Howard Lee: Legal Assistant at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen in Richmond, VA

					LEGAL STAFF PROFILE                                                                                    1. 800.973.1177

                            Howard Lee: Legal Assistant at Allen, Allen, Allen &
                            Allen in Richmond, VA
                            [By Judith Earley]
                            Legal assistant Howard C. Lee, III, said that when other legal professionals and clients interact with him or hear his (male) voice,
                            they assume he is in some type of leadership or management position; consequently, he normally receives instant respect. But he
                            doesn’t let that go to his head.

“Ultimately, everyone must earn their                  locating witnesses, and preparing trial               multimillion-dollar jury verdict is currently
respect,” said Lee, who lives in Chester,              exhibits. On the flipside, some of the biggest        capped at less than $2 million. [For] example,
Virginia, and works for Allen, Allen, Allen            challenges he faces concern the resolution            a jury may award an $8 million verdict for a
& Allen in Richmond, Virginia. Allen, Allen,           of Medicare liens and dealing with insurance          medical malpractice case, but the defendant
Allen & Allen is a tort law and medical                adjusters.                                            still only has to pay less than $2 million due to
malpractice firm with 23 lawyers.                                                                            a legislative cap,” said Lee.
                                                       According to Lee, some of the most important
Lee made the decision to become a paralegal            issues the law community faces today are              Over the course of his career as a paralegal,
while he was in the military. “In 990, while          tort reform, medical malpractice limits set           two of the changes he has seen take place in
on active duty at Langley Air Force Base, [in]         by the legislature, educating the average             the legal industry have been the proliferation
Hampton, Virginia, the U.S. Air Force was              citizen about the legal process, and quashing         of laypeople-news reporters, hosts, and
cutting back on mid-level managers, and this           negative preconceptions of the legal                  guests-who give legal advice on media
directly impacted my career field. A friend            community.                                            programs (which is an “unauthorized practice
told me about Hampton University’s paralegal                                                                 of law” violation) and the introduction of
program,” said Lee.                                    “The average citizen in Virginia does                 television cameras in the courtroom.
                                                       not realize that a medical malpractice
“I was always an analytical person with an                                                                   According to Lee, paralegal associations bring
interest in law,” he continued. “I already                Q. What do you do for fun?                         three primary positive factors to the table:
possessed sound administrative and computer               A. Playing basketball, bicycling, and              credibility, recognition, and opportunities for
skills; therefore, becoming a paralegal                   landscaping my yard.                               networking. “Also, paralegal associations
looked like a great new direction for a new                                                                  host Certified Legal Assistant/Certified
career. The paralegal career field looked                 Q. What CD was most recently in your CD            Paralegal (CLA or CP) study groups. This
very challenging; therefore, I started taking             player?                                            is huge for paralegals because paralegal
paralegal classes at Hampton University.”                 A. Way Up by Wayman Tisdale (jazz artist           certification and continuing legal education
                                                          and former NBA basketball player).
                                                                                                             will help bring us in line with other respected
After completing the program, he found                                                                       organizations like ABA, AMA, and the nursing
                                                          Q. What is the last magazine you read?
his current position by way of an ad in                                                                      profession,” said Lee.
                                                          A. Sports Illustrated.
the Richmond Times-Dispatch, his local
newspaper.                                                Q. What is your favorite TV show?                  Lee said that his military career as a U.S.
                                                          A. L.A. Law and any episode of Law and             Air Force administrative specialist helped
One of the things Lee enjoys most about his               Order.                                             to prepare him for his present career as a
job is the interaction with clients. He also              Q. Who is your role model?                         paralegal.
said he enjoys the entire legal/investigative             A. My father, Howard C. Lee, Jr. He was a
process (also known as “cradle to grave”) and             member of the U.S. Navy and grew up in             “As an administrative specialist, I worked
preparing for civil jury trials, which involves           the steel city of Pittsburgh, PA.                  for a two-star or major general; therefore, it
interrogatories, requests for admission,                                                                     required that I work [out] issues directly with

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LEGAL STAFF PROFILE                                                                         1. 800.973.1177

the general and his secretary, which is very     want to go directly into their chosen area       client [by sharing details about my sports-
similar to a judge and a clerk of court,” said   of law, but many times, this is not possible     related injuries and rehabilitative process].
Lee.                                             or very difficult without experience.            Ultimately, the jury awarded the client $
                                                 Often, general law practices will accept         million. After the case, the client told me
                                                 paralegals with little experience. General law   that sharing some of my sports injuries
                                                 practices can give you a wealth of [baseline]    helped him deal with the physical therapy
                                                 experience in one office, like criminal law,     process, and eventually, he wanted to get
                                                 tort law, domestic relations law, and real       back to working out at the gym.”
When asked what he would do differently          estate law. Also, become a member of a
if he had his career to do over again, Lee       paralegal association and take the Certified     “Also, since the paralegal field is
answered, “Absolutely nothing…every              Legal Assistant (CLA) exam. Continue to          predominantly female, I feel [male]
obstacle and hurdle I have encountered           take legal courses throughout your career.”      paralegals have great chances of securing
made me the civilian and military paralegal      Currently, Lee is finishing another degree       final interviews and, ultimately, job
I am today. Reflecting back, it seems like a     at the University of Richmond, School of         placement. Many HR departments are
set of dominoes that fell perfectly in place,”   Continuing Studies in Richmond, Virginia.        trying to get more diversity in the paralegal
said Lee.                                                                                         workforce,” added Lee. “I have worked for
                                                                                                  several male and female attorneys, and
He added that the most significant influence                                                      the bottom line has always been accuracy,
in his life has been his mother. “My mother,                                                      consistency, and work production.”
Alice L. Lee…was a factory worker in RCA in
Indianapolis, Indiana. My mother taught me       Lee said he believes that being a man in a       On The neT
that when you provide your goals with hard       traditionally female profession has been a
work and persistent quality, all goals are       positive experience and does not feel that       Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen
obtainable,” said Lee.                           there is any discrimination in the legal
                                                 profession towards male paralegals.
His advice for students preparing to become                                                       Hampton University
paralegals is as follows:                        “In my opinion, my gender has helped,” said
                                                 Lee. “For example, we had a male client
“Be eclectic, proactive, persistent, and work    with a major knee injury from a car accident.    University of Richmond
in a general law practice. Usually, paralegals   During the case, I was able to relate to the


Description: Howard Lee Is Legal Assistant At Allen Allen Allen &Amp; Allen Who Is A Firm With 23 Lawyers Offers Tort Law And Medical Malpractice. According To Lee, Paralegal Associations Give Three Primary Positive Factors Credibility, Recognition, And Opportunities For Networking.
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