The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Job Title: Litigation Paralegal Employer: Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr & Smith, P.A., Gastonia, NC
Years of Paralegal Experience: 13Specialty Areas & Bio:
Litigation, and her experience also encompasses employment litigation, personal injury, insurance defense, trust and estates, and corporate and complex business litigation. She has experience with filings in the North Carolina Complex Business Court; State Court filings in counties across North Carolina; Federal Filings in the Western, Eastern and Middle districts of North Carolina, the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (Richmond, VA). Ms. Elliott-Park is a faculty member of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Continuing Education’s Paralegal Certification Program, where she teaches Paralegal Profession and Legal Technology, and is also a member of the Academic Advisory Board.Ms. Elliott-Park is a member of various paralegal associations, including National Association of Legal Assistants, North Carolina Paralegal Association (where she is an executive committee member and serves as the Vice President of Education), Metrolina Paralegal Association, North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division, and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Legal Assistant Division. She is a featured speaker for the Institute for Paralegal Education and the National Business Institute, where she lectures on various litigation topics live and by webinar format.
She received her B.S. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1998 and is a Paralegal Technology Post-Baccalaureate Diploma Graduate from Central Piedmont Community College. Ms. Elliott-Park obtained her North Carolina State Bar Paralegal Certification in 2005. Ms. Elliott-Park was awarded the Gaston County Paralegal of the Year in 2007.Career Highlight: Two actually – being featured along with my attorney, Bill Moore, in the “Legal Teams” column of Legal Assistant Today (now Paralegal Today) and becoming a faculty member of the Paralegal Certificate Program for UNCC.Paralegal Practice Tip: How about a life tip? Treat people how you want to be treated. Being nice to someone just makes you feel good, and more importantly, being rude to someone ALWAYS finds it way back to you.As a paralegal instructor for UNC-Charlotte’s Paralegal Certificate program, what do you recommend that new paralegal students do to prepare for graduation and finding that first job in the legal field? I think they need to establish what they want in a job. I tell them each session that they may not land their dream position right out of school, but they should take each opportunity as a learning experience. Some of the best learning experiences I have had as a paralegal were hard and frustrating. I wasn’t particularly happy about them at the time, but now I can see the value in each experience.If you could give someone who is thinking about enrolling in a paralegal program one piece of advice, what would it be? Learn all you can and take every opportunity you come across to network. Be realistic. A good paralegal/attorney relationship takes time to establish. The law changes every day and with that change brings new challenges for us as paraprofessionals, but also new opportunities.Favorite Internet Resources: I use the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website almost daily. http://www.secstate.state.nc.us/. I also love the reverse look up feature on http://www.whitepages.com/. You can run, but you can’t hide (IF, I have your phone number!)Favorite Legal Software: My newest is West’s Case NotebookFun Facts: I sing and am learning to play the violin along with my seven year old son.Do you Twitter? No!!Favorite Quote: “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” ~ Abraham LincolnProfessional Profile: LinkedIn