Stephanie R. Sterling, TBLS-BCP is a Litigation Paralegal at DuBois, Bryant & Campbell, LLP in Austin, Texas. She specializes in Civil Trial Law, specifically handling complex commercial matters.
Stephanie earned an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies with honors from Lamar University, (an ABA approved program) and Bachelors of Science in History with honors from West Texas A&M University. She has also taken several Masters’ level classes and plans to finish her MBA in the near future. In addition to her education, Stephanie is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Board – Certified Paralegal in Civil Trial.
Why did you choose a paralegal career? While in college, I met a paralegal who felt I would be a great paralegal. She encouraged me to change my major. I had always been interested in the law and knew I would enjoy working in a team environment.
What is your favorite part of your job? I love preparing discovery requests and responses, reviewing documents and attending trial/arbitration.
What professional associations do you belong to? I belong to several:
- My local association, Capital Area Paralegal Association (CAPA) (serving as President 2013-2014, Board Advisor, President-Elect, Sustaining Member Liaison and currently in my third term as Public Relations Chair);
- State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division (Serving as District 4 Director since 2014 and currently serving my second term as Parliamentarian and previously served as Marketing Chair on the TAPS Planning Committee);
- Texas Bar College,
- NALA – The Paralegal Association, and
- Women in E-Discovery.
I am also about to join the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). I feel it is important to follow paralegal career trends and changes across the nation. I always encourage other paralegals to join the local, state and national paralegal associations.
How has your membership benefited you? Networking, CLE to name just a couple. Being a member has helped me grow professionally and personally. You can gain considerably in all aspects of your life by becoming active and volunteering in your professional associations.
What has been the highlight of your career? Last year, I attended a 3 week arbitration in Arizona with our litigation team on a complex multi-million dollar construction case where we were able to win on all counts for our client. We worked long hours for months leading up to the arbitration and then during the arbitration. It was tiring and tough, but was definitely the highlight of my career.
What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry? Definitely staying on top of the ever changing technology is crucial as a paralegal and I also feel that ethics in an ongoing trend that every paralegal should be knowledgeable about as well as taking refresher ethics CLEs because as technology changes it can result in ethical dilemmas and considerations.
If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be? I would tell them to have patience and get involved in your professional associations as that is your key to the great jobs through networking and education. They are vital in providing opportunities for professional development.
You’ve enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? This is a tough question for me because there are many events and people that have attributed to my success over the years that I really cannot pick just one. Generally, I would say the assignments and positions that several attorneys have given me and the encouragement of fellow colleagues to hold leadership positions on my professional associations’ boards have attributed to my success. Each has equipped me with the tools and knowledge which created stepping stones to the next project or position.
What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? Professional Development such as attending CLEs to make sure you stay up to date on all changes in the law, technology, and ethics, taking a voluntary certification exam, volunteering with your professional associations, networking, speaking/presenting CLEs, and writing an article are all ways to keep your career interesting and challenging. It is also a way to give back to your profession.
Is there a quote that inspires you? I really have 3 quotes that continually inspire me and make me strive for continued growth.
- “Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” – John C. Maxwell
- “Success is a continuing thing. It is growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else.” – John C. Maxwell
- “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John C. Maxwell
What electronic device can you not live without? I would have a hard time living without my iPad or iPhone. They are my go to devices for everything.
What is the best live concert you’ve ever attended? I recently saw Duran Duran in concert and it was one of the best concerts I have attended to date. The music along with the fabulous light show made it a great concert.
What’s your favorite vacation getaway? Anything tropical with palm trees, white sand and turquoise waters – I am a beach girl! Currently, I would probably say that my favorite tropical getaway is Jamaica, but we already have trips planned for Hawaii and Bora Bora, so that could change in the future.
What is your favorite hobby? Reading and Fitness
What makes you lose your patience? I have to say traffic!!
What Web site do you visit daily? I usually visit 2 websites on a daily basis – The Paralegal Division website and my local association website, CAPA.
What is your guilty pleasure food? Pizza and cheesecake