Casey Campbell lives to learn.
As the Legal Assistant to Jeffrey Howell at Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law, she’s in the catbird seat to indulge her gentle vice.
“I’ve always loved going to school, I loved college, I love learning things,” she says, adding that she constantly looks up new things to absorb. “I love knowledge in general.”
It helps in the job, as far as merging disparate details. Campbell says her husband, Nicholas, is the same way.
She’s an ace at internet research. “Then you start going down these rabbit holes,” and details emerge from various sources including Wikipedia, YouTube and random articles that pop up during internet sweeps.
“So they (her workmates) all laugh at me about it: They say I’m the FBI of the office because I can find anything about anybody online.”
One goal behind this is to get back into school. Having children — two boys: Gabriel, 6, and Dominic, 13 — kept her among diapers rather than dissertations. Almost a year ago she was in the process of enrolling in Tallahassee Community College. “Then Covid happened and threw a monkey wrench into the plans.”
Even though the classrooms are closed, Campbell continues her quest for knowledge.
“For most of my life I wanted to be an Egyptologist. As I get older I’ve found what I’m more interested in is Anthropology. I love (to know) why people do things. Even if it’s as simple as why they build this clay pot this way, or why they wrote this law this way.”
“I love knowing what both sides of a situation are.” So when she researches about something she always tries to find both sides.
“I love that we work on so many different things,” Campbell says. “Even if the cases are similar or it’s the same type of case, there are so many mitigating factors and I’m not the type of person who thrives in a monotonous, repetitive job. So being able to come in every day and it’s something different, I love that.”
“I’m really good at finding things.” Consider it “real-life anthropology.”
Her curiosity can take macabre turns.
She expresses interest in “how different people are reacting differently to the Covid outbreak. How their backgrounds influence how people are responding to it.”
“I find that terribly interesting.”
She’s also done a lot of research into the Great European Plagues from the 14th through 17th century. “War, disease and death are large-scale examples of it.”
It could be said that her and her husband’s interests led the appeal to being in medieval reenactments sponsored by the Society for Creative Anachronisms. Her big interest remains making the clothing and cooking for gatherings.
Another interest is Dungeons & Dragons: “We’re very nerdy.”
Through it all, though, she credits Howell for maintaining a sympathetic office atmosphere.
“Jeff at his core is a very caring, very loving, very supportive person,” Campbell says. “If I run into a problem, I’ll go into his office and even if he’s got work to do, he’ll put it aside and ask: ‘Are you OK?’ I think that goes a long way for it.”
“Even if we’re all bogged down covered with work, he takes time to listen to staff's concerns or ideas. At the end of the day we’re all standing around joking with each other. It's important to have an enjoyable workplace to go to in the morning.
“And the entire staff works hard too I should add.”