1. Where do you work and what is your job title? I work for the largest “firm” in the United States — we have multiple offices in every state and territory. I am a Paralegal Specialist with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota.
2. What prompted you to choose a paralegal career? I’ve always been intrigued by the law.
3. What is your favorite part of your job? Discovery/research. It’s one of the best educational tools to learn something new, and I love finding those little gems that can make or break a case.
4. What professional associations do you belong to? The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). I was a member of the Western Dakota Association of Legal Assistants (WDALA) until I moved to Fargo.
5. How has your membership benefited you? Networking opportunities have been fabulous – both personally and professionally, improved leadership skills, heightened awareness of the issues affecting the profession, and stellar continuing education.
6. Do you have any professional certifications? Yes. I am an advanced certified paralegal (ACP).
7. What has been the highlight of your career? Receiving NALA’s 2009 President’s Award. Oh, and working on cases that necessitated trips to Europe.
8. What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry? Legal podcasts, networking via social media, and online education.
9. Have you dipped your toes in the social media waters? If not, do you see that in your future? Not yet, but I have finally been convinced to join Facebook – so look for that soon.
10. If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be? If you are anal about organization and details and can multitask and prioritize you are halfway there.
11. Is there a quote that inspires you?I’m a quote collector, so am inspired by many. One of my favorites is: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
12. You’ve enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? Richard H. McGee II, Esq. – supervising attorney, mentor, friend. He shared his knowledge and expertise, and always encouraged and challenged me to expand my capabilities.
13. What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? Seize every opportunity to learn something new.
Bonus…Just for Fun Fact: In my next life I want to be Giada De Laurentiis. I love to cook and I love Italian food.