The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Employer: North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., Western office in Linville Falls, NC.
Years of Paralegal Experience: 24
Specialty Areas: Prisoner Civil Rights; Civil Litigation
Career Highlight: Working to make the North Carolina county jails a safer environment for both the pre-trial detainees and the staff who work there.
Paralegal Practice Tip: Try to stay abreast in the general areas of the law (similar to what you studied in your paralegal classes) that you normally do not work in. Too many times I hear paralegals say they are not attending a seminar because there’s only one course that applies to their field.
Be willing to jump in and volunteer for unassigned tasks, even when it is outside your ‘comfort’ zone. This applies to both your job and your professional associations (or “clubs” as my husband likes to call them). Yes, you need to be involved in your state and national paralegal associations. The skills you attain by volunteering to work on a committee or as an officer cross over into your work place. And, I cannot begin to say enough about the great friendships I have formed across North Carolina and nationwide through my involvement in paralegal associations.
Favorite Internet Resources:
Okay, don’t laugh but my favorite Internet resource is the weather site http://www.averyweather.com/Forecast/Linville as weather plays an important part to life in the mountains.
My second favorite resource that I use daily is the inmate locator page on the NC Department of Corrections website http://doc.state.nc.us/
Fun Fact: I am seriously addicted to landscape gardening. My husband and I simply enjoy planting flowers, trees, shrubs, bulbs, etc. We look forward to the spring when over 6,000 daffodils (48 varieties) bloom from late March through May. Then our dogwoods, lilacs, azaleas, rhododendrons, and other blooming shrubs will start opening as well, along with the perennial plants in the rock garden. We’re trying to cut back the number of annuals that we plant as we get older.
We enjoy the solitude of the Linville River and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The river provides us with the opportunity to see and feed the wild Wood Ducks, Mallards, and other waterfowl that land on the Linville River, which is a part of my front yard. During the fall and winter we enjoy watching the wild turkeys that come to the river. My husband and I are also serious amateur photographers, and enjoy the wildlife that frequently visit our homestead located in throughout the year.
Professional Bio: Ms. Robertson is the Paralegal for the Safe & Humane Jails Project, an IOLTA funded grant. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education (Social Studies), and received her Associates Degree in Paralegal Technology in 1985 from Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 1989 Ms. Robertson earned her Certified Legal Assistant designation from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and her Civil Litigation Specialist designation from NALA in 1994. She is a member of NALA and has served as Affiliated Associations Director for two years and NALA Region 2 Director for four years. Ms. Robertson is an active member of the North Carolina Paralegal Association, having served as President and Chairman of the Board. She is an active member of the Paralegal Division of the North Carolina Bar Association, having served as LAD Chair. Currently, she is serving on the North Carolina Bar Association’s Strategic Planning/Emerging Trends Committee and is the Site Coordinator for the Asheville call center for the 4ALL Task Force. She is also an active member of the Legal Assistants Division of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.
Ms. Robertson serves as a member of the Curriculum Advisory Board for the Paralegal Program at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton, North Carolina. She enjoys birding, gardening, and quilting, and is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.