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Member Spotlight: Tara Jean Brown, PP, PLS

Posted By Allison Streepey, B.A., CRS, PLS, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tara Jean Brown, PP, PLS, of Greenville, South Carolina, has been a very active and dedicated member of NALS since 2004.  Her local chapter is the Legal Staff Professionals of Greenville (LSPG).  She has served in every office on the local and state level and she has in some offices many times.  It was by attending one of LSPG’s great membership opportunities that Tara decided to join NALS.  LSPG engages members through fundraising drives such as fashion shows, chocolate soirees, family bowling socials, family picnics, dinner and a play, and other social events. 


In her local chapter, Tara has served as a member and Chair of the Probate Court Committee and Chair of Community Projects and of the Financial Review Committee. Currently, Tara is the Chairperson for the Annual Greenville County Probate Court’s continuing legal education.  She says there are about 100 attorneys and paralegals who attend these events.  This is work that Tara loves because of the benefits of learning more about the areas of law that her law office practices.


On the state level, Tara served the Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina (LSPSC) as Director of Membership and of Certification, Chair of Community Projects, Co-Chair of the Finance Committee, and as a member of the Financial Review Committee. Luckily for NALS, Tara has served as a member and Chair of the NALS Industry Certification Task Force Committee and recently as the Norfolk 2017 Conference Chair.  


Her favorite activities in NALS are the Tulsa and National Conferences because of “making so many friends all around the country. Everyone is always so friendly—it’s a family.  Tulsa is always so energizing and gets the motor running for the next year.”


Tara has dedicated her time to helping other members have continuing legal education and enjoys working behind the scenes on huge projects. The latest project has her as Chair in preparing the NALS National Conference in Norfolk.  She feels it is so important to have members join in conference planning projects because of all that it takes to "get a huge conference to completion—coordination with the NALS staff, speakers, and members.”  This is an example of “You will get out of NALS what you put into it.”  Tara recommends that we all “Get involved! Don’t sit on the sideline.  Invest in yourself and your career.  This is how you do it.”


All this activity shows that Tara has accomplished many goals that she set out to do since joining NALS for “the professional growth and to network with others within the legal community.”  Tara believes that NALS has assisted her in her legal career by “Keeping me sharp with what’s going on in the legal field.  Learning about updates on procedures, technology and the networking can’t be replaced.  It also makes me strive to do better as I watch others within the Association achieve their goals and certifications.  I also love to hear about other types of law that our office does not do and knowing who to call if I need something in other areas of law.” 


The pursuit of knowledge is Tara’s ultimate goal.  “So many NALS members are my role models.  I am always in awe as to how passionate the members are.  I watch people like Tara Hughes, Kathy Sieckman, Carl Morrison, just to name a few, and I am amazed at how knowledgeable and involved they are.  How do they have time to achieve so many certifications?”


Tara has worked in the legal field for 24 years with the Greene Law Firm, PA, where she currently serves as a Paralegal and Office Manager.  She loves her job and the chance to help people. “It is important to walk with the individual you are helping. Helping the client work through a very stressful time is rewarding and so is the sense of closure for the client when the case is finished.”


The highlight of Tara’s legal career was “getting my NALS PLS and PP Certifications along with becoming a South Carolina Certified Paralegal.” (South Carolina is one of the states that has recognized paralegals as a profession through voluntary certification through the State.  NALS has been following the emergence of professional paralegals as a new career option for a few years through webinars and articles in the @LAW magazine.)


Besides her legal life, Tara has a full life with her family, community, and church.  She enjoyed watching her children grow up playing sports, and loves traveling with her husband and spending time at the beach or in the mountains with her friends. She has been very involved within her church, Saint Andrews Presbyterian, as a member of the Fellowship and Finance Committees, an Elder of the church, and in the choir. Tara is also a Treasurer for the Wade Hampton High School Football Booster Club as well as a member of the Greenville County School District Booster / PTA Club Advisory Board.  In the midst of all this activity, Tara enjoys scrapbooking with friends, just hanging out or traveling, and reading Lisa Scottoline legal thriller books.


When asked what she has gained from her membership in NALS, Tara says, “So much.  It has given me purpose, pride, friendship, professionalism, and family. The most valued gift from NALS is the friendship with the others in the legal community all over the country.  Some of my closest friends are NALS members.  Also, the leadership skills I have developed are due to NALS.  Before being a member of NALS, I would never have thought about being a president or a treasurer or any other office within an association.”


Tara found a NALS mentor through Elaine Sumeral, who has “been a driving force in my NALS career.  She is a constant voice of reason.” She also sees her state association members as “all mentors to me.  They have always been there, they push, they pull, they hug, they support each other and me, both professionally and personally. All the accomplishments in my professional life are from having a supportive home chapter. We really work as a team to accomplish what is best for the Association.”

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