Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paralegal Profile: Zachary W. Brewer, CP

Zachary W. Brewer, CP answers my Thirteen Questions today. He is a paralegal with Richards & Connor, PLLP in Tulsa, OK where he specializes in medical malpractice and insurance defense. 

Zach has an interesting educational background with an AA in History from Tulsa Community College (TCC) and a BA in History from the University of Tulsa. He received his teaching certification in secondary education from Northeastern State University and he graduated from the paralegal studies program at TCC. He also earned his Certified Paralegal credential from NALA. Thanks, Zach!
1.    What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  I have always been fascinated with the law and our system of justice. I even contemplated law school as an undergrad.

2.    What is your favorite part of your job?  Research and investigative work; trying to find the "smoking gun" so to speak.

3.    What professional associations do you belong to?  NALA and TAPA (Tulsa Area Paralegal Association)

4.    How has your membership benefited you?   It has been great way to network with other paralegals, exchange ideas, get support and of course, CLEs.

5.    What has been the highlight of your career?  Drafting a Motion to Dismiss and having it granted! (Of course, the Plaintiff made it really easy.) I would be remiss in not mentioning my boss, Elizabeth Hart, who helped polish it for me.

6.    What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry?  Anything technology-wise is going to be huge in the coming years. The iPad and other new technology have made gathering and using information much easier and "eye-popping". Many times, attorneys do not have the time, or the interest, in learning these new techniques, and rely on their staff to be up to date.

7.    If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be?  Read! Be a voracious reader and consume everything you can. The law is expansive, and paralegal programs can only teach so much (otherwise you would be in law school). Be willing to learn and work hard. The more you know, the more marketable you will be. … Also, join at least two professional associations. The contacts will be invaluable.

8.    Is there a quote that inspires you?  An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. (Because, hey, we all make errors.)

9.     You've enjoyed a successful paralegal career.  To what single event or person do you attribute that success?  I would have to give credit to Elizabeth Hart, my supervising attorney. My office did not have paralegals, and they were not sure they needed one.  Elizabeth saw the value of having a paralegal, and what one could do to increase productivity and profitability. She basically got the position created for me. Otherwise, I might still be looking for a job!

10.    What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting?  Always be willing to take on new tasks. Even better, ask for different tasks from attorneys in the office. Do not allow yourself to become "pigeon-holed" into one role.
11. Who would play you in a movie of your life? Jason Alexander (a.k.a. George Costanza)

12. From American history, who is your hero? George Washington. The sexy pick? No. However, without his leadership, there is NO United States, period.

13. What three items would you want if you were stranded on a desert island?
Food, water and a boat.

Bonus Question: What is the riskiest thing you ever did? Quit my teaching job to go to paralegal classes with a wife and child at home. 

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