Paralegal Profile: Tina Johnson

Job Title: Paralegal

Employer: Gray Plant Mooty Mooty & Bennett, P.A., Minneapolis, MN

Years of Paralegal Experience: 11

Education/Degrees: 1) Bachelor of Science in Sociology at Minnesota State University – Mankato, 1995; 2) Associate of Applied Science Degree – Legal Administrative Assistant at South Central Technical College/Minnesota State University, 1999; and 3) Associate of Science Degree – Paralegal (ABA-approved program) at Inver Hills Community College, 2002.

Specialty Areas: Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Tax Law

Career Highlight:  Publication of my articles: “Remember Me…Estate Planning with Heart,” National Paralegal Reporter (Sept 2010); “My Gift to America’s First Responders,” Know: A Magazine for Paralegals (Feb 2009); and “A Brave New World of CLEs,” SUE Magazine: For Women in Litigation (May 2009).

Future Goals You’re Working Toward: I dream of writing a book, possibly a children’s book someday; studying, taking and hopefully passing the PACE exam this year; and maybe becoming an “outstanding paralegal” at my firm or in the Minnesota Paralegal Association (MPA). I was awarded the 2010 PACE Scholarship for MPA!

Paralegal Practice Tip: Organization is key. Work hard and always think of the “big picture” and stay one step ahead in all you do.

Favorite Internet Resource: Ha, lots of these!! Finding unclaimed property for decedents at http://www.missingmoney.com/; docketing, http://www.timeanddate.com/date/dateadd.html; my favorite pro bono activity, Wills for Heroes, http://www2.mnbar.org/willsforheroes/index.asp; and an excellent blog for estate planning and probate administration, Trials & Heirs (Love Love Love the BOOK), http://www.trialandheirs.com/

Favorite Legal Software: This is a toughie for me. My job in the probate area keeps me consumed with Microsoft Office software, including Word, Excel, and Outlook, and the tax software my firm uses is ProSystem fx® Suite, integrated tax and accounting software. My favorite is eCopy Paperworks, http://www.ecopy.com/. We go to the copy machine, scan and email/fax documents to our computers or directly to the receiver, a very nice feature.

Do you use social media resources, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or blogs, for career and/or case development?

My LinkedIn profile is for my profession. Facebook and Twitter are more for fun and social networking. I do have several blogs I follow: The Organization of Legal Professionals blog at  http://www.theolp.org/ and the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/.

Fun Fact:  I am very passionate and tend to obsess over “stars” – my office walls are covered with pictures of my family and all the bands I follow, but my favorite is my wall calendar of Robert Pattinson.

Favorite Book or Movie: Twilight series, the books and the movies. (Pssst…huge Robert Pattinson fan, hence my article published on estate planning from his movie, Remember Me.)

Cat or Dog Person: Not a big animal person.

Recipe Your Family Begs You to Cook:  Fortunately, my husband is the cook in the family, but my specialty is Taco Dip. Ingredients: Tostitos, 8 oz. cream cheese, 8 oz. sour cream, taco seasoning mix, lettuce, cheddar cheese, picante sauce, and optional tomatoes, olives, onions, or hamburger. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning mix for the base, and spread on a large platter. The next layer is picante sauce. Add the cheese and lettuce on top, as well as any other toppings, and dip away. Option: If using hamburger, only mix cream cheese and sour cream as the base. The next layer would be the hamburger with taco seasoning, and so on.

One Gadget You Can’t Live Without: My iPod.

Favorite Quote: “Live fully, seek serenity, laugh often, tread mindfully, savor simplicity, love passionately, think globally, exude creativity, treasure tranquility.” ~ Kimberly Wilson, Hip Tranquil Chick!

Paralegal/Legal Association Memberships: Minnesota Paralegal Association; NFPA; Current Treasurer of MPA; Interim Citations Editor and Co-Chair of the Probate and Tax Sectional.

Professional Links:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-m-johnson/10/181/3b6; http://www.gpmlaw.com/professionals/tina-m-johnson.aspx

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Many thanks to Tina for taking the time to share her profile – and her taco dip recipe. I guess instead of “dogs or cats,” I should have asked “Team Edward or Jacob,” although I think we know which side Tina supports. I also love that Tina’s employer includes her bio at its website.

If you are a working legal support staffer, I’d love to share your profile, http://www.practicalparalegalism.com/p/paralegal-profile-questionnaire.html. My goal is to emphasize the diversity of our profession. I think all of you are interesting and have information to share that is helpful to other legal professionals, whether you’ve worked for one year or thirty. As you know, I also welcome pictures of your four-leggeds to share with your profile.

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