Carie Hall Talks About Her Passion for Law and her Journey from Legal Assistant to Associate
03.13.14 | Permalink
You’ve been with RKC for a long time. What inspired you to go back to school to become an attorney?
It’s really something I had always wanted to do. I was drawn to the legal profession at an early age. In high school, I enjoyed watching trials and participated in the Law Explorers program run by a local judge. We would meet with the judge once a month and she would mentor us, teach us about the legal system and introduce us to attorneys and other judges. After high school, I began working at RKC and continued working here in a variety of roles while I earned my associate’s degree in paralegal studies. I have had the opportunity to watch many of the firm’s lawyers try cases. Although I have always enjoyed the teamwork in preparing for trial, it was really watching the lawyers in the courtroom that inspired me to go back to school so I could be on the other side of the bar.
How has the transition been from paralegal to attorney? Did your experience give you an advantage in law school?
While I went to law school, I continued to work full time as a legal secretary. After participating in the summer associate program at RKC, my plan was to continue working as a legal secretary during my final year of law school. Instead, I was offered a position as a law clerk during my final year of law school. While it made for an insanely busy year, it ultimately made my transition to an associate much smoother. By the time I took the bar exam, I already had a year of experience during which I observed countless hearings, depositions and mediation conferences.
Because of my paralegal experience, I had a great deal of practical knowledge and really understood what the professors were discussing. I had context for much of what we were learning that many students don’t have. What I didn’t expect was to discover other types of law that would be of interest to me. I went in pretty certain of what classes I would be excited about, but once I was exposed to other areas, I discovered new interests as well.
Tell us about the work you are doing now and what you enjoy about it:
A good measure of my work falls within my casualty practice and involves many different areas of law including premises liability, product liability and medical negligence. Because of this variety, I am always learning something new and this keeps me challenged. My days are filled with strategizing and planning about how I can help my clients and resolve issues for them. While often my clients are large organizations, it is the individuals I work with at those organizations who make my work so enjoyable. I like working as a team with them to solve problems whether litigation-related or not. One of the things I really appreciate about working at RKC is that we are client-focused. Whatever the need, we are available to brainstorm and answer questions at any time.
Looking back at the last couple of years, it’s exciting to finally be doing what I’ve always wanted. I’m enjoying the work and will continue to sharpen my skills and do the best I can to serve our clients.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
Spending time with my family is most important to me. We spend a lot of time attending performing arts events including the Broadway series and opera. My daughter has been involved in performing arts in the community, so I spend a lot of time attending her performances as well.
I also love to travel. I was not able to travel while I was in law school, but I hope to make up for lost time. After I took the bar exam, my daughter and I traveled to Italy to celebrate. We spent a week in Florence walking through the markets, eating in cafes and exploring the beautiful city with gelato in hand. My favorite experience was going to a winery where we ate lunch overlooking a medieval city. It was wonderful to get away from everything and take in a completely different culture and atmosphere. My daughter’s youth choir is touring in Ireland this spring so we will have another opportunity to immerse ourselves in a different culture. I work hard but it’s important to take time off to recharge so that when you are working, you are focused and ready for what comes your way.â€‹
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