Paralegal: “A Fairly Well-Educated Chimp Could Practice Law”
Firm Discovers 'Associate' Is Not a Lawyer

Paralegal now jury coordinator

It's all about making jury duty sound like fun -- or at least time well spent:

"Most people aren't thrilled to be called for jury duty. They think they are too busy, can't afford to miss work, or need to be home caring for their children.

"Mary Poston considers it her job to change their mind -- or at least make them feel like their time in the courthouse is well-spent.

"Poston, 56, is Mecklenburg County's jury coordinator. She summons 66,000 Mecklenburg County residents for jury duty each year.

"She's also the person you contact if you can't make it the day you were called. She's the one who checks you in when you arrive, tells you how the system works, and makes sure you get paid.

[snip]

"'I want you to know that the time you spend waiting is being put to good use,' she said. 'Just you being here in this room changes what happens in those courtrooms. You are one of the most important parts of the system.'"

[snip]

"This is Poston's second career. She spent 25 years at Pillowtex.

"When the company closed, she went back to school to become a paralegal. Poston, who lives in Kannapolis, did an internship with Mecklenburg's jury coordinator and then applied for the job when he was promoted.

"She said she'd always liked it when she got called for jury duty. And she hoped to land a state job after Pillowtex because she thought it would be more secure. She's been coordinating Mecklenburg's juries for about two years."

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