The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
This started out as a “Top 10” list to recognize the most outstanding paralegal professionals and groups featured in Practical Paralegalism last year, but there were so many great stories, it was difficult to choose.
Then I thought, “It’s my blog. I can do whatever I want. Let’s pick 20.”
- Melody Ashling, a Florida paralegal, took the difficult but necessary step of filing a complaint with the Florida State Bar, alleging professional misconduct by ex-attorney A. Clark Cone.
- Wilder “Ken” Berry, an award-winning Illinois paralegal, was appointed to the Adult Advisory Board of the Illinois Department of Corrections – after serving more than eight years in prison due to a wrongful conviction.
- Amanda Bennett, a paralegal student at Cumberland Community College, shared her tragic story of abuse at the hands of her stepfather in a book, Amanda’s Voice, in an effort to help other victims.
- Steve Crane, a Texas paralegal, was recognized by a local race relations committee for many years of advocacy for racial justice.
- Elgin Community College’s mock trial team took on Yale at Harvard’s prestigious annual mock trial competition, the Crimson Classic Tournament – and won!
- James Fleming, a deceased Georgia paralegal, continues to feed the hungry with his substantial charitable bequests.
- Avonda Fox, a Texas legal assistant, helped create a new Texas childcare law, “Jacob’s Law”, after the death of her own son.
- Audrey Gibson, a Florida paralegal, serves as a Florida State Representative.
- Angela Hill, an Illinois paralegal and reverend, took three wards of the state of Illinois to President Obama’s inauguration.
- Buxie Keels, III, a deceased North Carolina paralegal, received a posthumous bachelor’s degree from N.C. Central University due to his outstanding academic performance and commitment.
- Senior Master Sgt. Kimberlee Keller, an Air Force paralegal stationed in Afghanistan, started a drive which resulted in almost 22,000 pounds of chocolate being sent to U.S. troops.
- Cynthia Mazariegos, an Illinois paralegal, traveled to Guatemala with a Human Rights Commission Delegation to study immigration issues.
- The North Carolina Advocates for Justice gave its Legal Assistants Division (LAD) a vote on the board of governors.
- Terri O’Leary, a Georgia paralegal, reached her goal of running a marathon in all 50 states.
- Julie Padak, a New York paralegal, walked her boss’s dog, saw what a mess the area near Buffalo’s waterfront was, and initiated a clean-up.
- Claire Pierce, a Virginia legal assistant, took on the Virginia legislature in an effort to change state workers’ compensation law to protect workers who do not die immediately at an accident scene and are unable to testify on their own behalf.
- Mary Russell, a paralegal student at the Minnesota School of Business – Brooklyn Center, exhibited an attention to details during her internship that resulted in the dismissal of a criminal case against her supervising attorney’s client.
- Jennifer Tlumak, a paralegal employed by the Tennessee Justice Center, was awarded the 2009 Young Leader Award by the Tennessee Alliance for Progress in recognition of her advocacy for children’s health services.
- Inez Whitlow, a California paralegal, runs a non-profit group, Chicks in Crisis, providing family planning and adoption services.
- Beth Wilkins, a Colorado paralegal, received NFPA’s Pro Bono award this year for her extensive volunteer work with Wills on Wheels.
I was very lucky to share many great paralegal stories last year and this list could be a lot longer – but this is a blog, and posts are supposed to be succinct or your readers wander off (so I’m told)I know there are many unsung paralegals, paralegal students and paralegal groups out there doing great things every day, and I commend each and every one of you for your hard work, dedication to excellence, commitment to your communities and ability to get things done that make such a big difference in other people’s lives.