For most paralegals, the work day consists of combing through files and helping to prepare for upcoming court cases. It is not often that this is interrupted by the sounds of gunfire and a physical fitness test, but for Theresa Laufasa, a processing paralegal in the U.S. military, these things are all too common.
Pfc. Laufasa won the Paralegal Soldier of the Quarter recently, a competition that measures both her professional ability as a paralegal and her martial skills as a soldier. Weapons training, knowledge tests, and marching order are all a part of the test. While many would not necessarily think of the military when looking for options to advance their career in the legal field, working on cases for the military provides a unique experience.
Currently, she assists the Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, as a paralegal. She helps to process legal actions for the two battalions of the 1st brigade as well as maintaining her military training.
Initially, Laufasa attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and had a stand out athletic career there. However, she left to join the military at the end of her first year. “I wanted some independence, and I didn’t want my parent to have to pay for stuff,” she said about her decision to leave college.Having now been with army for only a year, receiving recognition as the Paralegal Soldier of the Quarter, is a fantastic honor.
Alongside this quarterly award, Laufasa also intends to enter the competition again in the hopes of becoming the Paralegal Soldier of the Year. Laufasa credits her family as one of her primary motivations to compete. “For the competition, you think of your family and people being proud of you, and what the outcome would be,” said Laufasa. Regardless of the outcome at the end of the year, Pfc. Laufasa has already done her family proud and has had a fantastic experience as a paralegal and a soldier.