Getting to Know: Payton Bleach
Payton Bleach, legal assistant at Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, LLP, joined the firm in July 2022 after graduating from James Madison University with a B.A. in Justice Studies on the Crime and Criminal Justice track. She also obtained a paralegal certificate during her studies. Since then, Payton has become a crucial member of the team, where she supports several HNRK litigators and serves as a point of contact for co-counsel, clients, court personnel, and other legal professionals. Get to know Payton below:
As a women-owned boutique based exclusively in New York, HNRK is a unique place to work. What drew you to the firm?
I was initially drawn by the fact that HNRK is a women-owned firm. I grew up with some pretty incredible female role models, and they made a huge difference in my life. Because of them, I knew I wanted to work in an environment where I could grow and learn from often-overlooked voices.
What drew you to major in Justice Studies?
I was drawn to this major not only because it included elements of law, but because it gives students a fuller understanding of the world we are living in. Throughout my college courses, we focused on thinking critically about justice and the world around us to be truly aware of the ways we can combat injustices in our society.
What are some of the most important learning experiences you have had in your first year at HNRK?
Not long after I started working at HNRK, I had the opportunity to go to a trial. It was really cool to see the process from start to finish. It was a great learning experience for me and solidified my desire to go to law school in the future.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is how much I have learned in such a short time. Both my major and paralegal certificate prepared me well for my role; however, learning about something in school is much different than applying it to the real world.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I love spending time with my friends, exploring the city, or watching Criminal Minds. Since I have only recently moved to New York, I have lots to see and experience.
What is one thing you cannot live without and why?
Podcasts (especially ones about true crime)! I like having background noise while doing chores or running errands, and I can learn something while doing them.