Women’s History Month: Elise Deal



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March 16, 2021

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Robinson Bradshaw is highlighting women from the firm throughout March. Meet litigation paralegal Elise Deal.

Describe what you do at Robinson Bradshaw.

I am a litigation paralegal and also do quite a bit of labor and employment work. I would describe my role as a facilitator (knowing and navigating court rules and procedures, and serving as a liaison between the attorneys and court personnel to keep the litigation process moving timely and efficiently all the way from the filing of a complaint through the appellate process); a problem solver (which can include everything from locating a difficult-to-find party or witness to a civil action to tracking down original court pleadings lost in overnight delivery service transit); and a project manager (ranging from assisting with responding to EEOC charges, to specialized projects such as domesticating subpoenas on out-of-state witnesses, to factual background research and analytics). 

What do you most enjoy about your job?

I’ve always thought the practice of law was interesting and important. I enjoy working in litigation because every case is a unique set of facts and parties. I like the variety and the human element of litigation – that each case is about a conflict and parties seeking a resolution through mediation, arbitration, an administrative agency or the courts. 

What advice do you have for other women in the workplace?

As a woman who has been in the workplace a few years, I think there are great opportunities for women in the workplace today – including the legal profession – that were not there a couple of decades ago. I think it’s important to be mindful of that, dream big and take advantage of these opportunities, but also make sure you have balance in your life. I would strongly emphasize the balance part. Toni Morrison wrote an essay on work that includes a couple of quotes I really love and I think are on point: “Whatever the work is, do it well – not for the boss but for yourself” and “You are not the work you do; you are the person you are.” 

Who is a historical female figure you admire, and why?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I watched the documentary “RBG” twice and cried both times. I really admire her spirit, her grit, her intelligence, her commitment to equality, and also what a lovely relationship she had with her husband, kids and grandkids. 

What is one lesson you’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic?

My yoga studio shut down one month into the pandemic, and one of my favorite teachers (aka yogis) said something in an online class that really resonated with me: Change is where growth happens. Maybe the lockdown is teaching us how to be more flexible and resilient.

Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t learn from your website bio.

When I need to recharge, my favorite place to go is an off-the-beaten-path dirt hiking trail in the North Carolina mountains with friends. 

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