Current Employer

DBL Law, PSC

Where is your current employer located?

City/State: Louisville, Kentucky

Position Title:

Defense Litigation Paralegal/Paralegal Manager

Major Duties:

As a litigation paralegal, I assist one partner and several associates in representing numerous clients in healthcare law disputes. My day consists of drafting various pleadings, conducting research, drafting discovery (questions and responses), preparing document production, docketing, electronic filing, and communicating with clients, medical providers, and experts. I also perform various office manager duties which include client invoicing, coordinating office events, and overseeing office support staff.

Educational Background:

  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies from Sullivan University
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University
  • Master of Science in Justice Administration from the University of the Cumberlands

What benefits did you experience after certification?

  • Increased work responsibility
  • Position advancement
  • Teaching/mentoring opportunities

How long have you worked as a paralegal?

25 years

What’s one thing you’d like to see NALA do/accomplish for its membership?

I think it would be great to have a virtual new members town hall, so that new members can get to know one another as well as the members of the Board of Directors. I think this would be a wonderful opportunity for paralegals to network and get to know paralegals from different states and specialties.

Was being a paralegal your first career or did you transition from another field?

Being a paralegal was my first choice.

How did you choose the paralegal field?

I had never heard of the paralegal field until my senior year in high school. On career day, a paralegal came to my classroom and described all the interesting things she got to do each day as a litigation paralegal. She talked about how she attended trials with her attorney, and she provided some insight as to some high-profile cases she had been a part of. I thought her job sounded fascinating! Prior to that, I had considered being an attorney, but being a paralegal would allow me to work behind the scenes, which fit my personality at the time perfectly.

What did you never think you would be doing that you are doing now?

I have always been an extremely introverted person who never wanted to be the center of attention, so I never thought I would ever host a webinar, be president of my local paralegal organization, or speak in front of a large crowd. I, however, in an effort to become less introverted, have spent a lot of years forcing myself to break out of my comfy introverted shell. What’s amazing is that I have discovered that I love teaching webinars. I love representing my local paralegal organization as its president and I love speaking in front of others. I still get anxious, but I keep pushing myself out there to do more. My goal is to one day be a presenter at NALA conference.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?

Professionally, I feel that my biggest accomplishment was obtaining my master’s degree and graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. I am the first person in my family to ever attend college, so to finish a graduate degree with straight A’s while working and raising a family is a great accomplishment.

What has surprised you most about working in the legal field?

I think what has surprised me the most is how much I enjoy what I do. With every year that goes by, I find myself getting more excited about my career and I enjoy learning ways to do my job better.

What do you find most challenging about the paralegal field?

What I find the most challenging about the paralegal field is the importance of proving yourself and your skills to advance within the profession. Law firms are looking for the best of the best, so it is imperative that you prove you can meet those needs while continuously improving on those skills.

What are some volunteer organizations you have worked with?

I am the President of the Louisville Association of Paralegals and the Vice President of the Kentucky Paralegal Association. Outside of the paralegal profession, I have had the pleasure of volunteering with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Cancer for Kids, and Maryhurst, which is a residential facility for abused and neglected children in my local area.

Share something about yourself that you’re working on improving, and how you think (XYZ) will be better/more productive/run more smoothly once you’ve accomplished your goal.

I am working on improving my leadership skills through the NALA Lead program, and I think that once it is complete, I will feel more confident in my leadership abilities. This will be a huge help in my advancement into a future paralegal manager position with my office.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I think people would be surprised to know that I used to own a home bakery business, and I have a banana pudding cake recipe that is highly sought-after!

What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a paralegal?

I would tell them to go for it! Paralegals are crucial to every law firm, and you can have an extremely successful career. Along the way, take advantage of those certifications and learning opportunities, and join your paralegal associations!

What do you think will change in the paralegal field over the next five years?

I think that over the next five years we will continue to see advancements in the paralegal field. I think that more states will institute policies allowing paralegals to represent clients in various ways as Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals (LLPs). This would be an amazing opportunity for paralegals as well as an amazing benefit for individuals who cannot afford the services of a licensed attorney.

How would your co-workers describe you?

I think my co-workers would describe me as funny, helpful, organized, and most of all, a team player. I will definitely go above and beyond for my team because they are amazing.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

When I am not working, I like to spend as much time as possible with my family. My husband and I are high school sweethearts, so we have been together for a long time. We are both very busy with our careers, so it is nice to get those moments together when we can go out to dinner or just have a quiet night at home. My sons are adults now but still living at home and going to college. Between school and work, I don’t see them much, but I absolutely love spending time with them, even if it’s just sharing a pizza and watching TV.

Is there anything else you want NALA membership to know about you?

I enjoy collaborating with other paralegals and associations. Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin.

The post NALA Member Spotlight: Deana Lively, ACP, CKP, MJA appeared first on DBL Law.