Star Paralegal Contest Winners!

Last month, I wrote about the World’s Best Paralegals and launched the Star Paralegal Contest in celebration. The contest ended last Wednesday and the entries were entertaining and very impressive.  Nevertheless, it’s good to know there are many supervising attorneys, managing partners and paralegals who took the time out of their busy day to nominate their colleagues.  A salient point however was the lack of any male nominees.  While I’m hoping our next contest will yield a more diverse representation of our readers (and the actual workforce), I did select one extra winner because of the volume of entries.  Now, without further ado (and in no particular order)…

SARAH D. COMPTON, NOMINATED BY NICI KERSEY OF SEYFARTH SHAW LLP

This was selected a winning entry because Sarah displays an endurance for tough projects and exudes positive energy with her colleagues. A good friend told me that great managers hire talent that will one day surpass them. From the descriptions Nici gave, Sarah fits well within the definition of a Star Paralegal. Please hang on this one Nici! Congratulations Sarah!

[Sarah] could not possibly be as excited as she looks when you assign work to her, but the excitement (genuine or enhanced for your benefit) makes it easy to assign work to her. If you’ve had to assign work to a grumbly grumbler, you know how nice it is to have a giant pile of tedious work be greeted like a pile of fluffy kittens (by someone who enjoys kittens and is not allergic to them).

Sarah will travel to exotic locations with you (like Texas) and stay in a hotel next to a cow pasture. And she will not laugh at you (too much) when you refuse to trust your GPS (because how could your client’s office really be in the same building as the local ICE branch?). She will sit in a construction trailer for 12+ hours a day and audit I-9s. And she’ll still be in a good mood at the end of the day …[!]

[Sarah] is a trusted colleague and a friend. Her professionalism is unsurpassed. And even though you know it’s your job to be a leader, you will find yourself emulating Sarah.

ANA M., NOMINATED BY MAGGIE M. OF JACKSON LEWIS, LLP

This was a winning entry because Ana embodies true leadership during a time of high stress, leaving no room for politics but displaying only a mastery of diligence and fortitude with clients and her colleagues. Congratulations Ana! I’m hoping your next Starbucks coffee tastes even sweeter!

We opened the Austin office [in a very short amount of time.] Ana has been an invaluable member of our team – mostly because of her exceptional can-do attitude. She has learned as much as possible about the various [software] programs and tools and is instrumental in making sure that our clients have information at their fingertips. She has also become a master report running …. She is always diligent and is the consummate professional. We are very lucky to have her ambition, her skill, and her inquisitive spirit working with us and for our clients. It has been a very exciting first few months, and I believe that Ana has fueled most of her positive attitude and long work days with Starbucks coffee, so this would be a very nice treat for our superstar!

She does not bring office politics into our cases. I know I can rely on her to be a neutral case manager.

LINDSEY LOVGREN, NOMINATED BY KIRBY JOSEPH OF JOSEPH LAW FIRM P.C.

This was a winning entry because Lindsey possesses many traits of a Star Paralegal and is on a constant quest to improve her skills. According to Kirby, it’s very clear just how pivotal her leadership role is at the firm. Congratulations Lindsey!

… Lindsey was promoted to [Managing Paralegal] within the firm because of the following characteristics: Lindsey is amazingly organized and efficient. She is very friendly with staff and clients always offering help to others while at the same time she is focused on her work and getting it completed in the most complete and diligent manner. She is not wasteful with her time or the time of others. Lindsey understands the value of our clients and is committed to providing clients with superior customer service. She has a very professional demeanor that our clients and staff respect and appreciate. Lindsey is always seeking out new learning opportunities. She has become our [software] guru, has attended [software] trainings, and now trains others on the program. She is not satisfied with status quo. If she feels confident in her abilities on a particular type of case she will ask to be given different types of cases so that she can expand her knowledge. Finally, Lindsey is always willing to share her knowledge with others. She is in charge of organizing training sessions and meetings for the paralegals and communicates the needs of the support staff to management so that their needs can be promptly met. Lindsey is amazing and every attorney in our office loves working with her! We are lucky to have her as a leader on our staff. …

JULIE P., NOMINATED BY ZELDA H.

This was a winning entry because Julie is not only a hard worker, but efficient, responsive and keeps all stakeholders in the loop. Most importantly, she’s pleasant to be around. Indeed, Julie rises to the level of a “rock star paralegal!” Congratulations Julie!

Julie is a rock star paralegal. Her number one priority is taking care of clients. She returns calls and e-mails within 24 hours. She answers each client’s questions with grace, humility, and the right amount of wit. Our clients feel that Julie takes care of them, shares their concerns about their cases, and has informed the attorney of their needs.

Julie is wise and shares her knowledge with others in the office. She is also fun to be around, which definitely helps in stressful cases.

She is diligent, her forms are accurately and thoroughly completed, and she highlights any remaining issues to remind the attorney about them. I have always felt confident reviewing a case that Julie has helped me prepare, as I know that the client has the best chances for success when she is on their team.

An additional thank you goes out to everybody who entered the contest. There are many ways of recognizing top performing individuals at your organization with the only cost being time. Stay tuned for more ways tips on how to create and maintain a productive and efficient immigration practice.