A Paralegal’s Perspective📜

Paralegal’s Perspective is here again!

📜This month’s interviewee: Gina Axsom

  1. How did you discover the Paralegal profession?  🧸

I discovered the Paralegal profession quite by accident in August 1987 after applying for and being hired as a legal secretary in the litigation department at Sinsheimer, Schiebelhut & Baggett.  I had no experience in the legal field, but they said they would teach me.  I worked as a secretary for two of the attorneys (one of whom I still work with today!) and learned about the paralegal profession from paralegals there.  In the fall of 1989, the firm took on a big case and asked me to be the main paralegal on the case.  That fall I also started taking classes toward my paralegal certificate at Cal Poly.  I was very fortunate to have great teachers and mentors who were happy to answer my many questions, and to be part of a firm that really valued paralegals and knew how to use them as part of a team.

  • What is something you wish you knew before joining the legal profession? 🧸

Not to take anything personally when the attorney is upset because 99% of the time it’s due to their frustration with opposing counsel or some aspect of the case, not with the person they’re venting to.  Things went much more smoothly once I learned this. 

  • How do you think the new advancements of AI will affect the legal industry? 🧸

I think AI will have a big affect on the legal industry, especially legal research and the document review and production aspects of discovery, but attorneys and paralegals still will be very necessary.  I think AI will be helpful for initial research and finding certain cases, but attorneys and paralegals need to use that information as a starting place and do additional research, not just rely on what AI provides.  AI will provide (and probably already is at large firms) a lot of help with review and production of large quantities of documents, but, again, attorneys and paralegals will have to set the parameters and verify that what’s done by AI is correct. 

  • What is the most interesting type of law to you, and why? 🧸

I’ve really enjoyed civil litigation because I’ve gotten to work on a large variety of cases involving different legal issues, primarily in the areas of employment, real estate, business, and probate. 

Thank you so much for your answers, Gina!

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