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Personalized Paralegal Services, LLC

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Personalized Paralegal Services, LLC


Personal Life
 
Suzy Smith of Personalized Paralegal Services, LLCSuzy Smith owns and manages Personalized Paralegal Services, LLC, located in Littleton, CO. She is a paralegal who specializes in domestic family matters and estate planning. Prior to opening her company, Suzy served as a paraprofessional in Jefferson County, CO for four years and she worked as a teaching assistant in special education for five years. She was a diabetes support aid who educated schools about the disease. Suzy had the privilege of taking care of children with diabetes at school as well as on field trips. She also worked as a paralegal for guardian ad litem attorney Harry Titcombe. Suzy has twelve years experience as a legal staff member, and two of those years have been devoted to successfully running her business in the great state of Colorado.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in the windy city and Southern California. Suzy is the youngest of six children and she has been married to Andy Smith for thirteen years. Her seventeen year-old daughter is currently studying cosmetology and will receive her license soon. Suzy’s twelve year-old son has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She said, “I tell my son everyday he is my hero. I don’t know how I go on without his strength.”
 
Suzy earned her paralegal certificate from the University of Colorado at Denver. When asked why she decided to go back to school to receive her paralegal certificate, Suzy explained she was a legal advocate for the American Diabetes Association. She believed schools were not compliant with state and federal law regarding caring for children who suffered from diabetes. After defeating schools at the district level, Suzy earned the name “Bulldog.” Once she saw how effective she was as a legal advocate, Suzy knew she wanted to go back to school and become a legal staff member. She also claimed, “I have a flavor for the law and justice. I don’t stop until I find the legal answer.”


When the paralegal isn’t working, she enjoys photography, reading, gardening, hiking,cooking and spending time with the family. Suzy loves to hike at Mount Falcon Park and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, located in Morrison, CO. She cooks a variety of meals and people are always writing her recipes down. Suzy also enjoys listening to her children while they eat dinner together. She stated, “I learn a lot from my children and they have a huge edge on life.”
 
The proud Chicagoan is an avid Bears, Cubs, Bulls and Blackhawks fan. She also roots for the Denver Broncos and the Nuggets (her husband’s teams) and for the Green Bay Packers (her friend’s team). Suzy reads anything written by Michele Longo O’Donnell. The paralegal noted, “O’Donnell is a self help guru who keeps me grounded.”
 

Suzy’s Successful Business and Tips for Legal Staff Members

Suzy discussed the best part about her job. She asserted that the best partis “the end result of helping people.”
 
The businesswoman also explained why she enjoys working for herself. “I like to make my own decisions [about] where my business is going. I decide what cases I will take and what attorney I will work for. It helps me be effective for my clients and it controls my environment and freedom to be here with my kids. I can also have lunch with my husband.”
 
What is she known for professionally? The paralegal said, “The law is broad and I know how to break down legislation and apply it to any situation. I am known for breaking down the elements of law.”
 
Suzy gave her opinion about the paralegal field. “The field is not exposed enough. Paralegals have to be brought to the forefront of things. Paralegals are responsible for the foundation of the case for attorneys and we bring a lot to the table.”
 
What would Suzy change about the paralegal industry? “Paralegals should be monitored by the same board as attorneys without having to work directly under the attorney’s licensing. I think it would expand the paralegal field.”
 
Since Suzy has twelve years experience as a legal staff member, many readers may want to know what her advice is to new and recent legal staff members. She advised, “When you get trumped up, don’t back down because the law is the law. Your job (being a paralegal) is to research and find it. The lawyer’s job is to present it for their client and the judges job is to uphold the law. So don’t back down when you are presented with challenges from someone with more experience.”
 
What advice would Suzy give to students who are contemplating becoming a paralegal? Her advice is sensible and straightforward: “If you have the desire to be in the legal field, then this is the most rewarding field to help clients and the community. You can change the world by changing the law.”
 
Where does the paralegal see herself in five years? “I see myself having less of a need to work from home and will most likely work for a legal division of a corporation as a legal staff member once my kids are grown up.”
 
If Suzy wasn’t a legal staff member, what would she be doing? “Teaching young children early education.”
 
The businesswoman was asked what would be impossible for her to give up? She replied, “Quality time with my family.”
 
So why is Suzy motivated everyday to do her job? She admitted, “There is a need for absolute justice in the world.”
 

Suzy’s Mentor, a Rewarding Position and Goals
 
Does Suzy have a mentor? She stated, “Attorney Harry Titcombe was the best in the business. He did so much pro bono work that I don’t know how he fed himself. Titcombe showed me how the legal system works. He showed me how to apply my knowledge towards the legal system and what’s important in a case. Titcombe also made me understand the ins and outs of the legal field and I learned so much from him. We both keep in touch and he recently sent me a Christmas card, which read, ’You are still the best investigator in forty plus years of practice.’”
 
Why does she find her position rewarding? The straightforward paralegal acknowledged, “It offers enough challenges and it isn’t a stagnant job. It’s a rewarding position and at the end of the day, I know I have made a difference somewhere.”
Is there a downside to Suzy’s position? “It’s emotionally and mentally taxing when kids are involved.”
 
Does the Chicagoan have goals? “I want to achieve a balance between the legal world since it’s a sporadic beast and my personal life.”
  

***Suzy Smith is not an attorney and can't give legal advice. ***

 


University of Colorado Denver

    


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