Samantha Greaves has a passion for her profession.
As she sits down to talk between court cases on the second floor of Sarnia’s Bayside Mall, the 25 year-old paralegal clearly has highly developed skills of organization and multitasking. Her immaculately organized files sit alongside her often-buzzing cell phone on the table and Greaves speaks quickly and precisely about her background, her work and her plans for the future.
The Sarnia born-and-bred Greaves graduated with a paralegal diploma from London’s Westervelt College in 2012. A few months later, she was licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and shortly after that she nabbed her first job in London.
“My very first job was at Ticket Defenders as the office manager,” she said. “I loved it.”
During her stint in London, Greaves had a son and decided to trade the hustle and bustle of the big city for the smaller city comforts of her hometown of Sarnia.
“I decided to work for POINTTS in Sarnia,” she said. “I worked there for a bit and then I decided it was time to go out on my own and go out in the field.”
“I was opening files and closing files anyways, so it made sense to do it on my own,” she said.
Opportunity knocked when Greaves heard about the chance to purchase the Sarnia franchise of XPolice, an organization of licensed paralegals geared towards representing clients fighting traffic and summary offences. XPolice has a number of offices across Ontario as well as New York State.
Greaves opened the new Sarnia office in March 2015 and almost immediately business started booming. Along with an increase in the number of new clients, the paralegal also saw an increase in her vehicle’s mileage as she crisscrossed southwestern Ontario. Her XPolice franchise covers a vast swath of territory including Sarnia, Chatham-Kent, Blenheim and Windsor.
“I’m all over southwestern Ontario covering quite a few courts. My office here right now is in Sarnia and I’m looking to open an office in London in June and another office up in Windsor. So hopefully I’ll have three by June or July,” she said. “But obviously my main focus is here in Sarnia right now.”
As a paralegal, Greaves deals with a host of provincial offences and summary convictions such as traffic offences, theft under $5,000 or vagrancy. She also deals with landlord and tenant issues, small claims and provides a host of other services for clients. For DUI cases, XPolice has access to a lawyer who specializes in such matters, she said.
When asked what makes her unique in a fairly crowded field, Greaves lists off a variety of skills that she brings to the table.
“I’m locally based. I do have a lot of experience in other courts and I get great feedback from my clients,” she said. “I’m very thorough with cases. And I’m very flexible.” Greaves also differs from many of her colleagues because of her age. While she admits some people feel trepidation dealing with someone in their twenties, she sees this as an advantage.
“I’m really young,” she said with a laugh. “My youth does throw off some people, but a lot of the younger clients connect with me.”
And for people who don’t have the means to pay for representation in court, Greaves said that she certainly lends them a sympathetic ear.
“I do take into consideration people’s circumstances if they’re on social assistance, for people who need representation but they don’t have the means to afford it,” she said. “If you need legal representation and can’t afford it, you’re going to self-represent which isn’t necessarily the best thing to do.”
When she isn’t chasing across southwestern Ontario, the spends her time giving back to the community. Greaves works with the Sarnia Community Foundation to help out with the Blue Eyes, Big Heart Joshua Alderton Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship first given in 2014 that provides funding to send victims of domestic violence to college. She is also the president of the Wyoming and district soccer club.
For Greaves, a career pursuing justice is something she plans on doing for some time.
“I went to school for it, I have a passion for it so obviously I love what I do,” she said. “My goal is to have happy clients.”
Source: Sarnia This Week