Monday, April 4, 2011

Paralegal Profile: Cheryl Nodarse, CP

Cheryl J. Nodarse, CP, works at the Hubbard Law Firm in Lansing, MI where she focuses on Litigation, Eminent Domain, Municipal and Environmental Law.

She has a B.S. degree in Sociology from Central Michigan University, as well as her Associates Degree from the paralegal program at Lansing Community College. She earned her Certified Paralegal designation in 1990.

What has been the highlight of Cheryl's career? To whom does she attribute her successful paralegal career? What fad does she most regret being part of? You'll find out when you read her professional profile below. Thanks, Cheryl!

1. What prompted you to choose a paralegal career? As a freshman at Central Michigan University, I took Political Science 101, and simply loved it.

I asked the Professor what career path, short of law school, I could pursue that would follow the political science path. He recommended the legal assistant profession, which, at the time (1984), I had never heard of, but my interest was piqued, and the rest is history.

2. What is your favorite part of your job? I love the opportunity to build relationships with co-workers, colleagues and clients.

3. What professional associations do you belong to? I am a member of the State Bar of Michigan Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section. I lived in Florida after college and was a member of Florida Legal Assistants.

4. How has your membership benefited you? The old saying, "It isn't WHAT you know but WHO you know," is so very true. Active membership in professional associations has always given me the most excellent opportunities to know the WHOs that have enriched both my professional and personal life.

5. What has been the highlight of your career? I had the unique opportunity to work with a State agency to create a conservation easement program from the ground up. To date, this easement program has enrolled over 46,000 acres in Michigan into perpetual conservation easements, protecting the land for all time. This was a very rewarding experience!

6. Is there a quote that inspires you? "If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month." ~Theodore Roosevelt

7. You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? Attorney Pete Aldrich of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was the very best of mentors. A brilliant litigator, he encouraged me to stretch beyond my comfort level in drafting pleadings and other documents, and always had me assist with trials, arbitration hearings and depositions. He was also very willing to talk strategy and listen to my suggestions.

8. What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? There is one answer to this question: BECOME INVOLVED in your professional organizations. And, by "involved", I don't simply mean pay your dues and read the newsletters. Rather, I mean volunteer to work on a committee or, better yet, run for a seat on the Council. You will get so much more out of it than the time you invest.

9. Who would play you in a movie of your life? Possibly Molly Ringwald? In my younger years, people would often comment that we looked alike. In fact, a boy in college tried to use it as a pick up line, but it didn't come off quite right: "Hey, you know, you look just like that actress? What's her name? Oh, yeah, Molly Ringworm?"

10 What was your first car? It was a 1972 Buick Skylark that my parents bought from my grandmother. It was a horrible olive green color, and decidedly uncool, but that car could FLY! My husband still grumbles about my selling it.

11. What sports team are you passionate about? I am a die-hard University of Michigan football fan, much to the chagrin of my employers, many of whom are MSU grads. (I try not to hold it against them.)

12. What TV channel do you most often have on? I am a bit of an HGTV junkie.

13. What fad do you regret being a part of? Having come of age in the mid-to-late 1980's, I was part of the high-hair fad. It was NOT a good look for me (or for anyone else, as near as I can tell).

Bonus...Just for fun question: What is your favorite kind of music? Alternative rock. My teenage daughter has turned me into a confirmed fan of the band "Switchfoot". I've even met the band members twice. I hope that doesn't place me into groupie status!

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