Scottish Paralegal Association column: the winner of the SPA's first Paralegal of the Year award tells of the experience and what it has meant in her place of work

When I received the email from the SPA inviting entries for Paralegal of the Year, I was really unsure whether to put my name forward. I would not normally self-nominate, but then I thought, “You have to be in it to win it!”

When the President of the SPA emailed me to say I was a finalist, again I did not think that this would go any further but I was really pleased that I was being considered.

Unfortunately, I could not attend the Annual Conference, so when I was informed that I was the very first winner of this award I could not believe it. It took about a week for it to sink in that what I was doing on a daily basis was worthy of winning such a prestigious award. I am highly honoured and delighted to be awarded such an accolade and I have been floating on cloud nine since! The award seems even more prestigious given that it is from the association of fellow members and something that I am very passionate about.

Over and above the prestige of winning, I received an engraved paperweight, a voucher for champagne afternoon tea and a framed certificate. The glass paperweight is in the form of a pyramid and when I saw it I thought, “Wow”. It is fabulous. It’s so unusual and has pride of place on our shelf of firm awards in the office. The certificate is hanging on my wall and I am going to the Grand Central Hotel for my champagne afternoon tea.

Winning the award will not change my day-to-day working pattern, but I have put on my emails that I am the winner. A lot of my business comes from recommendations from clients and I hope that when they see this, it gives them more confidence in me and my working ability. The award gives me more confidence and makes me more determined to maintain the standards that it deserves.

I have been very privileged to have had wonderful supervising solicitors in Hugh Mackay, prior to his retirement, and now Mark Peggie, both of whom I class as my mentors – always available should I require any assistance, but at the same time having the confidence in me to let me get on with my work using my own judgment.

I hope that this award continues on an annual basis and I recommend that members enter for it – the application process is very simple and to be the winner is a great personal achievement. 

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