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Wrong Turn En Route to Lunch with Sis Led Paralegal to 50-Year Career at Crowe & Dunlevy

Posted Nov 5, 2012 2:34 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A wrong turn en route to lunch with her sister led to a 50-year career at an Oklahoma City law firm for Jo Balding.

Stepping off the wrong elevator, she found herself at the firm then known as Crowe, Boxley, Dunlevy, Thweatt, Swinford & Johnson, reports the Oklahoman. So, on the spur of the moment, Balding, who already had law firm experience, decided to apply for work there.

Half an hour later, she had a job as legal secretary for co-founder Fred Dunlevy, at the firm that is now known as Crowe & Dunlevy and has 133 attorneys on its roster.

Known for her attention to detail and taking college classes to expand her knowledge of real estate and finance, Balding recalls an antitrust price-fixing case against Walmart, on behalf of a smaller retailer, as one of her most memorable.

Before it settled, she led a team of seven on a grocery-shopping expedition to various stores (their purchases were donated to food pantries). “It was easy to relate because everybody buys groceries, and everyone is concerned with the price of them,” she told the newspaper.

On her off time, Balding relaxes by working with others to make quilts for premature babies and wounded soldiers.

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