Rosie was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), where she graduated with degrees in Communications and Fine Arts. In her free time, Rosie enjoys traveling and reading historical non-fiction and fiction, contemporary authors and classics.
Rosie’s Successful Business and Tips for Paralegals
When asked, “Do you have a most memorable education experience?” Rosie replied, “Most of my education has happened outside of college – they don’t really teach you the stuff you need to know to survive in the world.”
Why did Rosie decide to become a legal staff member? She said, “My sister was a headhunter in DC and ‘placed’ me in a small non-profit tax firm as office manager. I sort of hopped from law job to law job after that, accumulating experience and growing my skills along the way. I have been legal assistant, office administrator, and now, paralegal.”
What is the best part of Rosie’s job? She claimed, “Getting to tell clients good news, such as a big offer or a good court decision.”
The candid paralegal discussed what she is known for professionally. Rosie asserted:
“I’m a keen organizer – I love to step into a situation that’s a mess and straighten it out. I currently work with two solo practitioners in separate practices and I loved getting in and familiarizing myself with their dockets; suggesting and implementing improvements to the practices; organizing and streamlining procedures.”
Rosie gave her opinion on the current assessment of the paralegal market. “Growth areas seem to be bankruptcy and probate, from what I’ve seen. Litigation always holds steady – it’s pretty high stress, but high reward, too.”
Since Rosie has nearly twenty years’ experience as a paralegal, many readers may want to know what her advice is to new and recent legal staff members. She proclaimed, “Read the rules and statutes. The best thing about law is that it’s all written down.”
What would Rosie tell students who are contemplating becoming a paralegal? Her advice is pragmatic and straightforward: “The best thing to do is become familiar with the statutes and rules of procedure governing the area of practice you’re interested in. Learn how to read, interpret and write.” Rosie’s second tip to students is to take an entry-level position in a law firm and work their way up. “Law is its own society, with its own language and customs. The only way to truly understand how a law firm works is to work in one. Paralegal courses don’t teach you that.”
Although it’s hard for individuals to predict where they will be in five years, Rosie hopes she will still be self-employed. “Hopefully still self-employed, as I love the flexibility of freelancing, and having my success predicated on my own efforts instead of being paid to sit in a chair. Alternative destiny: win Powerball and move to England.”
If Rosie weren’t a paralegal, what would she be doing? She noted, “Writing for a living. I was a newspaper reporter, then briefly published a local paper when I first moved to Portland. I’ve written a novel, am working on two more (in my barely-existent spare time) and I’ve completed a guide to medical negligence for lay-people, which I will probably self-publish if I can ever find the time.”
The businesswoman acknowledged that she is motivated by her busy docket. She explained, “I have a massive ‘to do’ list! I am a big keeper of lists/dockets/ ‘to do’s’ and love nothing more than to cross something off as accomplished.”
What is Impossible for Rosie to Give Up and Admiring Non-Profit Organizations
The paralegal acknowledged that nothing is impossible for her to give up, but life would be more unpleasant without books, sushi, gardening and travel.
Rosie admires any organization which protects animals. She also respects any organization that protects or fights for civil rights. Rosie worked for almost five years for a prominent civil rights attorney, and came away with a greater appreciation for how little people understand about their rights, which can dangerously lead to the loss of them.
Mentoring Individuals and Top Attribute Rosie Appreciates About Her Clients
When asked about mentoring individuals, Rosie answered, “I once talked a friend out of law school, suggesting she work for a firm for a while in a non-lawyer capacity to decide if it’s what she really wants to do. She took my advice, still wanted to work in law, and she was glad of the work experience once she was in law school. I’ve given advice and guidance to a few new paralegals.”
Rosie discussed her top attribute she appreciates about her present clients. She replied:
“I’m incredibly lucky to work for two guys who treat me with respect, recognize my contributions to their practices, and are just all-around good guys and great attorneys. It’s hard for me to work for or with people whose work ethic or practices I don’t respect, and my two current clients have very high standards and are motivated by a deep desire to help their clients. I’ve worked with attorneys who clearly don’t like to practice law, and I feel sorry for their clients. And, although I know we’re all just doing our jobs, I am a plaintiff paralegal through-and-through – I could never go to the defense side.”
***Rosie is not an attorney and can't give legal advice.***
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