Meet: Shelli Simontacchi
Shelli L. Simontacchi is a Senior Litigation Paralegal with Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo in the firm's Insurance Defense and Civil Litigation practice. Shelli received her B.S. from Liberty University and her Post-Bacc Paralegal Diploma from Central Piedmont Community College. Shelli is a very active member and is currently chair of NCADA's Paralegal Division. Join us in getting to know Shelli a little better!
What drew you to the practice of law and to a litigation and trial practice? I was pre-law in college and always enjoyed debating and investigative-type work. I worked in criminal defense for six years prior to working at Hedrick Gardner.
How has membership in NCADA benefited your professional life? I’ve made invaluable contacts with judges, attorneys, other paralegals and vendors. The CLE sessions are defense-oriented and provide paralegals with high quality, relevant information compared to other seminars offered to paralegals.
What would you do if you were not a paralegal? If I were not a paralegal, I would be a private investigator – which is almost the same thing.
What is the biggest career challenge you’ve had to overcome? To this day, I’m constantly asked why I didn’t go to law school even though I took the LSAT. I’ve learned to take pride in my career as a paralegal and not to question past decisions.
What is your favorite legal movie or TV show and why? Legally Blonde because it shows not to judge a book by its cover. One can be fashionable and smart. Plus, orange is the new pink!
Fun fact that people probably don’t know about you? I climbed a dormant volcano in Hawaii.
If you could meet one person, dead or alive, to grab a coffee with, who would it be and why? Giovanni Simontacchi – my great-grandfather. I would love to hear his story about coming over to America.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever done? Along with my boss, I visited a client at FCI-Beckley. It was literally like Silence of the Lambs.
What excites you the most right now? Podcasts - current favorites includes "True Crime & Cocktails", "60 Songs that Explain the 90’s", "Dressed: The History of Fashion", and "The Italian American Podcast."
What are you reading or listening to? Loyalty by Lisa Scottoline
What is one piece of professional or life advice you would tell your younger self? Seize the day!