I have a close friend, Diane, who has an expression that I really like. She will refer to someone as “a good human“. I have since adopted this expression. Think about it — “a good human” — doesn't that sum it up so well? I consider it a huge compliment, wouldn't you? I would like to introduce you to two “good humans” I have come to know.
At the end of August I noticed a link to an article in one of the paralegal LinkedIn groups that I had joined. The article was written by Jamie Collins, a paralegal at a firm in Indiana, and it was entitled “Top Ten Pointers for New Paralegals: Climbing the Paralegal Ladder“. As I read Jamie's words, several thoughts came to me. The first was that Jamie has a very good work ethic, something that I always appreciate in others. The second was that she was offering good solid advice and I agreed with all of her points. The other thought I had was that Jamie really wants to mentor other paralegals.
I contacted Jamie so that I could let her know what a great job she did with the article. I also asked Jamie if I could re-print her article in the Women in eDiscovery blog because I thought it would empower the membership. After sending a few e-mails back and forth with Jamie, I learned about her new endeavor that was only a few weeks old. Jamie started a blog to “educate, motivate and inspire” paralegals and she named it “The Paralegal Society“. I then decided that instead of reprinting her article on the WiE blog, I would do a WiE Blog Interview of Jamie and include a link to the article I enjoyed so much.
I began a new friendship with Jamie and on a daily basis since then I have been impressed with her energy, her thoroughness, her kindness towards others, her sense of humor and her generosity. A few weeks later, Jamie posted an article on her blog about why she started The Paralegal Society. In that article entitled “The Paralegal Society: The Real Story“, she described how she was sitting in church one Sunday listening to a sermon about people living up to their “full potential”. As she explained, “I heard those words and thought to myself: “Well, I’m doing a lot with my life. I have a great career, a great family and am doing pretty well, but living up to my full potential? Probably not.” When I actually stopped to think about it – I knew I could do more. It was in that very moment that my life changed.”
Isn't that a cool back story? Jamie knew that she could do more and she decided to give back to the paralegal community. She has gathered together a team of mentors and between the TPS blog and a very active LinkedIn group of the same name, the TPS mentors are contributing articles, sharing their experiences and providing overall encouragement for all paralegals with a special focus on those interested in joining the paralegal community. I am very proud of Jamie and I consider her to be “a good human“.
Earlier this week I noticed a comment in my LinkedIn news feed that said “I'm excited to really start helping people“. A connection of mine was posting the status update for one of his connections. I looked at the profile of Bowe Kurowski and I learned that Bowe has many years of litigation support experience and just recently started a new job as a recruiter. I then added a comment to his status update stating “You will probably do an excellent job of placing litigation support folks having done the job yourself. You will “get it”.”
Bowe sent me an e-mail via LinkedIn and told me that he had visited my Guru website that same day and that he had just started “doing the same thing“. I wasn't quite sure what he meant until I saw his new website. Bowe has launched a new website this week called Litigation Support Pro (LS Pro) and interestingly enough, as he states on his About page, his intentions are to “help those who want to break in, and who want to get ahead in the Litigation Support profession.” Sound familiar?
Bowe has been working in the litigation support field almost as long as I have and he has come to the same conclusion — since there is no easy way to start a career in litigation support, he says his site is “dedicated to answer your questions about the industry, whether it's e-Discovery knowledge, learning what Litigation Support actually is, what programs we use, different fields within Litigation Support, sales tactics, interviewing tricks, or general observations.”
Bowe and I spoke via phone yesterday and I have to say it was an amazing conversation. We each shared our intentions for our individual websites and although we have slightly different ideas, our goal is the same. We shared our viewpoints of the litigation support industry and how much we have enjoyed working in this field. We also shared our desires to help others, to mentor others, and the feeling that we each get from doing so. We both share the joy in watching others realize their potential. I was moved by Bowe in that phone conversation and I asked him if he would be interested in collaborating on some projects. He said “Yes, of course, I'm all about collaboration“. I could tell that he is a giver and that he is sincere about helping people. I found him to be very genuine. I also found out today that he gives back in other ways outside of the litigation support industry as well.
Bowe gave a presentation last week at the Los Angeles Paralegal Association conference. His presentation is entitled “The Yellow Brick Road to Litigation Support“. I think the content in his presentation is excellent. He shares a story from earlier in his career where an attorney told him “there is no yellow brick road” referring to a career in litigation support. On Bowe's website and in his presentation, he compares the characters in the Wizard of Oz movie to character traits needed for a litigation support professional. I think he is right on topic and as I said before “he gets it”.
I consider Bowe to be “a good human“. I asked Bowe to participate in a Guru Case Study and he agreed, so look for that to be posted on this site soon. Update: Here is Bowe's Case Study.
I hope that you enjoyed hearing about my two new friends, fellow mentors and good humans. What do 2 litigation support professionals and 1 paralegal have in common? All 3 of us have made a decision to give back and to help others in their career path. Since all 3 of us launched our websites within a few months of each other, it will be exciting to see what we can accomplish over the next year. I hope that you stay in touch and become a part of the experience.