Professional Profile: Shon Hopwood, Legal Brief Writer & Co-Owner, Precedential Paralegal

Shon in front of the Supreme Court in March 2011

Job Title:  Consultant/Legal Brief Writer

Employer:  Cockle Law Brief Printing Company, Precedential Paralegal LLC (co-owner); Omaha, NE

Years of Paralegal Experience:  11

Education/Degrees:  Will receive B.S. Legal Studies from Bellevue University in June of this year, and then will be a J.D. candidate at the University of Washington School of Law

Specialty Areas:  Appellate Advocacy, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law (To understand my background, check out this New York Times article, www.nytimes/2010/02/09/us/09bar.html)

Career Highlight: Had the U.S. Supreme Court grant two petitions I had prepared

Future Professional Goal: Work as an appellate attorney


Paralegal Practice Tip:  Read, read, read. My success is largely a product of reading a vast amount of material about the law, from judicial opinions to blog articles.

Favorite Way to Deal with Work-Related Stress:  Reading books and taking long walks with my wife.

What Is Your Greatest Strength as a Legal Professional? The ability to communicate is my strength. I spend most of my days either talking on the phone with an attorney or one of the Supreme Court’s clerks, or writing an argument or blog article. In each instance, I communicate my point clearly and concisely. Personalization is always important whether you’re talking on the phone or writing a brief. Remember the details about people, and they will love you for it.

Favorite Internet Resource:  That is easy: the blog I created, The Cocklebur (www.thecocklebur.com). My second resource would be SCOTUS Blog, where I keep up on the Court (www.scotusblog.com).

Favorite Legal Software: After doing all my legal research for ten years from a prison library that contained no computers, I must say that I enjoy Westlaw and Lexis. They save me a tremendous amount of time.

Favorite Social Media Site:  I like Facebook because I can see what my friends are up to. I can see pictures of their children, and we can share a little bit of our lives with others.

Fun Fact: I spent ten years in federal prison, and now I am friends with one current prosecutor and one former prosecutor.

Last Book You Read:  Driven by Eternity, by John Bevere (This book made me realize what is important in this short life we have.)

Cat or Dog Person:  Neither. But if I had to choose, it would be a dog.

One Gadget You Can’t Live Without:  Blackberry

Favorite Quote: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13

Professional Links:  www.precedentialparalegal.com, www.thecocklebur.com, www.cocklelaw.com

Leave a Comment