Palak Patel, Associate at Jayaram Law, gives a firsthand account of our newest “homegrown” rising talent at the firm.
When Julia joined the firm a year and a half ago, she brought an enthusiastic attitude and a willingness to do whatever task is presented to her. While she started in an administrative role at the office, she did not hesitate to dive into substantive matters. Over time, Julia was integral to managing client files, docketing deadlines, organizing discovery, preparing for depositions, and so much more. Julia quickly differentiated herself by showing that she was eager to learn more than the mechanics of a task. Rather, she was quick to catch onto the goals of our client and our overall strategy. This has made Julia indispensable to the firm.
When Julia told me that she wanted to pursue a paralegal certificate, I was not surprised. She had already taken on so many paralegal duties at the firm and I knew she would excel in her program. Nonetheless, it was impressive to see Julia put 100% into work everyday and then go on to complete her rigorous coursework in the evenings. Julia is both an important member of the litigation department and an amazing friend. I can not wait to see the new ways she will be able to contribute to the firm and our clients as a paralegal.
After two years working in an administrative position at Jayaram Law, I wanted to expand my role and pursue a career as a paralegal. I felt most engaged and satisfied working on substantive matters with the associates. Specifically, I saw a role in the litigation department that I knew I could fill. I researched local certificate programs and approached the partners with my idea. Unsurprisingly, they fully supported me and were enthusiastic about my plan to continue my education and transition my career.
I began a 16-week, online program in April 2021. The program covered a range of topics including ethics, torts, contracts, and evidence. Once we demonstrated a sufficient understanding of these legal principles, as well as the legal process, we advanced to legal research, writing, and appellate procedure.
The program required we complete weekly writing assignments and exams. The assignments included prompts such identifying breaches of contract, preparing written discovery, and drafting an internal legal memorandum analyzing and identifying legal issues of our “client’s” case. The coursework gave me a new perspective of how our attorneys plan, prepare, and execute work on behalf Jayaram Law’s clients. I gained a deeper understanding of the individual components of the litigation process. To complete the course, each student had to research and draft an original Appellant Brief based on a prompt provided to us. In preparation for the legal research needed to draft the brief, we completed in bi-weekly Westlaw Legal Research exams. After 16-weeks of studying and preparation, I was able to efficiently identify issues of law, research on-point cases, and write an appellant brief entirely on my own.
I finished my program and received my certificate at the end of the summer. The partners and associates surprised me with a champagne toast to celebrate my accomplishment! I wouldn’t have considered the possibility of a new career path without the support and mentorship of Palak Patel. Since starting at Jayaram, she encouraged me to explore my options at the firm and took time out of her day to help train me in my new position. She is a generous mentor and incredible friend. I’m greatly excited to work as a full-time litigation paralegal at Jayaram Law and look forward to applying my new knowledge and skills to best support the attorneys.