2011 AAJ Paralegal of the Year
Christina Koch -
Inserra & Kelley, Omaha, NE
Ms. Koch has a two year Paralegal degree, in addition to a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. She is currently working on a Masters' Degree in Justice Administration, on an accelerated basis while working approximately 50 to 60 hours per week for our law firm. She maintains a 4.0 GPA. She has attained her Certified Paralegal designation, in addition to holding advanced paralegal certifications from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) in Trial Practice as well as all eight sections of Personal Injury. She consistently strives to stay on top of legal trends in both education and practice. In 2009, she was one of ten paralegals to complete the year-long LEAP (Leadership Enhancement and Preparation) program through NALA. In 2008, she was honored in the Paralegal Superstar calendar of the international ParalegalGateway and has served as the Nebraska State Representative for Paralegal Gateway since 2009.
In addition to her own legal education, she encourages others to continue their educational and career growth as well. She has volunteered her time writing and composing PowerPoint Presentations about various litigation topics, travelling throughout the country educating other paralegals. She was a seminar instructor at the Trial Practice Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2008 and has participated in a number of local and national seminars, including the past three NALA National Conventions and two prior AAJ Conventions. She is an avid supporter of continuing legal education and spends an average of one week a year of her learned vacation gaining additional education to use to become a better paralegal. She was the founder of the Nebraska Paralegal list serve and offers assistance and mentoring to local paralegals with forms and procedures. Ms. Koch is a talented legal author who has written various articles and blogs for our firm website, as well as several national publications.
Ms. Koch also has been active in her state and national paralegal associations and was elected Nebraska Paralegal Association's NALA Liaison for 2007 through 2010. In 2011, she was elected President Elect and will be President when NALA brings their national convention to Omaha in 2012. She has also been the Chair of the Nebraska Paralegal Association Public Relations Committee and paralegal liaison to the Nebraska State Bar Association for the past three years. She has been active in the American Association of Justice and truly cares about the work that is accomplished by our association. She has served on the Paralegal Advisory Task Force for AAJ from 2008 to 2010 and is an avid supporter of the AAJ mission. She currently serves as Coordinator of the Paralegal Membership Committee and prior to that, volunteered her time recruiting membership for AAJ. She appreciates the value of the justice system and the attorneys and paralegals who work so hard to protect the right to be compensated for injuries sustained as the result of the negligence of others.
She is active in the community and supportive of charitable contributions. Ms. Koch has participated in the Sarpy County Relay for Life for the past four years and currently is collecting donations for this year's event. She has given generously of her time and finances to the following charitable agencies: the National Eating Disorders Association, Lydia House, the Domestic Violence Coalition, Wear Yellow, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.
Ms. Koch has been the litigation paralegal in my law firm for over nine years. In that time, she has become a valued member of our firm, acting as not only a paralegal but also in client and computer support as well. She consistently goes above and beyond in her job, and is solely responsible for over 75 cases in active litigation in Nebraska and Iowa. She assists with signing cases, solely maintains our docket system and coordinates all the CLE for our firm. Ms. Koch strongly values legal ethics. She has acted as second chair at various trials for our firm, while always maintaining her code of ethics. She is able to put our clients at ease and understands the system of justice we are all fighting for and even takes phone calls from clients in the evenings, on weekends, and on her vacations on her cell phone.
Ms. Koch is so dedicated to the AAJ mission that she negotiated attendance at the American Association of Justice Annual Convention in lieu of a cash bonus for 2010.