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Bonnie Ruffin: Paralegal and entrepreneur

Bonnie Ruffin

Bonnie Ruffin grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, dreaming of becoming an attorney. But along the way, she decided to pursue a career as a paralegal, and has excelled. She owns her own consulting business and is serving a term ...

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Career change leads to job satisfaction

After 10 years of working in organizations she didn’t find fulfilling or career-enhancing, Lakisha Chichester, a Durham paralegal, decided life was too short to work in dead-end jobs. So she set out to make significant changes. Armed with a Bachelor ...

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Single mom finds career fulfillment as a paralegal

A stay-at-home mom with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, Allison Yezek was newly divorced when she decided to following in the footsteps of her great-grandfather, who was a judge, and her uncle, who is a lawyer. Today, she ...

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All those accounting classes paid off – eventually

Angie Carter was immersed in accounting classes at North Carolina’s Lenoir Community College, and while she didn’t know exactly what type of career she wanted to pursue, she did know she did not want to be an accountant. “My business ...

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In love with two career paths, Beth Cox follows both

Beth Cox fell in love with the law, started her career in healthcare and wound up creating a professional path that allows her to choose both.   An active member of the Guilford Paralegal Association, Cox was recently elected its ...

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New RTPA president urges paralegals to get involved

With over 30 years of legal experience, Jean Benvenuto is the lead patent paralegal at Coats & Bennett, where she administers United States and foreign patent filings. She also helps oversee the firm’s prosecution of patent rights and liaisons with ...

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Paralegal of the Year found his way after the Recession

M. Tyler Helms has not only survived being a 2008 Recession graduate, he has thrived. Within two years of graduating from Pfeiffer University he was laid off from two jobs. His first lay-off led him to move from his hometown ...

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Paralegals need to market themselves ‘more than ever’

Marcia Bibb was responsible for creating the paralegal program at Parker Poe nine years ago. These days, as director of practice support services, she is responsible for the management of paralegals, litigation support and docketing for the firm. She also ...

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Risk taking leads to rewards for association leader

When it comes to juggling tasks and setting priorities, Karen England relies on good communication skills. She carries a multiple-attorney workload in her job as a paralegal with Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler in High Point and loves her job.   ...

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Working for a solo a multitasker’s dream come true

As a paralegal in a solo practitioner’s office, Beverly King Moore does it all, from legal work to accounting to answering the phone.   The North Carolina native grew up in Lincoln County, where she was active in her high ...

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From the classroom to the courtroom – career path brings satisfaction

After a decade in teaching, Kris Lineberger found her dream job at a Charlotte law firm. Lineberger, who grew up in Gastonia, N.C., earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University. ...

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Switch to in-house counsel role proves a surprisingly good fit

Charity Inglis calls herself a “true Carolina girl.” A lifelong North Carolina resident, she grew up in Hamlet, a small town in the central region of the state known for its historic train depot. A paralegal for over 10 years, ...

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Award-winning paralegal loved how Della Street saved the day

Sarah Kaufman had planned to become an attorney or a high school band director, but she loved being a paralegal so much that she made it her career.   On May 9, she received the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal ...

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Paralegal’s challenge: Keeping up with tech changes

Leslie Pegram began her career as a paralegal in December 2004, landing her first job as a paralegal while she was still studying the business in school. “It was exciting to have the opportunity to mix my learning with real ...

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‘Organization is an ongoing process’

Stephanie Durham-Rivera was born and raised a Midwestern girl, but after settling in North Carolina she won’t budge out of the South, even for money. She grew up in the Illinois town of Rockford, “home of the Rockford Peaches [professional ...

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