Paralegal Profile: Rachelle Johnson

Job Title: Legal Assistant

Employer: Bryce Law Firm, PLLC, Tulsa, OK

Years of Paralegal Experience: 8

Education/Degrees: Currently attending University of Phoenix, expected graduation 2012, B.A. in business management. Took LSAT in December 2010, intend to attend University of Tulsa Law School, beginning 2013

Specialty Areas: Elder and Family Law

Career Highlight:  Assisting the attorneys at the Bryce Law Firm with guardianship cases involving eating disorder patients. The wards involved in the cases were greatly helped by the guardianships. Also, assisting attorneys in ensuring that the ward’s voice was heard in guardianship hearings and medical decisions made on the ward’s behalf. I always enjoy working on a case that involves benefiting someone.

Paralegal Practice Tips: 1) Become knowledgeable in your practice area; 2) if you don’t know the answer, know where to go looking for it (and then find the answer quickly); 3) always be willing to broaden your specialty areas; 4) NEVER stop learning; and 5) if you get the chance to go to court and watch your attorney in action – GO! – it will help you learn how to assist your attorney in preparation for the next court appearance!

Favorite Internet Resources:   
Oklahoma State Court Network (Criminal, Civil & Domestic Court Records – Oklahoma Statutes – Case Look-up), http://www.oscn.net/;
On Demand Court Records (any Oklahoma county that is not included in OSCN is included at ODCR), http://www.odcr.com/ 
Whitepages.com (trying to locate a lost heir? Google and Whitepages are my first stops), http://www.whitepages.com/
Social Security Death Index (great for locating lost heirs that may have passed away, can give you information regarding birthplace and last known residence), http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/

Do you use social media resources, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or blogs, for carer and/or case development? I use Facebook for my personal life, but have started a LinkedIn page for my professional life. It’s a work in process.

Fun Facts: I was a roller girl! It was an absolute BLAST! And something most people are completely shocked to learn I actually did. I am a full time single mom, full time student, and full time legal assistant. Funniest question people ask me: “What are your hobbies?” HA – like I have time! 

One Gadget You Can’t Live Without: Android phone – the GPS navigator is a LIFESAVER! 

Favorite Quote: “Livin’ life, feelin’ free – that’s the way it’s supposed to be.” (Yep, Blacked Eyed Peas song lyric, but it’s the first quote that popped into my head.)

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You guys know I have a special place in my heart for lawyers who were formerly paralegals; I bet Rachelle will make a wonderful lawyer. Many thanks to her for taking the time out of her crazy busy schedule to complete this questionnaire. If you are a legal support staffer, I’d love to feature you. All you have to do is copy and paste the questions at the Paralegal Profile Questionnaire tab (top of this blog) into an email, and then email your answers with a head shot (we like to see your smiling faces) to lynne.devenny@gmail.com.

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