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Saying Goodbye to Sami K. Hartsfield, ACP

This article was written by Pamela Starr and first published on her blog "Pamela The Paralegal" on July 6, 2012.

The paralegal industry mourns the loss of one of its shining stars – Sami K. Hartsfield, ACP who had also been kind enough to contribute to this blog.

I know it is cliché, but my heart is truly heavy as I struggle to accept the loss of a friend and colleague. Although I had not had the opportunity to meet Sami in person, we talked and corresponded regularly. We were kindred spirits, of a sort, who wanted to find new ways to grow professionally and personally and to share our knowledge with other paralegals and the legal community.

She had what my Eastern seaboard friends would have referred to as a ‘wicked’ sense of humor; I could imagine the twinkle in her eye as I read her e-mails and blog posts. We plotted and planned, cried and laughed, and shared our failures and successes. For those of you who did not have the pleasure of knowing her, Sami was a mother, as well as an accomplished paralegal and blogger:

… a consumer law paralegal and freelance writer in Houston, Texas. She received her AAS degree in paralegal studies with a 4.0 GPA, graduated University of Houston’s Law Center Summer 2008 Prelaw Institute with a 4.0, and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in political science, graduating summa cum laude. Sami interned at Texas’ 14th Court of Appeals under Chief Justice Adele Hedges in 2007 (grade: A), and at Lone Star Legal Aid for the summer of 2009 (grade: A). She earned her Certified Paralegal designation from the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) in 2007, and went on to earn six specialty certifications in: Discovery; Trial Practice; Contracts Management; Social Security Disability Law; Individual Medical Liability and Entity Medical Liability.

Sami maintained a popular legal blog called legallyblog and she was a featured blogger at The Paralegal Society. (Jamie Collins, the moderator of TPS has written a beautiful tribute to Sami.) Her articles have appeared in the State Bar of Texas’ Paralegal Division’s Journal, the Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association’s journal The Burden of Proof, the Institute of Paralegal Education and the National Paralegal Reporter.

As I write this I am reminded of how short our lives really are and how we too easily let time slip by without properly acknowledging the people who touch our lives. Sami, you are already missed, a light too briefly lit.

May her memory be as a blessing, and her life as a beacon -

- Pamela Starr