential information on the back:  the name, birth date and detailed medical information for a 24-year-old St. Paul woman named Paula White. This sent Minneapolis school officials scrambling.
“The more I read it, the more alarmed I became about the amount of information I had about this person,” said Kane.
WCCO-TV located White, who was shown the record.
“It’s got my account number, my birth date, my job,” said White. “I’m outraged. I am embarrassed. I don’t want anyone to know my personal information.”
After WCCO-TV made a phone call to the school, faculty searched and found more pieces of paper with other people’s personal information. The school is now holding those papers in a secure place.

On White’s medical record, there was a logo of the law firm, Sawicki and Phelps, which she hired after she was in a car accident.
When asked to comment, the law firm first said they had no idea how the school could have gotten the papers. However, Attorney Paul Phelps later told WCCO-TV a paralegal had donated the firm’s old paper to her child’s school.

Phelps said the donation was a violation of the firm’s privacy policies.
“It was a mistake,” said Phelps. “The employee did not believe there was any personal information on the papers.”
Now, Hale Elementary is sending out a message to every child in the after school program to check if any other medical records have ended up in students homes, asking students to return those papers.

This is a "mistake" that should not be made. Attorneys have a duty to ensure all employees (not just paralegals) are aware of the attorney's ethical responsibilities. Confidentiality should be at the top of the list, but there is so much more. Bottom line is that everyone in the office should have this training and often it is lacking.

And, apparently, shredders are not used as often as they should be!
Source: WCOO-TV

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Career Tips: How to Advance in the Paralegal Profession

Want some tips from the experts about how to get ahead in the paralegal profession?

The latest edition of The Paralegal Voice, “Career Tips: How to Advance in the Paralegal Profession” co-hosted by Lynne DeVenny and me, is now available at Legal Talk Network 

On this edition of
The Paralegal Voice, Lynne and I are joined by
NALA President, Karen McGee, ACP and Charlsye Smith Diaz, Ph.D., to discuss career development and how to advance in the paralegal profession.

We cover key topics including creating professional resumes, obtaining professional certification, and networking at CLE programs.


Also in this episode:
  • New ways that NALA is serving the paralegal profession
  • Why having a quality professional resume is vital
  • How employers read resumes
  • The most important parts of a professional resume - and what to leave out
  • More resume writing tips
  • Alternate career paths for paralegals
  • The advantages of NALA’s Advanced Paralegal Certification
  • Vicki’s practice tip and Lynne’s social media tip
Page URL:

MP3 Link

Internet resources and links mentioned during the podcast:
The Paralegal Voice also thanks its sponsors: Redact-It, Above All Legal, and NALA...The Association of Paralegals and Legal Assistants.

Please share the links to this episode of
The Paralegal Voice with your friends and colleagues. If you have a request for a future show, or a question for us, you are welcome to contact us at

Also, you can make sure you never miss a podcast by subscribing to any Legal Talk Network show, including The Paralegal Voice, by using the RSS Feed links or iTunes links at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Paralegal Mentor Tips

My goal is to provide professional development tips for paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries, and all legal support staff, as well as attorneys, paralegal students and educators.

I post daily Mentor Tips on Twitter and Facebook, and I also provide links to relevant articles on all things legal on this blog.

Every Thursday, I publish Paralegal Strategies, an online newsletter with paralegal news and comments, current events, profiles and feature articles. Go to to get yours...and remember that new subscribers to Paralegal Strategies receive The Paralegal Mentor's 151 Tips for Your Career Success.

Here are the Paralegal Mentor Tips for October 24-28, 2011:

Monday: It’s more important to be YOU than to try to please everyone – which, let’s face it, never works anyway

Tuesday:  Little things matter more than you realize. What "little things" can you do today to move your career forward? 

Wednesday: If you haven’t updated your resume in the past 3 months, make it a goal to have it updated before the end of the week.

Keep things where you'll look for them not where they *should* go so you won't waste billable time looking for them.

Friday: Deadlines are great motivators but it's even more important to set a time to actually do the work. 

Use these tips to move your career in the right direction...forward!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Paralegal Profile: Ruth M. Schaub, PP, PLS

Ruth M. Schaub, PP, PLS is a Litigation Paralegal with Wilson Kester, PLLC in Traverse City, Michigan where she specializes in Personal Injury Litigation. She has just applied to be among the first in the country to be awarded the designation as a “Litigation Specialist” from NALS.
Ruth has an Associates in Paralegal Studies, as well as an Associates in Claims. She has earned the following  certification credentials: NALS – PP (Certified Professional Paralegal), PLS (Advanced Certification for Legal Professionals f/k/a Professional Legal Secretary); TBA Career Tech Center – Certified Computer Operator      


1.    What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  I began as the receptionist in a small personal injury firm and really wanted to be the most help to my boss that I could be. I set out to become more educated and grew into a paralegal.
2.    What is your favorite part of your job?  Getting to know and help our clients is the best part – but when I have that “a-ha” moment when research, investigation and file review come together to reveal that moment of clarity that brings the entire case together – that is my favorite part! Winning a big verdict or settlement is pretty great also.

3.    What professional associations do you belong to?  NALS, NALS of Michigan and Grand Traverse Area Legal Professionals. I am a former member of the State Bar of Michigan Paralegal/Legal Assistant section.

4.    How has your membership benefited you?   The education I have received as a NALS member is priceless and changed me from unskilled employee to valued paralegal. The networking has allowed me to make professional contact throughout the United States. The leadership opportunities have taken me from a shy wall flower to a national speaker and NALS of Michigan Past President. I am the person I am today as a result of my NALS membership.

5.    What has been the highlight of your career?  Assisting from the time the client walked through our door, through trial and verdict on a $3.4 million product liability case, and following that verdict my employer crediting me before my peers with an idea I had to show the impact of the incident on our client as adding the “real value” to our verdict. The verdict was the largest of its kind in northern Michigan, and for my employer to acknowledge my contributions was amazing. Being installed as NALS of Michigan President is a very close second career highlight.

6.    If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be?  Make sure to hone your typing skills; take every grammar/professional writing course you can; you can never have too much education and when you stop learning you are no longer effective. Love what you do and do what you love – but remember, being a paralegal and doing it right is not always a 9-5 job.

7.    Is there a quote that inspires you?  There are two. (1) Those who believe they can't do something are correct. However, those who believe they can do anything are also correct! (2) The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

8.     You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career.  To what single event or person do you attribute that success?  Margaret J. Scott, PLS, CLA.  She was a charter member of my local GTALP chapter and early in my career she was named NALS National Legal Professional of the Year. She encouraged me to become an officer of my local chapter, asked me to study for certification and became my mentor without me even realizing it. Margaret was an amazing example of a genuine work ethic and pride in everything you do, including the little things. She gave me a love for this profession and a passion for learning. I owe her a debt I will never be able to repay.

9.    What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting?  Remember that this is not your only case, but it is your client’s only case. Always make your client feel like they are your only client. If you learn to become profit and not overhead, when your boss has to make difficult staffing decisions during tough times, your name will never enter their mind for elimination. Become the employee no boss wants to practice law without.

10.  Who would play you in a movie of your life? I would hope Erin Brockovich, but most likely Gilda Radner. I think I am a great paralegal, but in reality, I am a big goof ball with fuzzy hair!

11. If you could not be a paralegal, what would be your dream job? I would love to be a teacher and author.

12. What makes you lose your patience? Ignorance and prejudice.

13. Is there one thing in the world you wish you had the answer to? The cure for cancer. My mother, my mother-in-law, father-in-law and brother-in-law all died from cancer and way too many people I love have battled or lost their battle with cancer. I am involved in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and if no one ever had to hear, “you have cancer,” again, that would be just fine with me!

Bonus Question: What’s your most treasured possession or keepsake? It really isn’t a possession, but my grandchildren and family and spending time with them is my most treasured gift.