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Laurie A. Robinson has had a successful career as a paralegal, with more than 25 years of experience specializing in the areas of litigation and personal injury. She was also recently appointed co-chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Paralegal Committee, now through the end of 2020.
Ms. Robinson earned her Associate degree in Business Administration and her Paralegal Studies certificate from Essex County College. Despite her extremely hectic professional schedule, she hasn’t forgotten her alma mater and finds the time to assist the Paralegal Studies Department in the College’s Division of Social Sciences.
“Essex County College has been a perfect match for me,” said Ms. Robinson. She is currently assisting Dr. Linda McDonald Carter, Director of the College’s Paralegal Studies Department, in maintaining the program’s approval status with the American Bar Association (ABA). Her role in this capacity includes developing systems for collecting and compiling data associated with Paralegal Studies students, alumni, faculty and the Essex County Legal Community.
She also finds time to serve as an assistant graduate editor, and contributing writer for the Essex County College Paralegal Newsletter.
Ms. Robinson first became part of the College family while handling official managerial work at a law office. “I then decided it was time to earn a degree,” she recalled, noting she first considered enrolling in the College’s Criminal Justice program and took several classes, “since I was working in a law firm.”
However, believing that business would serve her the best going forward, Ms. Robinson became a Business Administration major.
After earning her degree and working fulltime, a coincidence led her to the next stage in her life. “I went to Essex to check out a Paralegal class to see if it was right for me. I sat in the back of the room, looking as inconspicuous as possible,” she recalled.
It turned out that Professor Carter, who was teaching the class and is an attorney, had previously discussed the program with Ms. Robinson and invited her to visit. “Well, Professor Carter invited me come up to the front and speak to the class about my role in a law firm. At that point, I was pulled in” and began working on her certificate.
In her leadership role on the Paralegal Committee, works to fulfill the group’s mission. According to its mission, the Paralegal Committee encourages the positive development and advancement of the paralegal profession in New Jersey. The committee promotes opportunities to educate both attorneys and the public on the appropriate use of paralegals in a legal setting and facilitates and continuing legal education for paralegals.
Ms. Robinson currently works at the West Orange law firm of Bendit Weinstock, P.A. She previously served a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court District V-A Fee Arbitration Committee.
She says she will always be grateful to Essex County College. “Essex is our community and home; it’s always been there for us and me.”