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Christi Condon serves as a contract paralegal and she is the sole proprietor of her own business in Fort Myers, Florida. She specializes in consumer law, which includes bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, FCRA and FDCPA claims, debt negotiation and settlement, short sales, and state court consumer credit cases. Ms. Condon also has experience with trusts & estates law, environmental law, matrimonial and family law, real estate and a few other areas. Additionally, she has some experience with contracts and corporate law. Ms. Condon has been a paralegal for seventeen years.
I asked her what is the sexiest case she worked on? "I wish my cases were 'sexy,' but I work mainly in bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, consumer cases in state court and DWI. So they really aren't. I just try to help others as best I can in what are very difficult circumstances for them."
What is Ms. Condon's most noteworthy case? "I worked on a large personal Chapter 11 case that was in the local news for years. I also worked on a few cases with published decisions."
Ms. Condon was born in Somerville, Massachusetts and raised in New Hampshire. She began her legal career as a temporary legal secretary doing dictation in a matrimonial firm. Ms. Condon then served as a full-time bankruptcy paralegal. After ten years of working in the paralegal field, she decided to complete her education. Ms. Condon earned her B.S. in Paralegal Studies from Kaplan University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2006. She is a former certified bankruptcy assistant and plans on obtaining her NALA certification. Ms. Condon was featured on the Paralegal Society blog in 2013.
When she isn't working, she enjoys tennis, swimming, skating, skiing, movies, and reading. Ms. Condon also enjoys spending time with her kids, grandchildren, and the rest of her family and friends.
Ms. Condon's Successful Career
Why did Ms. Condon decide to specialize in consumer law? "I enjoy helping people, and in all of the areas of law I have pursued, I have been able to do just that."
Why did she decide to become a paralegal? Ms. Condon explained:
"My mom used to watch Perry Mason when I was a child and I fell in love with the law. But I was a stay at home (mostly) mom until a friend of mine needed someone to cover for her while she was on maternity leave from her job as a legal receptionist and she asked me to do it. After that, another friend referred me to her attorney boyfriend because he needed a legal assistant. So, it was desire and just plain good fortune that got me into the field."
What advice would Ms. Condon give to someone who's brand-new to her position? "Attitude is everything. If you are willing to work hard and to continually learn and grow, you can go a long way in this field, even without a law degree."
What does she think are the keys to becoming a successful paralegal? "Attitude, curiosity and empathy for the attorneys you work with and your clients. It also doesn't hurt if you have a good command of the English language and enough writing skills to make a good argument."
What's one of the things that Ms. Condon finds most challenging about her job? "The days when clients and attorneys want more from me than I have time to give in the hours of the day that I have."
What would she say is the most important thing she learned as a paralegal? "There but for the grace of God go I. As a specialist in consumer bankruptcy, I have recognized that in life, anything can happen at any time without warning … and it does. But the most important thing when life happens to you is to ask for help when you need it, lean on the people who love you and your higher power…and if you fall down 4 times, you get up 5."
What is the best part of Ms. Condon's job? "Taking care of people and getting good results for them. It's always nice when someone tells you how awesome you are!"
What is she known for professionally? "Legal research, writing and excellent listening and problem solving skills."
What does Ms. Condon think about the paralegal field in Florida today? She noted:
"I just wish that new folks coming in to the field could do it the way I did it…through experience. I enjoyed my education and it really helped hone my skills as a paralegal, but there is nothing like good old fashioned rolling up your sleeves and doing it to learn. Sadly, most law firms today are so competitive that they are only seeking experienced paralegals and that makes it really difficult for someone trying to break into the field."
If she were not in this profession, what would she most probably be doing? "Non-profit work… my second love."
Where does Ms. Condon see herself in five years' time? She replied:
"Heading a non-profit that provides legal services through a collaboration between legal professionals and the courts to those who need help but can't really afford it. Even though there is a ton of legal information on the internet these days, it is hard to interpret unless you have the background and experience to know what you're looking for in the sea of information that is out there."
What motivates her to be a paralegal every day? "I get up in the morning and I get to help someone. And I go to bed at night and I know I've helped someone."
Being a Mentor, People Who Inspired Ms. Condon and Her Goals
Does Ms. Condon consider herself a mentor? "Yes! I love sharing what I know with others and am happy to do so."
Who inspires her? "My friends and family. They're all pretty amazing in terms of their ability to handle life on life's terms and they've helped me be the same way. I am also inspired by Jesus Christ and I try to emulate him in my own life."
Ms. Condon has accomplished a lot in her career. What's next for her? "Hopefully, a new area of law to conquer and more people to help!"