Meet Our [Law] Suits: Karla Eckardt
By Malia-Lyn Fushikoshi
FSU College of Law, 3L
Karla Eckardt, a Miami native, moved to Tallahassee to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and criminology from Florida State University. During her time at FSU, Ms. Eckardt started working as a paralegal at a law firm in Tallahassee. Her role as a paralegal later morphed into a legal administrator role. She expected that her time at the law firm would continue to inspire her to attend law school. However, she realized that her professional skills and work-life balance goals were better suited in a legal administration role, rather than the substantive practice of law. Rather than going to law school, she pursued a juris master’s degree in legal risk management and human relations compliance.
Ms. Eckardt has worked at The Florida Bar since 2017. She is currently a Practice Management Advisor in the department LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar. Ms. Eckardt’s workday varies each day. Typically, she answers live chat messages, emails, and phone calls to assist Bar members with the business aspects of managing a law firm (i.e., billing, marketing, etc.) and technology support. Ms. Eckardt believes this job position was a match made in heaven as her work duties are similar to the work she performed at her last job. She also performs a lot of internal work for the department, such as handling social media accounts and creating content for the department’s website. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the transition to remote work, Ms. Eckardt’s workday has not changed much because the department was already operating on a cloud-based program. Impressively, her department has not closed one day since the pandemic began!
When asked about her favorite part about working at The Florida Bar, Ms. Eckardt stated that she loves working with a team. Previously, she worked at a small law firm, but now working at a large organization, she is able to learn from and interact with numerous people at work. She finds working at The Florida Bar extremely rewarding and enjoyable as it matches her professional skills and goals.
Ms. Eckardt believes being a good listener and being a good communicator is key to upholding a high standard of professionalism. Since her job involves talking to a variety of different Bar members, who each have different questions and concerns, she takes listening to their concerns and responding accordingly very seriously. Also, she believes it is important for everyone in her department to communicate effectively in order to do their job efficiently and effectively. Even during the pandemic, she continues to communicate daily with her team.
Additionally, she believes that it is important for her to be receptive to the changing landscape of the legal industry, especially now more than ever due to the pandemic. A fun fact about Ms. Eckardt is that she loves home DIY projects. She also loves to read eBooks and to spend time with her two dogs.