April Volunteer Spotlight – Kristine Custodio Suero, ACP
NALA Volunteer Spotlight – April 2022
Kristine Custodio Suero, ACP
Kristine Custodio Suero, ACP, says the biggest piece of advice she would give to upcoming paralegals is to never give up. It’s a philosophy that has served her well in her own life and career. Kristine graduated from California State University Long Beach in 1999 with a B.A. in Human Development. She went on to get her paralegal certificate from UC San Diego in 2004. In the years since, she has earned her Advanced Paralegal Certification in Discovery, Trial Practice, and eDiscovery.
In March 2022, Kristine was named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipino Women on LinkedIn. She was also California Paralegal of the year for the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations in 2020.
She currently works as a Senior Paralegal and Business Development Director. “I enjoy the constant challenge,” she said. “I work in a small law firm and have for nearly two decades. Everyone on my team is highly skilled and great at what they do. It is amazing all that we have accomplished as a small but mighty team. I am also grateful for the amazing community that I have been a part of over all these years. It has made for such a wonderful career and life.”
She became involved with NALA after attending her first NALA Conference & Expo in 2008. “I was hooked!” she said. “Past President Linda Wolf invited me to become active with NALA and asked me to serve as the Ethics Chair in 2009. I have been volunteering with NALA in some capacity ever since. At this point, I think I would be considered a NALA groupie!” After serving as Ethics Chair, Kristine went on to attend the LEAP Leadership Training Program. She served on the Continuing Education Council from 2014-2017 before taking on her current role as a member of the Professional Development Committee.
Kristine works not only as a paralegal but also as an adjunct instructor. She said, “I have had the great fortune of having a full career as a paralegal and have expanded my role into business development and even further into teaching at my local paralegal program. I would have to say that becoming a teacher truly revealed my purpose in life. I love being a paralegal, but teaching has been my favorite job so far. I am also active in my community as I have served in many roles with various local governments, community organizations, and nonprofits. In October of 2021, I was appointed to the Center for Judicial Education and Research Advisory Committee by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.”
Kristine and her husband, Ben Suero, are nearing their third wedding anniversary in May. “My beloved parents, Roland and Zena, passed away in 2019 and 2018, respectively,” she said. “It was truly the most difficult part of my life as I was their caregiver, but then as the universe would have it, I met my husband during this time. I also am very blessed to have an incredible inner circle and support system of family and friends.”
Kristine loves reading, writing, arts, culture, listening to music, and going to the theater in her free time. During the pandemic, she started a new hobby of collecting and growing succulents. She says it’s difficult to choose a favorite book because she reads so much. “I honestly believe that books can change lives,” she said. “I love to read about history, autobiographies, especially about self-made women, and leadership books. I just love learning. Lately, I’ve been listening to audiobooks on business and also social justice issues. I think I am a social scientist at heart.” She doesn’t usually watch much television, but over the summer she and her husband got into Korean dramas like Crash Landing on You and The King’s Affection. “As far as movies,” she said, “I typically like to watch romantic comedies or foreign movies, really anything with an excellent story.”
If she could meet anyone past or present, Kristine says “I would probably want to meet Mother Theresa and Eleanor Roosevelt (we share a birthday) because I have always admired their passion and conviction in serving and helping others.”