27 million people live in Texas. Only nine paralegals who have become board certified in criminal law reside there, however. Carrie Hall is among those elite nine.
In 1993, Hall started her career as a secretary in the Smith County District Attorney’s Office. She then went on to work for the local law firm of Bain, Files, Jarrett, and Bain & Harrison, where she became certified as a paralegal. On February 22nd, she become board certified as a criminal law paralegal by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which is the single governing board with the authority to certify attorneys and paralegals in their specialty law areas.
Hall attributes much of her success to the experience she gained while employed at Bain, Files, Jarrett, Bain & Harrison, adding that working as a paralegal there afforded her the opportunity to work directly with clients, as well as deep dive into the inner workings of their cases.
Hall, who was born in Garland and briefly lived in Georgia before moving back to Texas during her high school years, admits that helping people has always been a passion and that she enjoys her work since she feels that it can truly make a difference.
She decided to pursue the criminal law certification after two of the attorney’s at her firm urged her to look into it, citing her dedication to the field of criminal law and her clients as the primary reasons why she would be a qualified candidate for such a prestigious opportunity. She openly admits that it wasn’t an easy feat, however, especially after she failed the exam the first time around.
“I didn’t have any idea what to study because I am more of a hands-on learner,” she said when asked about overcoming the disappointment of not passing the first time around.
“My husband, who has called me a ‘glorified secretary’ in the past, is ‘beyond proud’ and has changed his tune about what I do,” she added.
Hall’s husband, David Hall, happens to be the sergeant at the local Police Department in Tyler, Texas. They joke around regularly about how they work at opposite ends of the criminal justice system.