In May 2009 the monthly Mastermind Call focused on Virtual Paralegals with guests Andrea Canavina (Legal Typist, Inc.), Dana Fortier (Fortier Business Solutions) and Denise Shears (Shears Virtual Advantage). Each had established a successful virtual business and generously gave an hour of her time to share with my followers important tips for working virtually.
Listening in on the call that night was Cathy Ribble, CP, an paralegal from Guthrie, OK, who had many years of law firm experience. She was searching for just the right fit for her paralegal work.
The proverbial light bulb went off as Cathy listened to Andrea, Denise and Dana. Working virtually appealed to her. She had the training and she knew at that moment that she wanted to establish her own business…to be in charge of her destiny.
Fast forward a mere three months, and Cathy was ready to launch her own virtual paralegal business, Digital Paralegal Services. She’d spent her summer pulling together a business plan, forming her business structure, building a web site, having a professional photo taken, ordering business cards and designing a brochure.
Cathy and I had kept in touch via email and Twitter during this time. She shared her progress with her business, as well as the news that she’d passed NALA’s Certified Paralegal Exam. I fondly remember a conversation with her by cell phone as she traveled to the Grand Canyon with her daughter. To say the least, I was impressed with her determination, her tenacity, and her ability to establish the foundation for her business.
When I decided to produce the Virtual Paralegal Interview Series, Cathy was first on my list to include in the product. I wanted her to convey just how she’d decided to work virtually and the steps she’d taken to launch her business. Cathy gave a thoughtful, interesting interview. The month was September, 2009.
On the heels of the Virtual Paralegal Interview Series came another idea: I would produce a short ebook with tips for virtual paralegals. I invited Cathy to collaborate with me on this project and we worked together to gather tips from 13 virtual paralegals, edit them, add biographical information and web sites. The result is a terrific resource for anyone wanting to work virtually: Sixty-Six Solid Tips from Your Virtual Paralegal Success Team. Cathy was with me every step of the way and she was a terrific partner in this endeavor.
Meanwhile, Cathy was getting leads on clients, launching her newsletter, and doing a lot of writing. She also submitted her article titled Dismissal is Not Always a Good Thing (April 1, 2010) for an issue of Paralegal Strategies. Recently, I included Cathy’s web site Digital Paralegal Services in my Top Ten No-Cost Resources for your Professional Arsenal.
I interviewed Cathy for the Virtual Paralegal Interview Series just one year ago. This week, she was named Law Crossing’s Legal Staff Member of the Week. Here’s a brief clip from the article:
“When we hear the statement that ”Women can do it all”, you’ll find proof of just how much a woman can accomplish by hearing Cathy Ribble’s story. The certified paralegal, business owner, grandmother, wife and amateur photographer no doubt has her days filled to the brim – and she clearly wouldn’t want it any other way.
“Aware of just how much the traditional work day is changing, this Texas native and her company, Digital Paralegal Services has been providing comprehensive professional services to firms around the country. With an emphasis on confidentiality, professionalism and ethics, Ribble has redefined the way law firms hire paralegals.”
My hat is off to Cathy…and to Law Crossing for their astute choice of Cathy as the Legal Staff Member of the Week. Congratulations!