The Richmond Register

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August 22, 2013

Paralegal serves county attorney’s office for 31 years

RICHMOND — In the past few years, Sarah Farris had mentioned a few times to her boss, County Attorney Marc Robbins, that she was thinking about retirement, but he kept persuading her to stay just a little bit longer, she said with a laugh.

But last month, the 62-year-old paralegal did retire and was honored with a party attended by many of the people she got to know and help during her 31 years with the county attorney’s office.

Farris was raised in Arizona and came to Kentucky after marrying her husband, Buddie, who was from Richmond.

She first worked as a Winn-Dixie cashier for five years, then she spent another five years as a secretary in the medical records department at Eastern Kentucky University.

However, Farris was eager to find something different to do, so she picked up the EKU program catalog and leafed through it.

“I saw the paralegal program and thought, ‘hmm, that sounds interesting,’” Farris said.

While she was in enrolled in the paralegal program, she completed an internship under then-County Attorney William G. Clouse. Clouse then hired her after the office paralegal left to attend law school.

Farris also served in the office under County Attorney Bobby Russell, who followed Clouse. After 14 years, current County Attorney Marc Robbins was elected to the office.

Farris said she was “very blessed” to have continued working in the county attorney’s office for 31 years because newly elected officials will sometimes want to bring in new staff.

Farris’ duties included taking criminal complaints from residents and police officers, preparing cases for trial, preparing the weekly docket, and handling guardianships and emergency medical detentions.

“A big part of my job was communicating with the people to see if we could help them,” Farris said. “ … That’s what’s kept me going all these years, helping people and just pointing them in the right direction.”

Farris acknowledged the criminal court system can be confusing to a lot of people, and she enjoyed helping people navigate their way through it.

“Sometimes it could be stressful – you’d talk to people that have problems, big problems,” Farris said.

Farris has given talks to freshman EKU paralegal studies classes about her career, and in the past she also participated in the Colors of Justice program, which aimed to get minority high school students thinking about careers in the legal field.

Farris hasn’t been retired long enough to think of any long-range plans for her spare time. Her husband suffered a stroke four years ago, and she will continue to care for him. Farris also has two adult children and two grandchildren.

“Who knows what the future holds for me? We’ll see!” Farris said.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

 

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