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Jaclyn E. DuBois-Zolnik serves as an independent contract paralegal for multiple small law firms in Middletown, Connecticut. She has covered several big cases in her career. She specializes in litigation support services in personal injury and family matters. Jaclyn is responsible for discovery organization, discovery inventories, preparation of financial affidavits, redaction services, mediation and trial preparation. She also serves as a paralegal for PrenupCounsel.com. The website provides attorney reviewed and drafted prenuptials agreements. Unlike other websites, the paralegals and attorneys cater to people's situation and needs. They provide services in Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and California. Jaclyn discussed one of her recent cases with us during this interview, and it involved millions of dollars of assets. Keep reading to learn more about this and other big cases she has worked on.
I asked Jaclyn what the biggest case she worked on was? She stated:
"The biggest case I worked on spanned over 6 years and involved multiple probate appeals that began civil matters and were later consolidated into one case. The case was 6 boxes big, with hundreds of exhibits and settled the week before trial. It was very involved with witnesses and organization was essential. It was very interesting and rewarding to work so closely with my supervising attorney."
What sets Jaclyn apart from other paralegals? "My resourcefulness is what sets me apart from other paralegals I have worked with. I think quickly on my feet and I am able to overcome barriers that often immobilize others."
What is the sexiest case she worked on? "Working in family law I have seen many 'sexy' cases, ranging from descriptive texts to videos and trunks of evidence. The office of law is quite scandalous when you enter into private bedrooms."
What is the most recent case Jaclyn worked on? "The most recent case I worked on involved millions of dollars of assets for a self-employed party. The challenges of organizing the financial records and valuations were a great learning experience."
Prior to being an independent contract paralegal, Jaclyn served as a paralegal for Heneghan, Kennedy & Doyle, LLC, and the LeDuc Law Firm. She served as a research and development/institutional care and use committee member for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Jaclyn served as a real estate paralegal for 1st Metropolitan Mortgage, the Law Office of Patrick W. Frazier, and Fazzone, Ballie, Ryan, Schmidt & Seadale. She also served as a legal assistant for Neubert, Pepe & Monteith, P.C.
Jaclyn is a paralegal member of the Connecticut Bar Association. She has been a member of local NFPA associations and was a member of NALA, National Association of Notaries. Jaclyn is a recipient of a pro bono award for services provided for Utility Day clinics and Family Law clinics.
Jaclyn was born and raised in Cheshire, Connecticut. She graduated from Cheshire High School and received her Associates of Arts and Sciences in Sociology from Albertus Magnus College. Jaclyn also earned her paralegal certificate from the American Institute of Paralegal Studies. She is a nationally certified paralegal (passed her NALA 2 day exam). Jaclyn continues to take seminars and webinars for continuing education and ethics. When she isn't working, she enjoys reading, day trips, volunteering, and attending children's school/sporting events.
Jaclyn's Successful Career
Why did Jaclyn decide to specialize in family law? "Family Law is the best combination of social work and legal services in my opinion. I have assisted people through traumatic emotional events and felt good about my services."
Why did she decide to become a paralegal? "I wanted to help people that are not able to stand up for themselves."
What advice would Jaclyn give to someone who's brand-new to her position? "Education and training along with volunteering and joining local paralegal groups for networking."
What does she think are the keys to becoming a successful paralegal? "Networking and continuing education while remaining ethical and reliable."
What's one of the things that Jaclyn finds most challenging about her job? "The challenges are finding the right position for your goals and the firm's goals and making sure they are in sync. It takes time to understand what environment fits you the best and then find the opportunity with that setting."
What would she say is the most important thing she learned as a paralegal? "How to prioritize, multi-task and remain calm in stressful situations."
What is the best part of Jaclyn's job? "Helping people who felt they did not have a voice, I enjoy the mediation/trial preparation where you are able to prepare the full case for review. The organization of exhibits and testimony is an in-depth lengthy process where the attorney and paralegal work closely with the client."
What is she known for professionally? "Reliable and ethical. I am a hard worker who motivates co-workers."
What does Jaclyn think about the paralegal field in Connecticut? She explained:
"I think there should be regulations of paralegals. The field has a loose definition of what people describe a paralegal's duties to be. Some type of regulation or certification will allow for stricter use of the word, 'paralegal' and expected duties, skill sets, etc. I have interviewed for positions that could be replaced with dictation software or a receptionist. There are a lot of acquired skills that are lost from education and training when the paralegal career is reduced to only administrative work."
If she were not in this profession, what would she most probably be doing? "Social work."
Where does Jaclyn see herself in five years' time? "I am unsure. I am at a point in my career where I am redefining what I want to do. I want to be in a motivating, challenging environment where I am learning and interacting with people."
What motivates her to be a paralegal every day? "I believe that I will learn something new, meet new people and grow from the experiences."
Being a Mentor, People Who Inspired Jaclyn and Her Goals
Does Jaclyn consider herself a mentor? "I do, I am a leader and a learner and I share what I have learned so others can grow and learn."
Who inspires her? "Attorneys that I have worked for that are passionate about their client's situations and fight for them. Paralegals who have been dedicated to the profession and inspire others to do more."
Jaclyn has accomplished a lot in her career. What's next for her? "I will continue working as an independent contract paralegal for multiple small law firms, learning different areas and building relationships."
What to Expect When Working with Ms. Jaclyn
Daniel Kennedy, III, an attorney noted, "Jaclyn has been a great addition to our firm. She works directly with me on a day-to-day basis, performing at a high level."
Paul Doyle, an attorney at Heneghan Kennedy & Doyle, LLC, said, "Jaclyn is an excellent paralegal. She is very organized, professional, and able to take a task from beginning to end without direction. She is a pleasure to work with and an essential part of our law firm."
Patrick Frazier, an experienced attorney, acknowledged, "Jaclyn worked for me as a real estate paralegal for about one year. During that time she proved to be a quick learner, conscientious, and a pleasant and reliable staff member. She would be a welcome addition to anyone's office."
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