Patricia C. DeRamus, ACP, FRP answers my Thirteen Questions today. She is the First Vice-President of the Paralegal Association of Florida (PAF) and employed is a litigation paralegal with Murray & Guari Trial Lawyers.
1. What prompted you to choose a paralegal career? A family friend (who happened to be an attorney) encouraged me to seek my potential.
2. What is your favorite part of your job? Assisting our attorneys in order to obtain a positive outcome for our clients.
3. What professional associations do you belong to? I am a member of: National Association of Legal Assistants and served on NALA’s Professional Development Committee; Palm Beach County Chapter of PAF, Inc. – served in several committee capacities; Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc. – First Vice President; Palm Beach County Bar Association – on various committees; and Palm Beach County Justice Association.
4. How has your membership benefited you? The benefits include professional development and educational opportunities. It has also afforded networking opportunities across the United States to spread the word about the paralegal profession – both professional and personally, as well as establishing valued friendships since 1989 when I first became a member of NALA.
5. What has been the highlight of your career? I have been afforded many highlights such as:
- teaching in a local paralegal program,
- being a speaker for Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc. to Florida Atlantic University paralegal students,
- speaking during Law Week to middle and high school students about my chosen profession
- writing articles for NALA’s Facts and Finding,
- serving on NALA’s Professional Development Committee (2008 – 2009), and
- serving on the Florida Bar Special Committee to Study Mandatory Paralegal Regulation.
6. What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry? E-discovery and the changes it has brought to every practice specialty imaginable.
7. If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be? Never stop asking questions and always strive to be the very best ethical paralegal you can be.
8. Is there a quote that inspires you? I have two quotes: Eleanor Roosevelt – “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” and Maya Angelou – “When you know better, you do better.”
9. You’ve enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? Certainly my husband and family as they have supported me throughout my professional career. My husband (my biggest supporter) enjoys travelling with me to paralegal seminars, board meetings and CLE opportunities meeting some of the most phenomenal women and men in my profession.
10. What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? Certification is number one. This reflects on your professionalism.
It is also important to become involved in professional organizations and be open to change and additional responsibilities – all this things add to your growth potential.
11. What’s your favorite vacation getaway? I love Discovery Cove, Orlando, Florida where you have the opportunity to swim and interact with dolphins, sting rays and tropical fish and birds in a lush setting.
12. What was the riskiest thing you ever did? Skydive while living in Maryland and just recently met the Black Dagger Skydiving team. They have inspired me to do one more jump which will be on my next birthday.
13. Is there a philosophy you live by? Yes, never, never, never give up.