It really was so very simple. Barbara was mentoring her son Justin, a new paralegal with her firm, when he suggested that she needed to write down what she was sharing with him. That simple suggestion put Barbara on a new path that would ultimately connect her to her fellow paralegals and help her to mentor her son in his new profession.
Let me introduce you to Barbara Haubrich-Hass, ACP/CAS. Barbara has been a paralegal for the past 32 years. Although Barbara began her career in 1980 working for civil defense attorneys, she currently is with the Law Firm of Chain | Cohn | Stiles in Bakersfield, California. She is a senior legal assistant and administrator for David Cohn’s multi-million dollar plaintiff’s personal injury practice. She was also named the 2011 Kern County Paralegal of the Year.
Not only does Barbara keep busy with her full-time job, she also is the creator and author of The California Litigator, a website and newsletter that she has designed to provide resources and to facilitate discussions relating to California civil litigation. Legal professionals who visit the site, http://www.thecalifornialitigator.com/, can find the answers they need regarding deadlines, case management sequence and techniques, et cetera. As her website says, “There are solutions for almost every situation in civil litigation; it is just a matter of knowing where to find the answer or who to ask for help.” Her bi-weekly newsletter is free and includes articles on everything from creating a discovery plan to e-discovery definitions.
Inherent, of course, in the life of any organized and successful paralegal, or any business professional for that matter, is keeping track of important filing dates. Well, Barbara has the solution for that as well. She has designed a simple program that calculates business deadlines. It’s called Deadline Direct. It’s an inexpensive widget with a one-time fee that integrates with Microsoft Outlook with just one click.
To further reach out and connect with her colleagues, Barbara has also embraced social media. She tweets at @callitigator and has a Facebook page as well. She tells me the social media site she prefers is LinkedIn. She is a part of several groups on LinkedIn, including The Paralegal Group, Paralegal Gateway, and Mylegal.com. She enjoys these groups because she says the paralegals in these groups are not shy about asking questions and comparing notes.
When chatting with Barbara, I can tell by her enthusiasm that this is all about mentoring and sharing what she has learned in her 32 years. It may have started to help her son, but as it continues to build — she’s writing a book as well — it’s obvious it’s all about a connection that Barbara feels to her fellow professionals and a way of giving back to a profession that she has enjoyed.