Rhonda Henning is a Paralegal/Office Manager at Buckmeier & Daane Lawyers, P.C. in Sioux City, Iowa where she specializes in personal injury litigation, criminal, family, juvenile, and probate law in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota as the attorneys she works for practice in all three states!
She has Associates Degrees in Accounting and Paralegal Studies, as well as a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. Rhonda is also President of the Iowa Association of Legal Assistants (IALA) and, in addition, a member of both the South Dakota Paralegal Association (SDPA) and NALA. Thanks, Rhonda!
1. What prompted you to choose a paralegal career? The ability to assist individuals through challenging times in their life.
2. What is your favorite part of your job? The challenge of being able to assist in finding the correct case or piece of evidence to prove our argument to a judge or jury.
3. What professional associations do you belong to? Iowa Association of Legal Assistants (IALA), South Dakota Paralegal Association (SDPA), and National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
4. How has your membership benefited you? Most of all, the benefits is the networking with individuals who become lifelong friends, the educational opportunities and opportunities to promote the profession
5. What has been the highlight of your career? A huge highlight was being elected to be President of the Iowa Association of Legal Assistants.
Another was finding a key piece of evidence that not one party involved in the case thought was there. It was sheer luck that I stumbled across the case law for my bosses’ brief, but in the end it was an important element in deciding the case.
6. What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry? State level regulation of paralegals. This is a trend that the Iowa Association of Legal Assistants is taking upon itself to become implemented in the State of Iowa, and is now being considered by the Iowa Supreme Court for implementation.
7. If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be? Join your local, regional, state and/or national professional association. The networking that you will develop is priceless.
8. Is there a quote that inspires you? The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie,deliberate, contrived and dishonest -– but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~John F. Kennedy
9. You’ve enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? The attorney I work for who took a chance on someone with no experience in the legal field, and let me have an opportunity at every turn to “soak up” knowledge, make mistakes and grow into this profession.
10. What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? Always be willing to learn, be open minded, take on a new challenge, and be a team player.
11. What electronic device can you not live without? My cell phone
12. What advice would you give yourself if you met you as a first-year paralegal? Find a mentor! Having someone to guide you through the “getting your feet wet” stage is an essential part of getting your career off on the right track.
13. What web site do you visit daily? I visit court websites on a daily basis. With attorneys practicing in multiple states, knowing what is going on with pending cases is essential
Bonus Question: What is the one thing you wish you were better at? Time management – working a significant portion of the day in a litigation practice – time can definitely get away from you.