Q&A: Carolyn Timmons
Carolyn Timmons is a paralegal at Jones, Key, Melvin, & Patton, in Franklin, N.C., concentrating on litigation and estate work.
She recently served three years on the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division Council and currently serves as treasurer and on the nomination committee for the annual Outstanding Paralegal Award. She also is chairman of the scholarship committee for the Asheville Area Paralegal Association.
For the past five years, Timmons has served on the Curriculum Advisory Committee for the Paralegal Technology Associate Degree program at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, her alma mater.
Timmons has a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Georgia and taught high school English before joining Delta Air Lines as a flight attendant. She retired in 2002 after 29 years of service, during which she participated in lobbying efforts and community outreach programs.
CPN: How long have you been a paralegal?
CT: Six years
CPN: What drew you into the career?
CT: I have always been interested in the law and when I retired from Delta Air Lines, I decided to pursue that interest.
CPN: What paralegal organizations — national, state or local — are you member of and what positions do you hold in them?
CT: I am a member of the Asheville Area Paralegal Association and the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division.
CPN: When you talk with other paralegals, what are the main concerns or issues they face on a daily basis?
CT: The paralegals I speak with are concerned that those individuals currently engaged in our profession and those hoping to enter our profession exhibit the skills, knowledge, and professional and personal conduct that serve the perception of the paralegal professional well.
CPN: If you could name one thing that would most benefit the paralegal profession, what would it be?
CT: The requirement that all paralegals become certified.
CPN: If you could snap your fingers and create the perfect CLE, what would it be and why?
CT: As so many of us work in very diverse areas of law, I think the perfect CLE would be one that addresses the common areas we all share, including written and verbal communication, self-motivation and completion of tasks, and professional conduct, to name a few.
CPN: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
CT: An aircraft fighter pilot
CPN: Knowing what you know now, if you weren’t a paralegal, what else would you want to do?
CT: I would enjoy working as an advocate for children or the elderly in some capacity.
CPN: What do you wish you knew when you were getting started in the profession that you know now?
CT: I am a planner, so the hardest thing for me to learn was that in the work I do, the situation can change in an instant. Sometimes, being too far ahead of yourself might not serve you or the client well.
CPN: What is the best thing about your job?
CT: Working for and under the tutelage of R.S. Jones, Jr. He has been the best mentor anyone could ask for in learning the law and the practice of law.
CPN: And what part of your job could you do without?
CT: Not having come from an office environment in my previous career, the “office politics” are something I have difficulty with.
CPN: What one thing, either personally or professionally, are you most proud of?
CT: I am most proud of my marriage and my family.
CPN: Where would we find you on the weekends?
CT: Living in the western part of North Carolina, nature abounds. In the warmer weather, you might find me kayaking and in all weather doing some hiking. My husband and I also enjoy getting together with friends to cook and enjoy good wines.