Job Title:  Assistant Director to the Board of Paralegal Certification

EmployerNC State Bar, Raleigh, NC

Years of Paralegal Experience:  17 (Okay, that is starting to sound old, but so did my initial and now annual celebration of my 39th birthday recently!)

Education/Degrees:  BA from NC State University (1994); Paralegal Certificate from Meredith College (1999)

Specialty Areas:  Plaintiff Civil Litigation, and now five years of Paralegal Certification Administration

Career Highlight:  I feel like my entire career has been a highlight. I am very honored to have worked with esteemed supervising lawyers, in addition to being involved in the certification process of NC paralegals.

Future Goals You’re Working Toward:  Winning “Mother of the Year” 😉 I have two fabulous children that I affectionately call “The Rottens” because I have loved (not spoiled) them slam-rotten. My main priorities in life are: 1) Parent, 2) Spouse, 3) Me. I am fiercely protective of my family and friends, and am fortunate to have a worthwhile career that I enjoy and that allows me the flexibility to have time to spend with the people I love the most.

Paralegal Practice Tip:  There are so many that I could share! 1) Network through paralegal associations or mentors within your area of practice. 2) Continue to educate yourself. 3) Always put a smile on your face when speaking on the telephone. Your caller can hear the smile, or the grimace.

Favorite Internet Resource:  Rules of the North Carolina State Bar, http://www.ncbar.gov/menu/rules.asp

Favorite Legal Software:  The software at the State Bar is customized, so I haven’t used legal software that can be purchased off the shelf in a while. I am using Spring Pad, http://www.springpadit.com/, instead of Evernote, and love it for professional and personal uses. 

Do you use social media resources, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or blogs, for career and/or case development? Yes. I have professional and personal profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I also utilize Google Reader for the blogs I follow.

Fun Fact: I can yodel. Well, I should clarify…I can sing “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music which features yodeling.

Favorite Book or Movie:  Since I have young children, I love animated films and musicals, and am happy to use “The Rottens” as an excuse to watch them. I am also re-reading the Harry Potter series with my son who has recently become interested in the JK Rowling books. We are currently on Year 3.

Cat or Dog Person:  I am really a people person! Our 17-month old yellow lab, named Libby, is our family pet. She is beautiful and very fun.

Recipe Your Family Begs You to Cook: My husband is a professional chef, so my family typically begs for his cooking. I do make a delicious Red Velvet Cake that was my Mama’s recipe.

One Gadget You Can’t Live Without:  My iPhone

Favorite Quote:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

Paralegal/Legal Association Memberships:  Because of my unique position with the NC State Bar, I feel I should belong to all the state-wide associations, or none of them, so that I don’t show favoritism. Due to budgetary restrictions, I chose not to belong to any, which I sorely miss.

Professional Links:  NC Certified Paralegal, http://www.nccertifiedparalegal.gov/; NC Certified Paralegal Facebook page, http://tinyurl.com/4fsvdpw; NC Certified Paralegal LinkedIn page, http://tinyurl.com/4f9wuyp

When I saw a completed profile from Tara in my inbox, I was darned excited, because Tara is pretty much a paralegal rock star in NC. Once when I was coordinating a local event for the NC Certified Paralegal program, an attendee came up to me, and with that hushed voice and awestruck look appropriate for a teen girl asking for The Beeb’s autograph, asked, “Are you TARA WILDER?” I almost said yes just to make her day! (But I can’t yodel a lick. I would have been so busted if I’d tried to impersonate her.)

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