Meet Our Members

Karin Brodbeck, Paralegal

The Meet Our Members series is a unique platform that highlights the exceptional skills of our lawyer and paralegal members and spotlights the expanding community of legal professionals of Brazilian origin in Canada.

Karin Brodbeck is a paralegal  with a rich background in Brazilian civil litigation and a passion for understanding the common law system.

Karin Brodbeck, Paralegal

July 2, 2024

Karin Brodbeck moved to North Vancouver from Brazil, driven by a desire to continue her career in the legal field. Originally coming to Canada on a student visa to study business, she decided to switch to the paralegal program at Capilano University to gain insight into working within a common law system.

Having spent her entire career as a lawyer in Brazil, Karin’s transition to a paralegal role in Canada brought significant changes. In Brazil, she was an in-house lawyer specializing in civil litigation for a public bank, leading trials, strategies, and agreements. As a paralegal, her work is more administrative and procedural, focusing on tasks such as corporate/commercial and estate administration.

Karin’s responsibilities as a paralegal vary depending on the practice area and the size of the office. In corporate law, she handles annual maintenance for corporations, which includes contacting clients, filing annual reports, and managing billing and invoicing. This work is repetitive and mostly administrative, lacking the research component she enjoyed as a lawyer. In estate administration, she interviews clients, prepares probate documents, and liaises with various parties to secure the deceased’s assets. Common tasks across different areas include maintaining detailed records, conducting legal research, and drafting legal documents.

One of the biggest challenges Karin faced was missing out on the most interesting parts of legal work, which are reserved for lawyers. She advises other Brazilian professionals considering a career as a paralegal in Canada to carefully consider if they would be satisfied with the administrative nature of the role compared to being a lawyer.

What attracted Karin to the field of paralegalism was the opportunity to enter the legal market and understand the client/lawyer dynamics in a common law regime. For Brazilian legal professionals, she emphasizes the importance of joining a reputable program like Capilano University’s and leveraging networking opportunities. Volunteering in the legal field can provide exposure to different practice areas and help understand the paralegal/client relationship.

Karin advises aspiring paralegals to seek informational interviews with experienced paralegals in their areas of interest. Understanding the daily routine and expectations can help them make informed decisions about their career paths.

Balancing work and life is essential for Karin. The demanding paralegal diploma program at CapU required her to manage a heavy load of assignments and readings. After completing the program and practicum, she worked in various firms with different rhythms and challenges. To maintain balance, Karin practices yoga and weightlifting and often takes walks in the woods near her home to connect with nature and relieve tension.

BCBA thanks Karin for taking the time to allow us to interview her. Stay tuned to our next Meet our Members issue.

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