Paralegal Gains Woman of Excellence Award

The 17th Annual Women of Excellence Awards, presented by the Lafayette (Louisiana)  Commission on the Needs of Women, include the Founder’s Award to Nancy Goodwin. According to this report:

Mrs. Goodwin is a paralegal with the law firm of Ziegler & Lane.

Prior to becoming a paralegal, Mrs. Goodwin was the Director of the Louisiana Coalition on Jails and Prisons and Coordinator of the Louisiana Committee to Abolish the Death Penalty. She has spent many years as a paralegal working on prison abuse litigation and death penalty defense. She has also been a long time advocate for disabled people who have been denied Social Security benefits.

Her proudest achievement is that she was able to help continue Bill Ziegler’s law firm as Ziegler & Lane after Mr. Ziegler’s death. She says the best advice she ever received was, ‘Don’t let other people govern your reactions.’ Her motto is; It’s what you do with what you’ve got that counts. Others call her a true hero.

This, of course, follows nicely upon my recent post on pro bono work, but I was also taken by Ms. Goodwin’s dedication to Mr. Ziegler and Ziegler & Lane. I suspect this is in a large part due to respect paid to her by them. One theory is that this exchange of respect is more likely to occur in small firms than large, and perhaps this case illustrates that point, although there is some evidence of it occurring in slightly larger firms. In any case, Ms. Goodwin is clearly able to establish a good relationship with her attorneys. I also note that Ms. Goodwin is listed, with her photo along with two attorneys on the firm’s “About” page, as a “Non-attorney representative.”

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