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Susan Ippoliti: The Litigation Paralegal Who Keeps On Going [By Robin Salisian] Plaintiff and defense litigation paralegal Susan G. Ippoliti referred to herself as the Energizer Bunny, “always going, going, going,” when she worked for large private law firms. However, after a switch to a smaller firm, Ippoliti discovered she needed to adopt the ways of a new iconic beastie: “the easygoing GEICO Gecko.”

“My work style has always been quick-

counsel and advice, not simply high-quality

As a litigation paralegal and case manager,

paced and constant,” writes Ippoliti in an

legal products,” says its website. Clients

Ippoliti divides her time between speaking

article. “Accustomed to working long hours

come from locations ranging from Upstate

with attorneys, handling client files, and

(sometimes seven days a week for weeks at

New York to Western Florida to “beyond,”

acting as a liaison between clients and

a time) and meeting an annual billable target

and Harter, founded in 1893 in Rochester,

lawyers.

every year, it has been very difficult for me

NY, has been voted “Rochester’s #1 Law

to break away from the workaholic mentality

Firm” for three consecutive years.

“On a typical day,” writes Ippoliti, “an attorney may call you into his or her office,

that most litigation paralegals working in a But Ippoliti’s role in the legal field doesn’t

inform you that your client has been served

end there. Currently, she is the vice

with a complaint[,] hand it to you[,] and

Working for a small firm means no more

president and director of membership

proceed to give you the case background.

billable hours, no more overtime, and no

for the National Federation of Paralegal

It is at that moment that the attorney has

more weekend work — a switch many might

Associations Inc. (NFPA) as well as on its

allowed you ownership of the file. The first

rejoice over. But not Ippoliti.

marketing committee. Previously, Ippoliti

immediate steps are to respond with an

served as the regulation review coordinator

answer and issue discovery demands, bill

“The pace has been much slower than I am

and special research coordinator for NFPA,

of particulars, medical records if it is a

accustomed to,” she writes.

an organization that “promotes a global

personal injury matter, and, most likely, a

presence for the paralegal profession

notice of deposition.”

large-firm setting can relate to.”

And with Ippoliti’s long list of work

and leadership in the legal community,”

experience, it’s no wonder this paralegal

according to its website.

“Rule of thumb: always make sure that you are not the party with the ‘to do list,’” she

struggles with slowing down. As a plaintiff

adds.

and defense litigation paralegal, Ippoliti has

“Founded in 1974, NFPA was the first

worked “in areas such as products liability,

national paralegal association” and “is

architectural design and construction

comprised of more than 50 member

She also emphasizes the importance of not

malpractice, trade secrets misappropriation,

associations and represents over 11,000

offering legal advice as a paralegal. This role

professional liability, intellectual property,

individual members reflecting a broad range

is strictly for an attorney.

asbestos litigation, personal injury, medical

of experience, education, and diversity.” “Do not put yourself in a position to commit

malpractice, employment discrimination, and Since 1998, Ippoliti has been a member

unlicensed practice of law (UPL),” she writes.

of the Paralegal Association of Rochester

“A good paralegal will know where to draw

In 1997, Ippoliti graduated from St. John

Inc. (PAR). She has also played an active

the line.”

Fisher College in Rochester with a B.A. in

role in her profession by serving as vice

Political Science. Today, she works as a

president of national affairs, vice president

litigation paralegal and case manager with

of professional development, chairwoman

Ippoliti is able to participate in and, in many

law firm Harter, Secrest & Emery, LLP, in

of the Empire State Alliance of Paralegal

cases, take charge of. But be forewarned.

Rochester, NY.

Associations, member of the New York State

These responsibilities are not for the

Bar Association Law Practice Management

inexperienced.

insurance defense.”

The 130-attorney, full-service law firm is

Committee, and second vice president of the

committed to “providing [their] business and

Italian-American Community Center.

personal clients with zealous, proactive legal

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Still, there is a myriad of legal activities

“The nitty-gritty and highly challenging world of litigation usually revolves around

continued on back


LAWCROSSING

THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH

LEGAL STAFF PROFILE

www.lawcrossing.com

1. 800.973.1177

On the Net

a multimillion-dollar lawsuit…Multimillion-

control, and if you let this opportunity pass

dollar litigations are usually handled by more

you by or you are unsuccessful at it, you are

than one attorney — realistically a partner

likely to run the risk of never getting another

Harter, Secrest & Emery, LLP

and senior associate — and these are the

chance at it again.”

www.hsetax.com

But the most important part of being a case

National Federation of Paralegal

manager is remembering this: “When the

Associations

“These cases are typically document

going gets rough, take a step back, close

www.paralegals.org

intensive, involve massive discovery

your eyes, and breathe deep. It’s not as bad

(electronic or paper), and consist of daily

as it seems.”

cases that keep you lying awake at night or force you awake in cold sweats.”

meetings and/or conference calls with the

www.par.itgo.com

client, partner, associate, and you. This is

Looks like this Energizer Bunny turned

when your fabulous management skills are

GEICO Gecko does know how to slow down

more valuable than ever,” continues Ippoliti.

after all.

“The team is giving you permission to be in

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Paralegal Association of Rochester

Susan Ippoliti: The Litigation Paralegal Who Keeps On Going  

Susan Ippoliti Is A Litigation Paralegal Which Provides Business And Personal Proactive Legal Counsel And Advice. Susan Ippoliti Work Style...

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