When it comes to courts and the legal system, Tammie Gruhn is a seasoned professional. After earning her Paralegal Certificate in 2009, she has excelled in the courtroom and the community.
After being laid off in 2007, Tammie picked up a Workforce Investment Act pamphlet she found at the Department of Labor office in Kennesaw. (WIA was superseded in 2014 by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which offers similar benefits.)
“I thought, ‘Maybe I need to change careers,’” she recalled.
Tammie had always been interested in the legal field and said her education at KSU prepared her for the rigors of the profession. Her experience at different law firms, as an intern and full-time employee, has exposed Tammie to a variety of cases.
“Working in a law office is an adventure every day. I don’t know what type of case I’ll be working on next, and that’s exciting for me,” she said. “It’s a constant learning experience.”
Tammie continued her thirst for legal knowledge by becoming a licensed private investigator and a state-certified process server. She stresses the importance of ongoing education.
“When you get in the field, don’t stop at your paralegal certificate,” she said. “I take between 50 and 75 hours of continuing legal education (courses) each year because our laws change. You’ve got to change with it.”
Her involvement with the Cobb County Legal Professionals Association is another way Tammie sets an example for others. She’s been recognized as Member of the Year and has served as president. She said organizations such as CCLPA are great resources that should be utilized by newcomers to the paralegal field. Interning is another way to make an impression and get some real-world experience, she said.
In April, Tammie returned to KSU as an instructor for Law Office Management. She wants to inspire her students beyond the classroom.
Jennifer Henderson, Paralegal program manager, said the value of Tammie’s professional accomplishments and experience in the program will be phenomenal for students.
“Tammie adds so much strength to our program,” Jennifer said. “Her knowledge of the law is impressive, but her passion for education, coupled with her leadership skills, will be a lifelong benefit to our students.”
“I love my job and the legal field,” Tammie said. “Coming to school here has started a wonderful journey for me. I’m excited to see what the next level will be.”