SPI is proud to announce Lillian McCarthy as our Paralegal of the Month for April!
Lillian McCarthy is a Corporate Paralegal with Troutman Sanders LLP in New York, NY.
Lillian has been with the firm for the past 13 years. She holds a BS in Biology from St. Francis College, in Brooklyn Heights NY.
She resides in New Jersey and we had the pleasure of sitting down with Lillian over lunch and discussing what it means to her to be a paralegal, how she balances work and her personal obligations, all the while making time for herself as well.
SPI is honored to be able to showcase such a strong, intelligent woman as our paralegal of the month.
What got you interested in becoming a paralegal?
I was in college originally studying the field of Pre-med when I had taken a job as a typist in a law firm, a law firm where one of my good friends happened to be an attorney. The current paralegal was very seasoned and on the edge of retirement. This paralegal took a liking to me right off the bat, she took me under her wing, and taught me everything she knew. I was hooked I fell in love with the work, and the role, and eventually took over when the older seasoned paralegal retired. I have never looked back!
How long have you been in this field?
I have been a corporate Paralegal all of my professional career, 30 years.
What is your favorite part of being a paralegal?
Overseeing myself and my work. I like doing my work on my own, knowing what exactly needs to be done. The work itself is what I really love, working in corporate law, and title work is like a giant puzzle that I get to put together, and work on, it is very interesting
What tips do you have for time management?
You have to always prioritize. Figure out what needs to be completed first, what is most important. Then figure out what you can do in your downtime while waiting for results, or items you need for the other tasks at hand.
Multitasking effectively is very important, you need to be able to quickly switch hats at a moment’s notice. Also know your work, and know what you are doing.
What do you find is most challenging in your daily work flow when it comes to being a paralegal?
Most challenging in my daily work flow would be the invariable interruption asking about a file that closed either 2 months ago or 2 years ago, for which I should immediately have the answer. Although my memory is quite sharp, when I am in the middle of a file and concentrating on what needs to be done to either resolve an issue or prepare it for closing, it does take a few minutes to switch over to a completely different matter.
The attorney and/or the client may not quite understand that so you have to be able to respond quickly and follow up with a more detailed response.
What tips would you offer up for anyone looking to become a paralegal?
Be realistic, there is lots of training. Learn everything you can, across the board, soak everything up no matter what field. By doing this you make yourself indispensable and valuable. Be flexible, put yourself in situations where you will gain knowledge, and have opportunities.
What do you do to relax after work?
I really enjoy getting outside, taking a nice long walk, and listening to my favorite music to unwind.
What are your hobbies or favorite past times?
I really enjoy exercising, I try to make it to the gym every day, for some me time, I also love to read, there is nothing more enjoyable than a really good book.
Do you have a favorite saying or motto?
Live each day like it is your last. Try to grab something out of everyday that’s wonderful!