Local named 2021 Paralegal of the Year
By Jack Criss
The Bolivar Bullet
After a 20-year long career as a paralegal, Vicky Smith–Benoit resident and Jacks Griffith and Luciano law firm professional — was recently named as the 2021 Paralegal of the Year for Mississippi in recognition of her outstanding work for the Cleveland-based firm.
“I received an email from the president of the Mississippi Paralegal Association (MPA) on September 8 saying that I won one of three awards that were to be given out,” said Smith. “But, at the time I didn’t know which one I was getting. I was hoping to be named Paralegal of the Year and that was it!”
Board members of the MPA make the decisions as to who wins the certain awards handed out in any given year.
“Ever since I’ve known Vicky, she’s always shown the utmost professional attitude,” said firm partner Arnold Luciano. “She’s got a great work ethic and is one of the smartest paralegals I know–she’s always kind and gracious and willing to give a helping hand. We’re so lucky to have her working with us and we couldn’t be more proud of her for receiving this award. I’ve been practicing for 20-plus years and she still seems to teach me something daily. She makes our work day so much brighter. Vicky is an asset to the legal community and our firm,” added Luciano.
“I like to do my work behind the scenes, providing the attorneys what they need to succeed in their cases,” said Smith of her job. “I never sought out attention or accolades but I’m honored and feel blessed to receive this designation from the MPA. They are an outstanding organization that started their Mississippi chapter in 1980. I don’t think the MPA itself has received enough recognition for what they do for our profession and in helping both young people entering the field and existing professionals like myself,” she added.
Smith started her career in 2001 working for then-District Attorney Lawrence Mellon in the 11th Circuit Court District, this after graduating from Delta State University with three degrees. She stayed in the DA’s office for 10 years before going to work for Danny Griffith and his Cleveland law firm, Griffith & Griffith, before he merged with Gerald Jacks and Arnold Luciano to form the firm where Smith currently works as paralegal.
“It’s nice to be appreciated and recognized,” said Smith. “It makes me feel good inside because I love the work that I do and I couldn’t be happier to have worked for the great people and professionals I have throughout my career.”