Anne Hughes, ACP, FCP, FRP, is a litigation paralegal with Roper & Roper, P.A. She specialized in transactional law and trial advocacy while getting her BA at the University of Central Florida. Her work has focused primarily on trial defense.
1. What prompted you to choose a paralegal career? I was actually a small business owner (medical transcriptionist) & had an injury that precluded constant typing. A very dear attorney friend of mine suggested I become a paralegal so I could work with her – so I did!
2. What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of my job is that although there is a foundation of stability (the process/the rules), every case and every day is a new and different challenge. “Never a dull moment”
3. What professional associations do you belong to? I am an associate member of the Orange County Bar Assn; a member of NALA; webmaster, Student Relations Committee Chair and Secretary of the Central Florida Paralegal Assn.; and a non-member registered paralegal with the Florida Bar Association.
4. How has your membership benefited you? Probably in the most obvious way on both personal and professional levels, being active in varying degrees in the volunteer associations has afforded me the ability to meet some inspiring and impressive people from which to learn.
5. What has been the highlight of your career? I have been very fortunate in that my career hit a high note right out of school and has grown steadily without too much of a rollercoaster aspect. I think that the highlight of my (paralegal) career is yet to come.
6. What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry? I cannot agree strongly enough with past participants in this survey that technology is one of the hottest trends in the legal industry as a whole.
Another trend, unfortunately (in my opinion), is outsourcing (para) legal work to overseas attorneys.
However, related specifically to paralegals, I think the hot trends are licensure and the recognition of “paralegal” as a professional career in the same vein as RNs, ARNPs, CRNAs, PAs are in the medical field.
7. If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be? Start by doing logic puzzles! Teach yourself to think in new ways, open your mind to new ideas and new perspectives. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t settle for the most obvious answer. Get nosy and be curious but temper it with equal portions of caution and attention to detail.
8. Is there a quote that inspires you? Theodore Roosevelt said a lot of things I find inspiring, but of late my favorites are probably one of these two:
“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary” – Vince Lombardi
“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” – Margaret Thatcher
9. You’ve enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? There has been on one single event or person, but for direction, my dear, late friend who gave me the direction to paralegal school and my two daughters for giving me purpose to be successful.
10. What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? I believe whole heartedly that volunteerism (local professional associations) and being active in the process (becoming a GAL, teen court, hearing officer) to continue legal education is key to keeping the job interesting.
11. What philosophy do you live by? Several, but this one is an old standard: Work hard, play hard, but, either way, try harder.
12. What sports teams are you passionate about? The Atlanta Braves and the BoSox – UF Gators – the Dolphins and the Bucs.
13. What websites do you visit daily? CNN, Yahoo/Gmail/webmail, Facebook (of late), my bank website and Google — in that order.
Bonus Question: What’s your favorite vacation getaway? The beach and/or the woods are nice but really anywhere the road takes me when friends are at the end! I love road trips and hangin’ out with my friends.