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Paralegal profile: me and Vicki Voisin, the Paralegal Mentor

10 February 2012

Looking for a great paralegal resource? Then check out the indefatigable Vicki Voisin, otherwise known as the Paralegal Mentor.

I recently had the pleasure of getting to know Vicki as she profiled moi for her nationally popular Paralegal Mentor blog. Vicki is not only a terrific paralegal who toils tirelessly for all professionals, she really is a neat person as well. If you have not checked out her website or blog, I strongly encourage you to do so—it is a plethora of information and resources. And Vicki really does care about helping us become the best paralegals we can be!

Vicki Voisin, “The Paralegal Mentor,” delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals to create success and satisfaction by setting goals and determining the direction they will take their careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethical issues, and other areas of continuing education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes Paralegal Strategies, a weekly e-newsletter for paralegals, and co-hosts The Paralegal Voice, a monthly podcast produced by Legal Talk Network.  More information is available at where subscribers receive Vicki’s 151 Tips for Your Career Success for FREE.

Following is Vicki’s profile of yours truly:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Paralegal Profile: Sami Hartsfield, ACP

Sami Hartsfield, ACP is a freelance paralegal and writer from Houston.

1.    What prompted you to choose a paralegal career?   I took a legal secretary course when I decided to go back to school around 2004. I enjoyed it so much, and was really good at it, so I decided to attend paralegal school.
2. Where did you receive your paralegal education? I have an AAS degree in Paralegal Studies, ABA-approved Center for Advanced Legal Studies (4.0); UH Law Center’s Summer 2008 Prelaw Institute (4.0); BS Political Science, University of Houston Downtown, graduating summa cum laude
3. Do you have any professional certifications? Yes, I have NALA Advanced Paralegal Certifications: Trial Practice; Discovery; Contracts Management; Individual and Entity Medical Liability; and Social Security Disability Law; I am also WestlawNext Certified.
4. What professional associations do you belong to?  NALA; American Association of Notaries; EDEN — Electronic Data Extraction Network (electronic data forensics group).
5. How has your membership benefited you?   Networking; CLE; also I volunteered for board positions which I recommend for myriad reasons such as the aforementioned two activities, and also opportunities to work on public speaking and other desirable skills.
6. What has been the highlight of your career?  Being the first person in my family to earn a college degree and have a professional career—hopefully I will start a new trend! Also, interning with Texas’ 14th Court of Appeals under Chief Justice Adele Hedges in 2007 was a fascinating, eye-opening experience.
7. What do you see as hot trends in the paralegal industry?  I always keep my eye on new technology as the technology industry is so dynamic.
Many attorneys and law firms seem “old school,” that is to say slow to embrace these efficient devices, but I was fortunate enough to work at a medium-sized firm that was paperless and utilized the latest technology. There are so many time-saving and exciting technological devices out there, such as document management systems and trial presentation software, that I’m excited to see what comes out next to help us do our jobs faster and more efficiently, ultimately freeing our attorneys to work on tasks only an attorney may do.
8. Is there a quote that inspires you?  “The ultimate measure of a [person] is not where he stands in moment of comfort and convenience but where [she] stands at times of challenge and controversy.” –Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
9. What advice would you give yourself if you met you as a first-year paralegal? Try to find a mentor to emulate; listen and learn; write all you can, volunteer for as many assignments as you can at work or will be given to you; join your local paralegal association and go to meetings and/or volunteer; and hang out with the winners.
10. What is the one thing you wish you were better at? Math and statistics (thank you calculators and actuarial tables!)
11. What’s more important to you – comfort or style? Why not have both?
12. How do you deal with work-related stress? I listen to Mozart.
13. What is one thing about you that most people don’t know? I have a very discreet, well-hidden tattoo of my kids’ names somewhere on my body. 
Bonus Question: Are you a cat person or a dog person? Definitely “cat”

Want to know more about Vicki? Go here.

Legal Talk Network

Visit the Paralegal Mentor website at


Please see Vicki’s Paralegal Mentor Events & Appearances:

Put some of your life on auto-pilot…join the Paralegal Mentor Inner Circle…it’s free! Members will automatically receive each issue of Paralegal Strategies and be registered for each Mastermind call (you’ll receive the recording, too) AND there will be discounts and freebies for members throughout the year. Go here to get your name on the list.
Thanks Vicki, for taking the time to profile me on your blog, and keep up the great work as the Paralegal Mentor!
Sami K. Hartsfield, ACP is a consumer law paralegal and freelance writer based in Houston, Texas. She is a NALA Advanced Certified Paralegal, and has earned six specialty certifications since 2007: Discovery; Trial Practice; Contracts Management; Social Security Disability Law; and Entity & Individual Medical Liability. She is also WestlawNext certified. Sami has worked as a law firm Webmaster, law firm social media marketer, and a ghostwriter for personal injury law firms. She holds a degree in paralegal studies with a 4.0 GPA and a bachelor of science degree in political science, graduating summa cum laude. Sami interned with Texas’ 14th Court of Appeals under Chief Justice Adele Hedges, and completed the University of Houston Law Center’s Summer 2008 Prelaw Institute with a 4.0. You can find her on Facebook and e-mail her with questions, comments, or ideas at


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Copyright 2012 Sami K. Hartsfield – All Rights Reserved
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