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Q&A

Paralegals need to ‘raise the bar’ of professionalism

Jennifer Watford has been employed as a litigation paralegal at Young Moore & Henderson in Raleigh since 2004. She holds a degree in political science with a concentration in law and legal philosophy. She earned her paralegal certification with a concentration in civil litigation from Meredith College. She and her husband of nine years have two sons, ages 5 and 2.

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CLE programs for paralegals on fast track for growth

As a teenager Amy Plent was totally against the idea of law school, despite her dad’s pleadings during dinner table debates. “I actually started college pre-med, then switched to journalism and dabbled a bit with acting,” she says. “It was a part time, pay-the-rent job at a law firm during my early 20s that made me realize I was interested in law, and it was something I might be good at doing.”

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Filing aside, she ‘fell in love with the legal field’

Meredith Lazarski was right out of high school when she landed her first job as a legal secretary. She thought the job would be temporary – until she started reading the contents of the files she was organizing and asking ...

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Arts major ends up as award winning paralegal

Kaye Summers parlayed degrees in art and recreation into a successful paralegal career that launched her on a journey of lifelong learning and on-the-job excellence. Her hard work and initiative earned her the North Carolina Bar Association’s 2013 Distinguished Paralegal ...

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Helping client through tough time is best part of job

Nichole Hutchins is a naturalized Southerner. She was born in Marietta, Ohio but started her journey south when she was 7, moving with her parents first to Charleston, W.Va. and eventually settling in Kernersville, N.C. when she was 12. She ...

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Niche in real estate law found after four-year break

Denise Hargrove took a four-year career break a dozen years ago after moving to Raleigh from Texas. She stayed busy as a stay-at-home mom, performed some volunteer work, and became a kindergarten teacher assistant at her daughter’s school before working ...

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Full-time paralegal, nighttime law student

As the child of a Navy serviceman, Candace Seagroves lived all over the East Coast, but spent enough time in Wake County to call the rural area around Wendell, N.C. home.   She graduated from Heritage Christian Academy, earned her ...

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For this paralegal, ‘No two days are the same’

Lynda Pixley was born in upstate New York and raised in Ontario, N.Y., on the banks of Lake Ontario.  She graduated from Wayne Central High School with a New York State Regent’s degree in math and science. With a keen ...

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Finding happiness deep in the files of a law firm

A Q&A with Julie Hatfield, a certified senior paralegal in the Charleston office of Collins & Lacy. During her seven years as a paralegal, Hatfield has developed specialized knowledge of business defense involving workers’ compensation claims.

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Best CLE: One paralegals and attorneys attend together

Kelly A. Farrow is the assistant director to the board of paralegal certification with the North Carolina State Bar. Farrow coordinates and manages paralegal certification and education programs for certified paralegals. She worked as an intellectual property paralegal for 10 years before joining the North Carolina State Bar in 2012.

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‘Being a paralegal is a profession, not just a job’

Stephanie Crosby grew up in Pensacola, Fla., and has lived in North Carolina for the past two decades. She has been a paralegal at Ward and Smith, P.A., in New Bern for almost the same length of time. For the last nine years, she has served as the paralegal coordinator for the firm’s business section and, as of January of this year, she also became the paralegal coordinator for the intellectual property section.

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Don’t give short shrift to good grammar in your documents

Camilla Pitman has served as the city clerk of the City of Greenville, S.C. since 2007. She has been a city employee since 1995 and previously served as legal office coordinator for the city attorney’s office and as clerk of court for Greenville Municipal Court.

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After filing her first lawsuit, she was hooked

Roshel Tuska, a Wisconsin native, moved to South Carolina in 2010. She earned her associate degree in the paralegal program at Milwaukee Area Technical College in 2000 and earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007. Tuska has worked as a paralegal for the past 12 years in medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and insurance defense. Since coming to South Carolina, she has been a senior paralegal in civil litigation for Collins & Lacy. She currently serves as secretary of the Palmetto Paralegal Association.

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No such thing as too much practical information

Barbara Galerno Spearman earned her paralegal certificate in 1995 and has been employed as a senior paralegal in civil litigation in the Greenville office of Collins & Lacy since 2008. She has twice been named Paralegal of the Year by the South Carolina Upstate Paralegal Association and currently serves as its president. A native of Florida, Spearman moved to South Carolina in 1977.

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Estates paralegal thrives on life-long love of the law

Victoria Townley is an estate administration paralegal at Roberts & Stevens, P.A., in Asheville, N.C. She is actively involved with the Asheville Area Paralegal Association. When not working at the office or with the AAPA, she can be found hiking in the beautiful western North Carolina mountains.

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