Prior to opening his company, Patrick worked for one of The Trustees in Long Island, NY. According to Patrick's website, he found his employer to be an insightful and diligent attorney, and Patrick was grateful that he selected to take him under his wing. The attorney had a lot to say about the law and he frequently sought Patrick out as his sounding board and confidant for various bankruptcy cases. It was at this prominent Trustee's law firm where Patrick learned how to analyze and review bankruptcy files. Patrick also became extremely proficient in Chapter 13 bankruptcy law. He has ten years' experience as a paralegal, and six of those years have been devoted to successfully running his businesses in New York and Florida.
Patrick was born in the Bronx and raised in Brentwood, NY. He graduated with a B.A. from St. Joseph's College and earned his paralegal certificate from SUNY Stony Brook University in New York. When he isn't working, this paralegal enjoys spending time with his four-year-old son.
Patrick's Successful Business and Tips for Paralegals
Why and when did Patrick decide to become a paralegal? "After college, I decided to get my paralegal certificate. I always enjoyed the law, but I didn't know if I wanted to be an attorney. Law schools will always be there, but I enjoy what I am doing right now."
Why did Patrick become a bankruptcy paralegal? He said he fell into the position. When his employer called him, Patrick didn't remember applying for that particular job. He decided to accept the job to serve as a paralegal for one of The Trustees in Long Island, NY. Patrick started to enjoy the process, the individuals, and the cases he handled. He also learned a lot about Bankruptcy law, in particular, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, from the attorney he worked for. Patrick recalled entering the courtroom for the first time. He was awed and inspired as he gained a better understanding of the legal system. Patrick listened in as his employer, the Trustee, spoke to debtors who were going through the bankruptcy process and he witnessed discussions among attorneys prior to hearings. He admired his employer's integrity because he spoke to debtors with respect and great care. Patrick also admired his employer for speaking to attorneys who failed to do their due diligence, with authority and tenacity.
He began to soak up every morsel of every case. Patrick's knowledge that he obtained about attorneys, debtors, bankruptcy and watching the process unfold in the courtroom gave him the desire to specialize in chapters 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy.
Throughout Patrick's career, he has had the opportunity to work with numerous law firms and attorneys throughout the United States. He has gained extensive experience in working with both creditors and debtors. Patrick continues to read and study the latest literature regarding consumer and creditor bankruptcy law. He also continues to provide law firms and attorneys with invaluable bankruptcy legal assistance, providing incredible attention to procedure and detail.
This paralegal and businessman discussed the best part about his job. "Meeting people and handling my cases is the best part of my job. I enjoy seeing people's reaction after their case. How do they feel? They were hiding behind the financial situation they were in. Some people were crying. They are now free and they can think more clearly because of their renewed financial situation. This is the reward I get from my job."
Patrick also discussed why he appreciates working for himself. "I enjoy the flexibility of my schedule. It's hard for me to fathom working for someone else since I have been doing this for so long. I have freedom and control. This is what I wanted, my own business. I've created this company and I'm excited to see how it grows. It's my second child."
What is the paralegal known for professionally? "An attorney once told me 'I don't know how I would function without your service.' I am dependable and I deliver my services in a timely manner."
Patrick gave his opinion about the legal field today. "I want attorneys to view my position as a paralegal position, not as a secretary or administrative assistant. I am not putting those positions down, but I have heard attorneys diminish the paralegal role by saying, 'I have an assistant who does the same thing.' There should be a clear and detailed understanding of the role of a paralegal in the office." He added, "If there is more respect and understanding of the role for paralegals, there will be less turnaround for paralegals at law firms in any field."
With Patrick's ten years of experience as a paralegal, many readers may want to know what his advice is to new and recent paralegals. He emphasized:
"Education, education, and education. Constantly read about this field. It's very important that you specialize in more than one area so you can see what you like. Before you become a freelance paralegal and go out on your own, make sure you work with an attorney for at least a few years. Make sure you understand the core of the field you specialize in. If you want to be a freelance paralegal, you need extensive experience in the field(s) you specialize in."What advice would Patrick give to students who want to become a bankruptcy paralegal? "1) Know your math. You have to know your numbers. 2) You have to be compassionate. In this field you run into people with a lot of issues. It can be emotionally charged. 3) You need to be up to date with your district's rules."
Where does Patrick see himself in five years? "In five years I plan on having three additional fields of law added as services provided to law firms which include Immigration. The inclusions of the new practices will coincide with the expansion into additional states along the east coast as well as the Midwest."
If the businessman weren't a legal staff member, what would he be doing? "Teaching."
Patrick's Mentor and Mentoring Others, a Rewarding Position, and Goals
Does Patrick have a mentor? Is he a mentor? "My mentor is the attorney I worked for at the Trustees' office as well as a few of the attorneys I work with on a regular basis. I mentor paralegals who want to enter the freelancing field as well as individuals who have thought about entering into the paralegal profession."
Why does Patrick find his position rewarding? "I have been a part of changing so many people's lives, and I am grateful for having the opportunity to do so."
What to Expect When Working With Patrick
Mario Ceballos, Esq. from the Ceballos Law Firm, P.A., based in Orlando, FL, asserted, "Mr. Campbell has been an invaluable asset to my Bankruptcy Practice. He has always delivered in the 'clutch' when I needed to kill a foreclosure sale or have a skeletal case reinstated when clients failed to get me timely documentation. He is prompt and efficient. I highly recommend his services!"
Scott D. Schwartz, Esq. from Rust, Armenis & Schwartz, based in San Francisco, CA, stated, "Patrick is always pleasant to work with and forthcoming with helpful information. We appreciate his follow through with resolving our more complicated schedules and his unfailingly good humor."
Diane Gordon from the Law Offices of Diane Gordon, PA, based in Weston, FL, said, "Patrick Campbell has been preparing my bankruptcy petitions for the past year. His work is excellent. Patrick is very knowledgeable in all aspects of bankruptcy law. Not only is his work excellent, but he is very responsive to my emails and calls. I have used other paralegals in the past, and I find Patrick Campbell to be the best."
Colleen M. McClure, an attorney at the Law Offices of Frederick McGuire based in Houston, TX, acknowledged:
"Outsourced Paralegal Services provides the quality and attention needed in preparing and filing the bankruptcy schedules and plans. I really appreciate Patrick Campbell's follow up with the trustee's offices in making sure that all needs are met, that the plans get approved, and that the Chapter 7 bankruptcies get discharged. No issue is left unresolved and all potential problems are addressed by Patrick. I don't know what we would do without him!"*** Patrick D. Campbell is not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. ***