Hellmuth & Johnson’s Carol R. M. Moss is featured as the “Attorney of the Month” in Attorney at Law Magazine’s Women in Law special issue. The article, “The Journey from Paralegal to Partner — A Testament to Women on the Rise,” details the path Moss took in her legal career, which now finds her entering her 15th year with the firm. When she was graduating from high school and told her guidance counselor that she wanted to pursue prelaw in college, he redirected her to a paralegal program. “I don’t know if it was a lack of confidence in me or if he thought it was just more realistic to work as a paralegal and not go to law school,” she says. Moss completed a four-year paralegal program and worked at a Twin Cities litigation firm, where she began as a file clerk, worked her way up to paralegal, and remained there for eight years. “It’s not what I wanted to do,” Moss says, so she went to law school.
Looking back on her career, Moss observes, “I’ve never felt I like I couldn’t do anything because I was a woman… women bring a different type of presence to cases, and we tend to be able to reconcile things and bring down egos. Those skills help resolve cases.”
Regarding her 15 years at Hellmuth & Johnson, Moss says, “The firm never tries to limit its attorneys. They have encouraged the development of my own practice, including my cannabis practice. This firm is very purposeful in not having its attorneys become siloed in just one area. Developing new practices moves the whole firm forward.” Working in the cannabis industry was natural given Moss’s advocacy for entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs. Moss serves on the board for National Association of Women Business Owners – Minnesota and finds it very fulfilling. “Women run their businesses differently than men. They are more likely to consider how a business decision affects their employees and their families. Small women business owners are more likely to be the sole supporter of their family. When you help them succeed, you help families succeed.”
Moss says she hopes that young women today receive different career advice than she did when she was starting out. “I see so many opportunities for women in the law. And in Minnesota, we’re blessed with so many women on the bench and as leaders in the legal community.”