By Carina Yturbe
On The Lookout Investigations LLC Investigator
Growing up with a father who is a retired Federal Correction’s Officer and a mother who is a paralegal, I naturally developed a curiosity and passion for law. I would always listen to them talk about their experiences at work and watched endless amounts of criminal shows. I knew that I wanted to follow their footsteps and make my own career path in the legal field, especially in criminal law so I received an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Going to school for criminal justice really helped me understand the Constitution that we all live by and to understand everyone’s rights. There are many facets to this area of law such as law enforcement, the actual practice of law, court procedures and civil litigation to name a few. I became even more fascinated with the legal field and wanted to further my education. I thereafter received my Paralegal Certificate from an ABA approved program. The paralegal studies program made me realize how much I love to challenge myself and conduct research.
At the time of my graduation, I was working in the Litigation Department for DGR-The Source for Legal Support. I was responsible for reviewing documents provided by our clients and processing them in our system to be served upon the defendants in their case. I always found myself researching the court rules for service of process, constantly asking questions to ensure that each file was served properly. I wanted to be more involved in each individual case and working with individuals in the legal field appealed to me. I wanted to do more for our clients and I was ready for more responsibility. DGR’s sister company, On the Lookout Investigations, needed an investigator so I expressed my interest and was approved for the transition!
This is where I began my journey in the exciting world of investigations! I was thrilled to learn new skills that would enhance my career and complement my paralegal experience. Of course, like any other investigator, I had to complete several trainings and learn the necessary techniques that an investigator would utilize to research and obtain information. One of the most important things that I learned in conducting investigations is ETHICS! Regardless of what you may know of a defendant and/or entity, the way you obtain any information can really make or break your case in court. Using all the education and skilled training I’ve received, I put my best foot forward and entered the position as a Private Investigator.
After working on hundreds of cases, I must say that I have found my real purpose. On the Lookout provides multiple services that aid in many different types of cases which allows me to put my paralegal know-how to work. I assist attorneys and paralegals every day helping them to obtain information related to their cases in connection with collection of judgments, performing asset searches, locating a new address to serve a defendant, or preparation of witness statements which in the end will help their clients!
When people look at me, they do not anticipate that I am a Private Investigator (”PI”) which is beneficial when I am out in the field interviewing possible witnesses and/or conducting surveillance. My litigation experience helps me interact with clients to truly understand what records and/or documents they will need in court. My paralegal skills of organization, analyzing documents, document preparation and summarizing information have all helped me remain objective in case management. I have the honor to help change people’s lives for the better and am very thankful to DGR-The Source for Legal Support and On the Lookout Investigations for giving me the opportunity to develop into a PI. Never in a million years did I think I would ever utilize my paralegal training to become an actual Private Investigator, but I am a true living testament that if you chase your dreams and challenge yourself, you can make anything possible!