New Years Gratitude for My Recent Years as an Educator
In this New Year, I am grateful for my recent years as an educator. These experiences continue to transform my personal injury civil litigation and mediation practices.
In 2012, I applied to the adjunct pool at Santa Rosa Junior College. Luckily, the Paralegal Studies Department invited me to join their team and I have been happily teaching a variety of courses within this program. In the Spring of 2013, I taught my first semester of Civil Procedure: Discovery and have continued teaching this course every Spring Semester. In the Spring of 2017, I taught Legal Professions in addition to my Discovery class and in the Spring of 2018, I began teaching Legal Research.”
Although it was my intention to teach only one course, I have truly valued the challenges and rewards of teaching the courses slated earlier in the paralegal studies program for this enables me to develop deeper relationships with my students which creates trust and productive learning environments.
I have enjoyed watching my students grow intellectually through the program as they acquire the skills fundamental to becoming paralegals. I keep in touch with my former students and enjoy seeing them at seminars and interacting with them within the legal community. Several of my students have continued beyond the program to earn their bachelor and some their law degrees. A student from my first group of paralegals recently passed the California State Bar Exam (which has a ridiculously low pass rate) and is a local practicing attorney!
The intellectual challenge of breaking down information so that it is readily understood by the novice has sharpened my communication skills and sensitized me to a variety of learning styles. Information empowers as it breaks down barriers to create not only learning opportunities but also environments which eliminate fear and promote conflict resolution.
Accidents caused by negligence injure physically, spiritually and emotionally because they destroy one’s sense of safety causing fear: fear of not only repeating the circumstances giving rise to the injuries, but also fear of the unknown. Many of my clients face the fear caused by being rendered powerless by accidents caused by the negligence of others, often in environments where they possess a very reasonable expectation of safety. When we open the driver’s door to get behind the wheel of our vehicles, we expect that we will safely complete our journeys. Car accident victims’ expectations of safety shatter upon impact. Many fear driving or being driven in a vehicle, communicating with their doctors, and the insurance professionals handling their claims.
My office provides the antidote to this fear by providing a safe, secure and comforting learning environment. Beginning with the initial consultation, I educate and empower my clients by explaining the process step by step so that they can focus on their healing while we work together as a team to ensure the best possible outcome.
Since embarking on my journey as an educator, I have been invited to serve as a presenter for 2 Discovery Workshops for the Redwood Empire Association of Paralegals and have recently been invited to serve as a panelist for the 2019 Civil Trial Workshop sponsored by the Sonoma County Bar Association which will take place on March 22, 2019. For more details regarding this upcoming seminar, please click on this link.
As I complete my 30th year as a practicing attorney, I remain humble to the enormity of my obligations to my clients, students and community as I continue to grow as an educator, and advocate in our community. I look forward to assisting many more students, clients and colleagues in the years ahead and am thankful for the blessings of my profession.