March Paralegal of the Month

SPI is proud to announce Patti Clark as our Paralegal of the Month for March!

PotM_March17_Patti Clark

Patti R. Clark is a Paralegal with Arnall Golden Gregory in Atlanta, GA. In addition to that she is also a member of the Georgia Association of Paralegals as well as NALA.

Recently SPI’s own Dana Argroves spent some time with Patti. Her experience in the field and insights into how to handle the constant challenges of the Paralegal profession made for some great insights.

What got you interested in becoming a paralegal? 

Upon graduation from the University of Tennessee, I married and moved to Atlanta with my husband. My college degree was in Human Services – Adolescent Counseling, and I wanted to take my time finding the right placement in Atlanta. I took a job as a receptionist at a law firm in Atlanta in the interim. After a few months, they asked if I wanted to go back to school to become a paralegal. I found it intriguing, and I took them up on the offer. I went to work for the firm in the commercial real estate department upon graduation.

How long have you been in this field?

 31 years

What is your favorite part of being a paralegal?

A new challenge every day, and being an integral part of a team.

What tips do you have for time management?

For large commercial closings efficiency is important. Create the closing and execution checklists and keep them current from the beginning.

Organize your file on the front end, so as final documents and due diligence are circulated, you can file both electronic and hard copies immediately. This allows you easy access during the closing process and for preparation of binders post closing. 

What do you find is most challenging in your daily work flow when it comes to being a paralegal?

Prioritizing my workload and making sure that I meet all of my deadlines. Flexibility to shift tasks as closings evolve and calendar changes. Communication with your team is key to keeping the closing on track.

What tips would you offer up for anyone looking to become a paralegal?

Do your homework in your area of the country as to what is required to get a job as a paralegal. If paralegal courses are required, then make sure that you attend an ABA approved program. 

What do you do to relax after work?

My husband and I have a farm in the north Georgia mountains. We raise alpacas, llamas, angora goats and sheep. Lots of work but relaxing to sit back and enjoy the beauty of the mountains and these amazing animals.

What are your hobbies or favorite past times?

I obviously love to work with our animals and play with our six dogs. We have three Great Pyrenees, two West Highland Terriers and one black and tan coon dog named Biscuit. We also love to create felted products with the fiber from our animals. If I can stay awake at the end of the day, I love to read!

Do you have a favorite saying or motto?

Always do what you say you are going to do!