Legal assistant enjoys variety of work and client interaction


Heather Kimbrell, a legal assistant with Curtis, Curtis & Brelinski, P.C., in Jackson and previously with Farhat & Story in Lansing, lives on 14 acres in Mason and has chickens, goats, rabbits, a dog and a cat.

Photo courtesy of Heather Kimbrell

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Heather Kimbrell studied physiology at Michigan State University, with an eye toward attending medical school.

But when she became the mother of twins at age 21, she realized she couldn’t devote the time she needed to study for medical school, and decide to put those plans on hold and be a full time mom. Shortly after graduating MSU in 2001, she interviewed at the Lansing law firm of Farhat & Story, P.C., launching her career as a legal assistant.

“I honestly love to type and I’m quite good at it,” she says. “When I was looking at possible employment and saw the ad for a legal secretary position, I thought it was definitely something I might enjoy.”
Kimbrell received on the job training at Farhat & Story.

“I had no real knowledge of the law when I started, but I could type and I’m a fast learner and my career just continued to grow from there,” she says. “I was lucky to work with people who were happy to show me the ropes. One year turned into two and before I knew it I’d been with them for close to 17 years.”

In February, Kimbrell moved to her current position at Curtis, Curtis & Brelinski, P.C., in Jackson, joining with attorney Jeffrey Landon with whom she worked at Farhat & Story.

Her work entails interacting with clients on a daily basis, scheduling client appointments, drafting correspondence and documents, organizing and managing files and records, scheduling, coordinating and confirming court dates.

“I love the variety of cases we handle and interacting with our clients on a daily basis. Every day brings something different,” she says. “Although it wasn’t my original career choice, I absolutely love what I do and I think anyone who has met me would tell you that. I strive to be a bright spot in our clients’ day.”

Kimbrell has seen several changes in almost two decades as a legal assistant.

“With the development in technology over the years, it’s now possible to connect with people much quicker using email whereas 20 years ago, we would have to wait for letters through the postal service. Now we are able to get information to our clients and vice versa in a much shorter time frame, sometimes even minutes, where it would have taken days or weeks years ago,” she says. “This goes hand-in-hand with the development of smartphones and iPads and tablets that allow you to have access to e-mail at the touch of a button. 

“With the increased use of scanners, it allows us to keep documents in electronic format which minimizes paper storage. In addition, instead of having to find paper copies of documents you’re looking for, you can access the documents directly on your computer. Many courts have implemented online filing systems or allow you to file documents by email or fax which greatly speeds up the turnaround time”.

A native of Berrien Springs—a little south and inland of Benton Harbor on the west side of the state—Kimbrell spent 15 years in Leslie, between Lansing and Jackson. In 2019, the family moved to Mason, a few miles south of Lansing, to live on 14 acres in the country.

“This opened the door for me to add my animals,” Kimbrell says with a smile. “The property came with three pastures and a chicken coop that was already there. I grew up with horses, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and peacocks. So, of course, I knew I wanted to add some farm animals. Chickens were a given so we started out with 10. Shortly thereafter, my husband came across someone who was looking to re-home their fair goats. So, I did a little research and thought, well why not? We got our first five goats two years ago, four females and one male. Eight months later our five turned into 10 when our female goats had babies. The funniest part is we had no idea they were pregnant because we had the male goat fixed, just not in time! Earlier this year I decided I needed more chickens so we added a few more to the mix for a total of 18. In addition, I have two rabbits, a dog and a cat.”

Kimbrell’s 21-year-old son, who graduated from MSU in three years, is in his first year of law school; his twin sister is finishing her last year at MSU studying psychology with a minor in criminal justice. Kimbrell’s middle daughter, age 12, is in seventh grade where she is an avid soccer player and also loves basketball; while the youngest daughter, age 4, shares her mother’s love for the outdoors.

Kimbrell is enjoying working in Jackson.

“Everyone is so friendly,” she says. “There is everything you can think of within walking distance from our office—the courthouse, post office, banks, restaurants, coffee shops, book stores, clothing stores, gyms, you name it.”

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