Jacqueline Smith | Paralegal

Jacqueline Smith

Paralegal

“The attorneys here are a force to be reckoned with. We have a lot of female attorneys, too, who are true mama bears. They really do fight for their clients.”

Jacqueline Smith

Meet Jackie

Jackie may be new to the Cape Fear family, but she brings more than enough passion and work ethic to make up for it. After interning for the firm in 2021, she officially joined the team as a paralegal in January of 2022.

Paralegal with a Passion for Psychology

During her internship, she worked with clients to address their mental health needs. “Many of our clients are going through a really tough time in their life. I’m able to use my background in psychology to help our clients through difficult family situations like divorce and child custody. It’s important for them to have someone to talk to.”

After talking with Jackie, it’s clear that she approaches her work with empathy and understanding. That, combined with her knowledge of and passion for psychology and mental health, makes her a force to be reckoned with and a perfect fit among Cape Fear’s powerful, dedicated staff.

North Carolina Roots

Jackie grew up in a small town outside Charlotte, NC and moved to Wilmington to study psychology at UNCW.

“I’ve always been interested in the legal field,” she recalls. “While trying to figure out which branch of psychology I wanted to work in, I discovered forensic psychologists. Their work fascinated me and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. That’s when I knew I wanted to work for a law firm.”

When she’s not in the office, you can find Jackie relaxing at the beach or curled up on the couch enjoying a good period drama like Downton Abbey. “I also enjoy going on long distance runs,” she shares. “I’ve always been a runner.”

Advocating for Clients and Mental Health

“Civil cases are difficult for families to cope with. My goal is to help our clients navigate the legal world while also advocating for mental health.”

When asked what attracted her to Cape Fear, Jackie says that the firm’s mission statement sealed the deal. When it came time to pick an internship for her undergrad program, the medical side of psychology didn’t seem like a fit. She decided to look at law firms, and that’s when she found Cape Fear. “Their mission statement really drew me in; I identified with it – I love that they’re so focused on family and are big advocates for children.”

As for deciding to stay on as a paralegal, Jackie credits the positive and uplifting environment of the law firm. “The environment here is really unique. There’s an outside perception that law firms can be a bit stuffy, but not this place. It’s a very happy atmosphere. All of the attorneys, no matter how busy they are, take the time to mentor and get to know their support staff.”

Looking Toward the Future

When asked about her plans for the future, Jackie’s ambition and passion for her career is clear. She’s excited to continue gaining experience in the legal field and eventually take the LSAT and attend law school.

For now, though, she’s focused on living in the moment and learning all that she can in her new position as paralegal. That’s her favorite part of the job so far. “I really enjoy learning. I love getting to master new skills.”