Kathleen J. Hailey was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. She received an A.S. degree in Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies, with honors, from St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, Florida. Kathleen is a Certified Professional Legal Secretary, a Certified Paralegal/Legal Assistant, a Florida Bar Registered Paralegal, and is a Board Certified Family Law Legal Support Specialist through the Florida Association of Legal Support Specialists, Inc.
Kathleen was in the legal field for over 30 years. Kathleen was employed by the Kalle & Shaffer Law Firm, as a secretary in estate planning and family law. She worked in banking, including for Park Bank of Florida as an Assistant Vice President. Returning to law, she worked as a secretary/legal assistant to the managing partner, Michael Ostow, of Baynard, Harrell, Mascara, Ostow, et. al. P.A., in wills, trusts and estates and also for Sarah M. Chaves in Family Law. Later, she worked for Ostow & Chaves, P.A. as secretary/legal assistant in Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Family Law. She was a paralegal with Sarah Chaves Law since its founding in 1996, and retiring in June 2022.
Kathleen has been an active member of several legal professional organizations on the local, state and national level. Kathleen is a past-President and a member of the Florida Association of Legal Support Specialists, Inc. (FALSS); past-President and a member of the St. Petersburg Association of Legal Support Specialists (SPALSS) and has been an active member of both associations in many officer and chair positions since 1998. She is the Chair of the Family Law Section of the Board Certification program of FALSS, 2002 to date. She is a former member of the Florida Association of Legal Secretaries and the St. Petersburg Association of Legal Secretaries from 1982 to 1997. Kathleen has assisted in the instruction and presentations of several FALSS Certifying Board Seminar presentation and Family Law Board Certification review courses. She has also written articles for the St. Petersburg Bar Association publication, The Paraclete; the FALSS publication, Legal Support Journal, the SPALSS publication, The Sidebar; and has assisted with classes in the Paralegal Studies Program at St. Petersburg College, including being a regular guest speaker on the paralegal profession. Kathleen received Legal Support Specialist of the Year Award from FALSS, and from SPALSS.
In addition to her professional legal support specialist activities, Kathleen was a co-founder of the Pinellas Chapter of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder), serving in many officer/committee capacities including president, board member, editor, State Conference Committee Chair, and received a Leadership Award.