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I spent most of my life growing up in Bordentown, New Jersey where I graduated from high school in 1997. I never thought about being a paralegal. In fact, I never knew what a paralegal did until I needed to retain an attorney for a legal matter. That attorney took an accordion file that I had created which contained all the documents I had collected up to that point. When she returned the file to me after her review, she asked me if I had ever thought about being a paralegal before. She told me to consider it because she thought that with a little training I would do well with it.
That conversation stuck in my head for a few years. At that time, I had two small kids and the thought of going back to school was a bit intimidating. However, after doing some research, I made the decision to do it, not just for me but also for my kids. It was not an easy process but in 2003, I enrolled in classes at Burlington County College. I was only able to attend part time due to having 2 little boys to contend with and I obtained my Paralegal Certification in 2008. In order to graduate I was required to take part in an internship of 135 hours. I performed my internship at a personal injury firm and it did not take me long to decide that was the area of law that I wanted to work in.
The majority of the time that people need to retain an attorney is when they are going through a bad situation in life. When someone is in an accident their life changes in that very instant. It is scary and confusing and there are a lot of questions that they need answered. They are looking for guidance throughout the entire process. Being a paralegal has allowed me to give that to them. I am able to take the time to explain things to them until I know that they are reassured and have an understanding of whatever steps need to be taken to get them through to recovery.