Angela Wilson is a paralegal with Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc., in Irving, Texas. She has a Bachelor’s degree (English major, history minor) from the University of Texas Arlington and a Paralegal Certificate from Heald Business College, San Francisco, CA. Angela also tutors Criminal Justice at UT Arlington.
What prompted you to choose a paralegal career? In 1980 my husband and I were living in the Bay Area. He was a telephone engineer and was there on a work visa. I was undocumented so I couldn’t work but I could go to school.
My husband saw an ad in the newspaper for a paralegal program at Heald Business College in San Francisco. I didn’t even know what a paralegal was. I completed the program in 1982 specializing in corporate and tax law. We also married that year. When we got our green cards in 1985, I immediately went to work as a legal secretary.
What is your favorite part of your job? Interacting with people, in the field and in the service center.
What professional associations do you belong to? Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA)
How has your membership benefited you? Membership in DAPA has yielded valuable business contacts, personal friends, and the opportunity to serve the community.
What has been the highlight of your career? Receiving the pro bono/community service award last year. This year I am serving as Pro Bono/Community Service Chair and I’ve been working with Catholic Charities and the Asylum Project volunteering and assisting with Asylum applications for undocumented women and children from El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico.
What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry? Limited License Legal Technician
Is there a quote that inspires you? Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
You’ve enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? My husband for steering me in this direction.
What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? Join professional organizations and become active in the leadership of these organizations. Also, volunteer in your community. The skills paralegals have translate very well to an amazing number of situations and professions.
What electronic device can you not live without? My iPhone
What was your favorite car? What’s your dream car? My favorite car was the 1964 Mustang my husband bought for me when we lived in California. My dream car is a Jeep Wrangler
What unusual item do you own? I don’t own this personally but my family has a piece of a meteorite that my father found in near Bruderheim, Alberta. The area was the recipient of a notable meteorite fall on March 4, 1960.
What advice would you give yourself if you met you as a first-year paralegal? Go to law school.
What’s your favorite drink? Wine
What was your first job? My very first job out of high school was working for the Department of Motor Vehicle in Edmonton.
What time in the morning do you first check your email? 6:00 a.m.
From American history, who is your hero? Sally Ride
What is the best live concert you’ve ever attended? My first – Edmonton, Alberta, August 21, 1967, the Who opened for Herman’s Hermits.
What’s your favorite vacation getaway? San Francisco
If you could not be a paralegal, what would be your dream job? English teacher
What is the one thing you wish you were better at? Writing
What makes you lose your patience? Uneducated people.
What three items would you want if you were stranded on a deserted island? A very long book, my glasses, matches.
What scares you the most? Being homeless
Is there one thing in the world you wish you had the answer to? Hunger
What word do you always have a problem spelling? License
What song do you often sing to yourself? He Thinks He’ll Keep Her
What college classes did you love? English
Where do you like to go to have fun? Camping
You’ve been given the chance to have dinner with anyone living or dead. Who is it? My dad
What fad do you regret being a part of? Shag haircut
What’s your most treasured possession or keepsake? Right now, my FitBit
If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go? The day before my husband died.
What is your guilty pleasure food? Cheezies
Work and life essentials aside, what is the activity you spend the most time doing? Reading