Paralegal of the Month

SPI is proud to announce Ellen Tarkinson as our Paralegal of the Month for January!


Ellen Tarkinson is a Senior Corporate Paralegal with Holland & Knight in Boston, MA. Ellen has been with the firm for the past 10 years. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Union College in Schenectady NY, and Certificate of Legal studies from the Sage Colleges in Troy, NY.

Ellen resides in the Boston area with her husband and two beautiful, active and curious daughters.

SPI’s own Susanne Lottie had the pleasure of sitting down with Ellen over lunch and discussing what it means to her to be a paralegal, how she balances work and family life, 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?

After college, I was looking for a field that was fast paced and intellectually stimulating, my mother actually suggested Paralegal studies. I found a great program at The Sage colleges and earned my Certificate in Legal Studies. I started working on corporate filings when I was at The Stewart Law Firm in Wilmington, Delaware and decided that corporate law was exactly what I was looking for.

How long have you been in this field?

I’ve been a corporate Paralegal almost all of my professional career, 13 years.

What is your favorite part of being a paralegal?

Corporate law. It is intellectually stimulating and fast paced. I particularly enjoy its transactional nature. I find helping people, whether they are attorneys or clients, rewarding.

What tips do you have for Time management?

Always asking what the deadline is or the expected time frames of the attorney request helps me to prioritize and keep my time management in check.

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

Keeping up on the ever-changing laws in all of the areas that I work in since my daily work flow needs cover many states.

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

You have to have a desire to be mentally challenged daily, intellectually stimulated and enjoy multitasking in a fast-paced environment. If this interests you, get your foot in the door at a law firm and work hard and the experiences you will gain will allow you to work anywhere in this field.

What do you do to relax after work?

I love unwinding on my commute home. I’m fortunate that Boston offers great public transportation. I can decompress on my ride home doing what I love. Reading a good book.

What are your hobbies or favorite past times?

My husband and I have recently fulfilled a lifelong dream by purchasing a lake house! I love boating, kayaking, exploring nature, being a beach bum, and looking for wild life with my husband and daughters on weekends and any additional times we can get away.