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Interview with Laurie Mapp, Paralegal in Alberta, Canada

We recently had the opportunity to interview Alberta paralegal, Laurie Mapp, who has worked in the field for approximately 16 years. Laurie attended Career College, earning a paralegal diploma. She then worked in private practice, and also for the government. Since 2008, she has provided virtual legal assistance through her business, Halo Secretarial Services.

laurie-mappCan you tell us why you decided to become a paralegal?
I thought that law was an interesting area of study, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in school, so becoming a paralegal seemed to be a good compromise.

What do you enjoy most about working as a paralegal?
I love when I know what I’m doing is helping someone in need.

What did you learn in school that helped you the most in your career?
I think that rather than the actual facts I learned, school helped me prepare the most by forcing me to realize that learning was going to be an ongoing experience. It also taught me to focus, to be analytical, and to be prepared for a lot of possibilities!

Can you give us an example of an interesting case or project that you have worked on and your role in helping to achieve a positive outcome?
The most interesting cases to me are probably the family law ones – even when I play just a small part in helping someone see their children again after a messy situation resulted in them being denied access for months. There is just no better feeling in the world than helping families come together.

What advice would you give to paralegals that are new to the field?
Be open to anything. I spent a few years working in private practice, and then had the opportunity to work for the government. The area of tax law sounded boring to me and I was a little concerned. It turned out to be the most interesting job of my career though, well until I went into business for myself at least! Working for myself is a whole different kind of challenge, but it really is a wonderful option for some paralegals.

We thank Laurie for taking the time to discuss her varied experiences working as a paralegal. To connect with Laurie, you can also follow her on Google+.