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By: Jamie Collins

Two years ago, I worked at a small firm. I still do today. When I initially had the epiphany to create “The Paralegal Society” it was to shake off a strong sense of complacency I felt and do more with my life. But it was about so much more than that.

Through the process of stirring my own soul, realizing my potential, elevating my goals, and searching for something more for myself, I hoped (in the process) to help change the lives of others by providing a soft place to fall and fun place to visit. A place where legal minds could gather to interact and paralegals (new and experienced) could come to learn, find motivation, and most importantly, seek inspiration to do more in their profession and lives.

In the words of Samuel L. Jackson’s character on The Avengers, the goal was “To bring together a remarkable group of people to see if they could become something bigger.” Looking back at the past two years since our initial launch, I can affirm we’ve done exactly that. We did bring together a remarkable group of people: mentors, members, guest contributors, and readers. We are something bigger. In fact, something far bigger, brighter, and better than we could ever be alone.

This brings to mind one of the most memorable movie scenes of all time; the scene in Jerry Maguire when he’s leaving his old place of business in a rather spontaneous and impromptu fashion to step out on his own as an agent. He makes quite a stirring, memorable exit that is robust and passionate, almost to the point of crazy…and crazy funny. After collecting his items into a banker’s box, making a big scene, and stealing a fish on his swift exit out of cubicle nation, Jerry stops to ask those around him, “WHO’S WITH ME?” It’s a scene I’ll never forget. (The link is below). And what he meant in that moment wasn’t just, “Hey, who wants to come along?” or “Is anybody interested in a new job with me?” What he wanted to know was who was REALLY with him. Who could match his passion and energy? Who wanted to go out and do really big things right alongside him? Who was with him in the truest sense of the word?

Jerry Maguire Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7Iq6lOSoPM

I guess, perhaps on some level, that’s what I felt (in a far less dramatic, non-fish stealing, non-award winning type of a way) when I embarked upon the creation of The Paralegal Society. I wasn’t just looking for people to flock to what we were doing in droves for the sake of being present, any more than Jerry Maguire was expecting everyone to raise their hands and depart through those doors behind him. What I was in search of was those key people scattered all throughout the profession who were really “with” me. And I mean really with me – in mind, spirit, shared goals, dreams, and ambitions. I wanted to align with those people who had a twinkle in their eyes, a fire in their hearts, a burning desire in the depth of their being to want more, do more, and become more. Those individuals with enough energy to make it happen, both individually and collectively. Those were the people I wanted “with” me.

As our American readers take time out of their hectic work weeks to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I pause to pay gratitude to every person who has touched my life through this fun venture we now call “The Paralegal Society.” To every person who has read our posts, taken the time to share a comment, participated in one of our discussions on LinkedIn, engaged with me or our other mentors/members out of the public eye, or reached out to seek assistance, ask a question or share a personal situation from two miles, two hundred miles, or two thousand miles away – I am grateful to each of you. You have changed my life in ways I cannot even begin to articulate. Whether we were deciding whether to take a job, negotiating a starting salary or pay increase, chatting about the profession, sharing the commonalities between us, or simply a heartfelt laugh, I enjoyed every minute of it.

What I think we’ve all learned from our countless interactions and visits to the “paralegal playground” is that there is no longer a reason to go it alone. Not anymore.  Not today. Not tomorrow. In the words of a fellow blogger, Chance Scoggins, we’ve all learned to “Run with those who get it.” We are a dynamic group of passionate paralegals (and those aspiring to be) packed into one virtual room from all across the globe, who want to become the best the profession has to offer. The best way to do that is together. Right here, right now. Today, tomorrow, and every day after.

I want you to know that I’m WITH you.

To every paralegal (or aspiring paralegal) out there, what I want you to know is this: you are not alone. We are all with you – on the good days and the bad ones, too. We are here to offer advice, support, encouragement, employment tips, sanity-saving discussions, helpful articles, relatable rants, and maybe even one heck of a rally speech. Here at The Paralegal Society, we are WITH you. We stand alongside you with the same passion, zeal, energy, determination, vision, and fortitude as Jerry Maguire (minus the crazy factor) in that poignant movie scene. We are WITH you. Today, tomorrow, and every day after.

Thank you to every reader of our blog, each active member of our ever-growing LinkedIn group, members of the TPS inner circle, and our many friends scattered all across the globe. I no longer run the race of tapping my own potential alone. I run it with you. I run it with every paralegal who takes the time out of his/her busy schedule to speak at CLEs, write articles, educate paralegals, and extend a helpful hand or word of encouragement to a colleague in need. I run alongside every student who wants to enter the profession. I run alongside every person who has greatness within him that is yearning to make its way into the world. I run with every person on the legal planet who wants to be more than they are in this moment, here and now.

I run with you.
And I run because of you.

I want you to know that I’m WITH you.

So this week, as we carve the turkey and stuff ourselves at least one plate past full, out into the land of calorie comatose, just past the decadent desserts, I will take a moment to fondly reflect upon all this group has meant to me. All it will mean to me going forward. I will be eternally grateful for all that YOU have given me. For every person who has reached out to say that they’re WITH me. For every kind word of interaction that has inspired me. For every person out there who made me want to be better than I was. For every person who made me laugh aloud at my desk at a time when I needed it most. For running alongside me through good times and bad; when things go so right it’s like we’re dashing through a dream together or so wrong it’s like we’re running through a nightmare – we’ll continue to do it together.

Together, we can do so much more.  I want you to know I’m WITH you.

I look forward to continuing to “run with those who get it.” Today, tomorrow, and always. Thanks for all that you do to make the paralegal playground and my corner of the legal world so much brighter.

With Heartfelt Gratitude,
Jamie     

p.s.
Guard that fish tank closely, my friends.
I’m all in…