Michele Brooks
By Michele Flowers Brooks

When I saw that one of my virtual paralegal buddies, Michele Brooks, recently received her CP designation from NALA, I congratulated her, and then sent her a couple of DMs (direct messages) via Twitter, asking if she’d share some of the secrets to her success, which she graciously did. Believe me, she schooled me, and I will be using her tips in my own test preparation.

Here are four ways that Michele successfully prepared for the CP Exam:

1.  I concentrated on one section at a time: at least a month on each. I would read, then test, then go over the questions I missed.  I walked away for a day or two, then came back and took the test again to see how much I retained. If I had problems with the test, I would re-read the section.

2.  I had a very good friend that was willing to read the sections out loud and record them.  I then put the audio on my phone and would listen to it when I was driving, filing, exercising, etc.

3.  Quiet time! I have a house full of kids so when it came down to testing time, I made a point of getting away from home on the weekends so that I could study undisturbed. Even if I just went to the library, it helped.

4.  My employer signed up as a closed testing site so I saved the extra fees charged by testing sites and allowed me to be more flexible with my testing dates.  I was able to split out the testing – taking two sections per week and J&A last, by itself in week 3.  This allowed me to have a few days of dedicated studying for that specific section right before the test. I know that not everyone has the ability to split it up this way, but if you can, I highly recommend it!  (Signing up as a testing site is free!)

Michele graduated in 1996 with an AAS in Legal Assistant from Tarrant County College in Hurst, Texas.  She moved to Austin following graduation and, immediately joined the local association, Capital Area Paralegal Association (CAPA).  Her service to CAPA includes volunteering as the Programs Chair, Membership Chair, Web Team, and five years on the Board: two as Treasurer, one as President-Elect and two as President.

Michele is serving her second term as Director for District 4 of the Paralegal Division (PD), after becoming a member of the Paralegal Division in 2001.  Over the years, she has volunteered for the Paralegal Division in many capacities: on the social and speaker committees at TAPS (Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar, on the TAPS Planning Committee in 2005 and 2010, as Membership Sub-Chair for District 4, and as Co-Chair of the Membership Audit Committee.

For most of her paralegal career, she has worked in insurance defense, specializing in workers’ compensation at the DWC and in the trial courts.  She worked with solo attorney, Christopher Ameel, assisting him in representing political subdivisions, insurance carriers, third-party administrators, and self-insured in workers’ compensation and other employment related matters.  She now works as Senior Paralegal / Administrative Manager for the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool in its subrogation section of the Legal Department.

Got your CP, ACP, or other national paralegal association certification? Practical Paralegalism would love to share your study tips and secrets to success! Just email me a bullet list at lynne.devenny@gmail.com, and voila, you are a guest blogger!

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