Nicole Martinez is a Paralegal with a Trusts and Estates firm in Baltimore, Maryland. She earned an Associates degree in Paralegal Studies from National Paralegal College.
Why did you to choose a paralegal career? I started working as a receptionist for a very busy sole practitioner. I enjoyed the work and decided that I could become a paralegal. I enrolled in school and never looked back.
What is your favorite part of your job? I enjoy building and maintaining client relations. It is very rewarding to know that the client calls you first to notify you of good news. I receive family and school pictures from our clients, as well as cards.
One client went out of her way to bring me 2 thank you cards. She brought them to our firm rather than mailing them to me. It never ceases to amaze me when clients show their gratitude to me for just doing my job and providing them with assistance.
What professional associations do you belong to?
- Maryland Association of Paralegals, Inc.
- National Federation of Paralegal Associations
- National Association for Legal Assistants
- Bar Association for Baltimore City
- Maryland State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
How has your membership benefited you? The biggest ways in which memberships have benefited me is from networking and CLEs. I’ve made lifelong friends in the process and learned a lot on the way. The best part is the new things happening all the time.
What has been the highlight of your career? My highlight would be being nominated for Policy VP of my local association and accepting the nomination. My peers chose me and that was a wonderful feeling.
What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry? E-discovery, Medicare Set Aside Trusts, regulation, certification, the potential for a tiered legal system, LLLT… what a time to be involved in it all!
If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be? There are so many areas of the field. Read up on as many as you can so you can get an idea on what you might like and what to expect. It isn’t as glamorous as Erin Brokovich. It can be very rewarding.
You’ve enjoyed a successful paralegal career. To what single event or person do you attribute that success? I couldn’t have done this without the support and nudges along the way from my husband. He was such a tremendous support during school and he continues to be my rock.
What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting? Stay involved in your local paralegal association. Your association works very hard to provide its members with valuable benefits.
Who would play you in a movie of your life? Jessica Chastain
What electronic device can you not live without? I’m growing quite fond of my Surface Pro 4.
What unusual item do you own? I have an unopened bottle of Pepsi that commemorates Kentucky’s Bicentennial.
What advice would you give yourself if you met you as a first-year paralegal? JOIN THAT LOCAL PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION NOW!!! Don’t wait 2 years.
What is the best live concert you’ve ever attended? Billy Joel
What sports team are you passionate about? Chicago Cubs
What makes you lose your patience? Poor customer service
Have you ever had to fake an accent? I don’t have to fake an accent! I was born with a great Southern accent. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Where are you from? I’m detecting a bit of an accent.”
What’s your favorite thing to cook? pasta
What fad do you regret being a part of? Big hair
Is there a philosophy you live by? Be kind. Being kind doesn’t cost you anything.