Paralegal, Children’s Law Center of Minnesota
When Christy Johnson became a paralegal at Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, she had one significant task ahead of her: define the job.
“Before I got here, the position didn’t exist,” she recalled. “So I got to work in creating efficiencies.”
According to nominator and CLC staff attorney Julia Hillel Larsen, that’s an understatement. Johnson jumped into her position with full force and created systems that allowed CLC to successfully represent its clients. As the sole staff paralegal at an organization that facilitates the legal representation of so many clients, Johnson worked to streamline processes in a way that would boost productivity.
For example, she felt that the case management system was incredibly dated, with all files still on paper. She worked for six months to transition everything to an electronic system, and took on a new calendaring strategy at the same time. Her efforts turned CLC into a much more efficient, effective organization.
“Every day, Christy goes beyond the call of duty behind the scenes,” said Larsen in her nomination. “Her organizational skills, attention to detail and commitment to helping children allow CLC to function in the most productive manner possible.”
She added that Johnson’s contributions have helped the attorneys become better lawyers to the children they serve. That ripple effect is part of what drove Johnson to continue streamlining the position. “My mantra is always to ‘work smarter, not harder,’” Johnson said. “But sometimes you have to work harder too,” she added with a laugh.
Recently, Johnson made a career shift, becoming legal coordinator at Minneapolis-based MentorMate, a mobile and Web app development firm.
Although she’ll act as a freelance consultant for CLC, she relishes the opportunity — once again — to define a position and, as always, work smarter.