Sophia Gribbin: Paralegal Program

Sophia Gribbin: Paralegal Program

Sophia Gribbin and daughter, both CF grads of Paralegal programI wanted a career where I could have a fulfilling lifestyle with family. It all started in 1994 when I entered the Paralegal Program at Central Florida Community College. At that time I was 23 years old, married and mother of a 20 month old daughter. Two years later I graduated from the Paralegal Studies program with honors and member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

After graduation, I began my career as a transcriptionist for the law firm formerly known as Sims, DiLorenzo, and Lopez. My family was growing at the same time my career was as 6 months after my second daughter was born, I was offered a legal assistant position in their Social Security Disability department, working directly under Attorney David Lopez. Later that year I took the Certified Legal Assistant examination through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and within three years of graduating from the Paralegal Program, I was able to expand my career at the same firm with a lateral move to legal assistant within their Workers’ Compensation department.

The year 2000 was big for me: marrying my husband, Joseph Gribbin, gaining two step-sons and moving to Jacksonville, Fla., I began handling Personal Injury litigation files and Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation with the Farrell & Gasparo firm.

Two years later my family moved back to Ocala presenting me the opportunity to return to Lopez & Lopez, P.A. firm. I was the Social Security Disability department as well as the Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury lead assistant. Later that year, I gave birth to my third daughter!

October 2006, I was promoted to Office Manager which included managing all three departments of our firm (Social Security Disability, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury) as well as other various managerial duties. Over the next four years I continued to progress in my career as Office Manager, as well as having my fourth daughter. In 2010 my career launched to a new level as I was promoted to a Non-Attorney Social Security Claimant’s Representative.

If it had not been for the substantial knowledge I gained, as well as all of the networking opportunities that were available to me from the Paralegal Program at CF, I would not have been able to achieve such success in my career as I have done for over 18 years. Furthermore, I would not have been able to perform my job duties as an Office Manager or Social Security Claimant’s Representative without the help of other legal assistants/paralegals.

My oldest daughter, Shelly Williams, has also chosen to pursue a career in the legal field. She is a CF class of 2015 graduate with a Paralegal Studies Associate in Science degree.

I look forward to continuing my career, watching my daughter grow in her own Paralegal career, and seeing what the future holds for me and my family. 

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