Paralegal Profile: Kathy Darnell Adams, PLS PP

Kathy Adams is a paralegal with William P. Holley III in Marietta, Georgia where she specializes in Civil Litigation, Family Law, Personal Injury and Criminal Defense. She is a graduate of the Kennesaw State University Paralegal Program and has earned certifications from NALS: Certified Professional Legal Secretary and Certified Professional Paralegal.


picture1What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?  I really fell into it.  When I was in high school in 1977, I took a vocational office training course that required part-time employment in an office setting.  My teacher noticed an ad for a part-time legal secretary position and told me to call and schedule an interview.  I have worked in the legal field ever since.

What is your favorite part of your job?  Interacting with clients and helping them understand the legal process.

What professional associations do you belong to?  Cobb County Legal Professionals Association, NALS of Georgia, NALS, Kennesaw State University’s Continuing Education Paralegal Advisory Board

How has your membership benefited you?   Education and Networking.  My membership in NALS provides opportunities to attend continuing education conferences increasing my knowledge and expertise in the legal field.  Many of these conferences have been on the local level where I live, but I have also been able to attend conferences throughout my home state of Georgia as well as throughout the country.   I have met so many people that have helped me throughout my profession including mentors, employment contacts, and lots of friends.

What has been the highlight of your career?  I serve as the certification/education chair of my local chapter, Cobb County Legal Professionals Association, and teach NALS certification classes.  It makes my day when one of my students sends me an email or calls to let me know they passed their certification exam.

If someone contemplating a paralegal career asked you for career advice, what would your answer be?  Attend a paralegal course, join your local paralegal or other support association, and be active.  The more people you meet, the more doors open.  Attain as many credentials as you can.  Knowledge is power.

Is there a quote that inspires you?  It’s one my workout buddies and I say to each other in aerobics class, but it can be applied to life in general, “Just keep moving.”

 You’ve enjoyed a successful paralegal career.  To what single event or person do you attribute that success?  When I first started working as a legal secretary, and I was very young – still a teenager in high school, there were five women in the legal community that reached out to me:  Nancy Black, Carolyn Cook, Babe Atkins-Byrne, Carlyn Campbell, and Beth Hale.  They invited me to attend meetings with my local NALS chapter, Cobb County Legal Secretaries Association, as it was known then.  They were persistent in their invitations and once I attended a few meetings, they encouraged me to become active in my chapter.  They went on to encourage me to hold committee chairs and offices on the local, state, and national levels, and attain certification.  These positions increased my knowledge, boosted my confidence and leadership skills, and allowed me to meet individuals in the legal community that have and will continue to benefit my career.

What is the most important step a paralegal can take to keep his or her career interesting?  Attend all the educational opportunities you can and network with your local legal community by being active in a local association and volunteering your time.

What is your favorite kind of music?  Rock & Roll and Blues

What electronic device can you not live without?  My cell phone.

What was your first car?  My Dad’s 1968 Ford Montego MX.  It was snazzy.

What’s your favorite drink?  Cosmopolitan and I make a good one.

What was your first job?  Popping popcorn and baking pizzas at the local drive-in.

What time in the morning do you first check your email?  When I get to work at 9 am.

What was the last movie you saw in the theater?  Sully

From American history, who is your hero?  Any person that has served or currently serves our country in the armed services.  True heroes.

What is the best live concert you’ve ever attended?  My BFF and I flew from Atlanta to see the Rolling Stones in New Jersey in December 2012.  It was one of the first tour dates the Stones had announced in years.  We started meeting people attending the concert as soon as we arrived at the airport.  We met people from all over the U.S. and England that night.

What sports team are you passionate about?  Love the Atlanta Braves

What’s your favorite vacation getaway?  Florida where my grandchildren reside.   Although if my grandchildren are not involved, I love Europe.  Amsterdam and London have been my two favorite cities so far.  I also love to cruise.

What is the one thing you wish you were better at?  Patience

What is your favorite hobby?  Gardening

Strangest thing you ever ate?  Ostrich.

What makes you lose your patience?  My husband.

What’s more important – comfort or style?  Comfort

What’s your dream car?  Cadillac ATS.  In red, of course.

What Web site do you visit daily?  Facebook so I can check on my children and grandchildren.

I understand you make a mean lasagna.  What’s your secret?  All day prep and cooking.  Fast and quick will not give you the same result.

What’s your most treasured possession or keepsake?  My collection of sapphire and diamond jewelry given to me by my husband.  We’ve been married 38 years and he has given me several beautiful items.

Work and life essentials aside, what is the activity you spend the most time doing?   These days it is hosting a 17-year-old exchange student from Sweden.  My husband and I have been empty nesters for several years and it’s nice to have a young person in the house