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But the journey was tough. While attending the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984 and 1985, House worked full-time—any extra activities were therefore extinguished from her day-to-day life. However, House persisted and received a paralegal certificate while working. She also became a certified legal assistant in 2000 when she passed the NALA exam.
Her interest in the legal field began while she was working with a title company. There, she moved into the legal document preparation section and has continued in this area of work ever since.
Today, House works for the law firm Beadles, Newman & Lawler, PC, "which offers legal services in mortgage lending and residential real estate transactions," according to its website. The firm also "prepare[s] and deliver[s] closing documents on residential and commercial loans for mortgage lenders, banks, and title companies."
Located in Fort Worth, Texas, the company was "built on the confidence placed in [it] by [its] clients."
House came to Beadles in October 2006 after working 31 years for her previous employer. Leaving the familiar for the new was, as House describes it, one of her most notable career accomplishments. Sometimes the risk of embracing the unknown is worth taking—especially for a much larger salary and benefits.
She also takes pride in having implemented "many programs over the years as advancements were made in [the] industry with technology (e.g., installing and designing [her] own forms)."
In addition to working for Beadles, House acts as the Fort Worth Paralegal Association's (FWPA's) president-elect and education chair.
"The purpose of the FWPA is to promote the professional objectives and goals of paralegals; to encourage, promote, and conduct programs of continuing education and professional development; and to promote the advancement of high standards of integrity and professionalism for paralegals to the end that both the public and the legal profession are better served," says its website.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Camping, fishing, hunting, reading, watching football, traveling.
Q. What CD is in your CD player right now, or what music is on your iPod?
House has been a member since 1999 "because of a friend's advice." But becoming a member has also helped her study for the CLA exam, "a comprehensive, two-day examination based upon federal laws and rules of civil procedure," according to the South Texas Organization of Paralegals' website.
More personally, House has been influenced greatly by the paralegals she has met through the FWPA, along with those on the board of the paralegal division of the State Bar of Texas.
"Being around other professionals in my field has been very important to me," says House.
While House has great acumen for the paralegal field, she also has great people skills.
"I believe," says House, "[that] being nice to people is...one of the single most important things a career professional in our field can hope to accomplish. So many people call me that are totally lost, and I help them with a smile on my face. I see people being rude and not willing to help others, and I find it tragic."
"Get your foot in the door no matter what," House advises young paralegal professionals, "even if you have to be the receptionist for a while. You are probably not going to start out being a paralegal but will have to gain the attorney's confidence with hard work and staying educated."