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Team Spotlight: Mary Waldrop

Here at The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we have a passion for building families through adoption and assisted reproduction. This passion comes from the rewarding work we do, and from the incredible team that makes all of our efforts a reality. Each month, we will give you an insider’s look into what makes life at our firm truly special by introducing you to a featured team member.

 

1) What is your official title?

Paralegal

 

2) How long have you worked at JFT?

7 ½ years (since August 20, 2007)

 

3) Describe a typical day on the job.

Most days I come to work with particular goals in mind, but in this area of practice, those plans can change in an instant. I have had to learn to adapt my plans to whatever urgent situation may arise: an adoptive placement for one of our waiting families, a call from someone with a possible adoptive placement, a family in need of legal services in a gestational carrier match, etc.

One of my primary duties is to answer inquiries by phone and by email. I consider this one of my greatest responsibilities and I want to make sure that when someone contacts our office about such an important matter as adoption or assisted reproduction, that I deal with their call (or email) in a courteous and professional way, always welcoming their inquiry and eager to be of assistance.

In addition to being a primary point of contact for prospective clients, I also work under the supervision of Mr. Thompson to handle the legal aspects of adoption – drafting pleadings for private adoptions, agency adoptions, re-finalization of foreign adoptions and ARTs cases, coordinate with docket clerk for final hearings, coordinate services with Guardian ad Litem, process application for the issuance of an amended birth certificate, maintain an up-to-date caseload, prepare documents to be processed by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children when applicable, prepare and secure adoption subsidy for adopting families if applicable,  maintain client trust accounts and payments of necessary costs, fees and expenses. The list goes on!

In addition, I maintain lists and files for prospective adoptive families awaiting placements and schedule appointments accordingly. Certainly the only thing typical about a day in the life of a paralegal at James Fletcher Thompson, LLC, is that you can never predict what your day may be—but you can be sure you will go home feeling exhausted, but very gratified to have been a small part in helping a family realize their goals of becoming parents.

 

3) Why are you passionate about adoption and assisted reproduction?

I cannot think of anything more rewarding than helping to build families through adoption and assisted reproduction. I truly enjoy working with the families we represent, and because they are so appreciative of the opportunity to become parents, they inspire me to do my very best on their behalf.

 

4) What has been your most joyous or monumental memory with the company so far?

Some of my most joyous moments have been when we obtained a successful result after a difficult contested adoption. While they are only a small percentage of our adoptions, the contested adoptions are where I feel my years of experience as a paralegal are perhaps best put to use.

 

5) Describe yourself in three words.

Optimistic, organized, loyal.

 

6) What is your favorite aspect of your job?

Seeing our families with their children – whether at a court hearing, a visit to the office, or photographs.