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Double Threat in the Legal Industry Edna Davis

published February 25, 2008

( 8 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)

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<<Her journey began in Florida. After graduating from high school in 1970, Davis went on to Job Corps, an organization dedicated to helping 16-to-24-year-olds "get a better job, make more money, and take control of their lives," according to its website. She graduated from Job Corps in 1973 and moved to California. Next, she received her A.A. in Secretarial Science from Laney College.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Davis worked as a legal secretary for the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County, whose mission is "to help people get themselves out of poverty" and "to provide equal access to [its] services and high-quality legal assistance throughout the Bay Area, regardless of the client's location, language, or disability."

But a legal secretary wasn't all Davis aspired to be. So, in 2000, she received her paralegal certificate from the College of Alameda. Davis instantly became a double threat in the legal field, having both experience as a legal secretary and a paralegal certification.

She took her skills, joined law firm Sterns & Walker in March 2001, and for almost seven years has resided there as Gerald Sterns's legal secretary and paralegal.

Sterns & Walker, headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, "specializes in representing survivors, victims, and families of aircraft accidents worldwide," says its website. And for 28 years Sterns & Walker has committed itself to its clients.

Both partners received their J.D.s from the University of California — Hastings College of the Law. Sterns, Davis's boss, has not only received international recognition for his cases on 60 Minutes, 20/20, Nightline, the BBC, and CNN, but he has also participated in numerous seminars and programs, including Lloyd's Seminars in London and the American Bar Association Torts and Insurance Practice Sections, among others. Walker has taught law at San Francisco Law School and presides as the head of the Trial Practice Committee of the Alameda County Bar Association.

"One of the most memorable career accomplishments was being able to participate as a paralegal in a two-week trial with Mr. Sterns — a most gratifying experience as we were counsel for a Korean citizen who had lost an appendage in a rollover accident," says Davis.

She continues, "Another rewarding case experience would be a local case involving a young girl who almost lost her leg when an aircraft fell on the car she was riding in and almost amputated her leg in Contra Costa County."

But along with reveling in memorable career events, Davis praises others for her accomplishments as well, including her current boss.

"I…think of Mr. Sterns as a mentor as I highly respect him as an aviation attorney. He is well respected in the legal field, as he should be. He has such charisma in the way he handles his cases, from the client to opposing counsel. Since working for him I have learned even more and gained more confidence as he puts his trust in me to get the job done."

Davis also offers accolades to her mother for her constant help and support.

Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Go to church — I actually have fun in church as I get involved; go to the movies; watching tennis as that is my favorite sport. I used to play tennis quite avidly many years ago and was pretty good at it.
Q. What CD is in your CD player right now, or what music is on your iPod?
A. The Williams Brothers — a gospel CD.
Q. What is the last magazine you read?
A. Oprah.
Q. What is your favorite TV show?
A. Jeopardy.
Q. Who is your role model?
A. My mom.

"She is a beautiful, spiritual, and wise woman," says Davis, "who is responsible for me being who I am today."

It's no wonder Davis labels her mother as her role model.

What, then, does this legal secretary and paralegal have to offer young professionals?

"Keep your dream alive by working hard and setting goals."

Davis is proof of the effectiveness of her own advice.
( 8 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.