of CaseMetrix –
In the Beginning….
By way of background, I was a Paralegal for 27 years, starting in the Insurance Defense arena in North Carolina back in 1982 after earning a degree in “Paralegalism”. The profession was quite new at the time and most people had no idea what it was. I moved to Atlanta in 1984 and worked at at an insurance defense firm then known as Fain, Gorby, Reeves & Moraitakis until 1994. There, I assisted the Senior Partner, Don Fain, defending medical malpractice, auto, trucking, premises and products liability cases.
After my kids were born, I began a freelance career that enabled me to be a “ghostwriter” for attorneys while working from home. I spent the first weeks meeting with attorneys in their offices, 4 to 6 firms per day, explaining how a Paralegal could assist them while working remotely. It was a very new concept in 1994. I worked from my home office for the next 15 years while raising my children. I seriously worked. Most of my work was done while the kids were at school or sleeping. I summarized medical records, coded & wrote detailed medical chronologies, located & interviewed expert physicians, wrote depo outlines, read mountains of documents, prepared depo digests, and conducted legal and medical research at Emory’s libraries, etc. One day, a young med student asked me a very complex medical question because he thought I was on faculty there. He said, “You’re always in the medical library. I’m sorry.”
Initially, all of my assignments came from attorneys I knew and with time, word of mouth recommendations served me well. In my first year as a freelancer, I worked for 27 firms, so I started to realize this was a good idea. I started doing plaintiff’s work and I loved it! This was before everyone had email or the Internet at their fingertips and law firms weren’t very tech savvy, so I would often pick up documents and deliver them to the attorneys. Initially, I delivered my work on disks, so the attorneys could review my drafts, edit & finalize documents. Finally, I was able to attach documents to emails which cut down on my travel time. Once I felt comfortable with the attorneys, I actually delivered completed assignments stored on the lower shelf of a baby stroller with my daughter, Merricks, sleeping comfortably on top. My son, Jim IV, would walk with me into law offices carrying depositions. Our summer field trips included visits to courthouses. They didn’t know I was working. It was cool.
My kids were exposed to an entrepreneurial world that seemed perfectly normal to them. It was their normal. When young Jim IV went to the doctor for a physical, the doctor began writing on his chart and Jim said, “No, you’re not supposed to write on a deposition!” When I took Merricks to school for her kindergarten interview, she extended her hand and said, “Merricks White. Nice to meet you.” Suffice it to say, my kids became comfortable with our work life balance. I proofed documents in the carpool line so I could attend soccer, ballet and whatever else they were doing. The three of us did our “homework” together at the kitchen table. My son is a serial entrepreneur who is now employed with a tech startup and my daughter now works in marketing and sales at CaseMetrix. I am the most proud mother on the planet.
….so, starting CaseMetrix wasn’t so daunting.