As a stay-at-home mother for 20 years, I faced monumental obstacles when faced with rejoining the work force. Seminole State provided me first with career testing to point me in the right direction, the Seminole State Legal Studies program. The Legal Studies program provided me with a first class education, leading to an A.S. degree. Because of the education and career support I received, I was able to be selective in the paralegal position I accepted. I found a true mentor and continued my education earning a B.A. in legal studies, then gained acceptance into law school.
As a non-traditional student, I was intimidated by the prospect of returning to school. The Paralegal program at Seminole State did not disappoint. The classes and coursework were demanding and rigorous, and the professors held high standards. However, through the coursework of the program, I become competent in the nuts-and-bolts of legal research and writing, procedural law, professional responsibility and a host of specialized areas of law.
The Paralegal program at Seminole State took the confusion and mystery that previously surrounded all things legal and replaced it with a pragmatic skill set and the passion for law. This fall I will once again be entering school as a non-traditional student - however this time it will be as a law student. I credit the Seminole State program for giving me the confidence to take on this next level of legal education.
Seminole State's Legal Studies program was a springboard for me. Everything positive professionally started there. Through my internship, I was able to meet attorneys' in the area; I took my national certification exam and landed a job in a well-established law firm in Winter Park. Since leaving Seminole State, I have kept in touch with some of my classmates and shared in their successes. I've become active in the professional organizations in the area. My former classmates and I have networked, helped one another out professionally and really become part of the legal community in Central Florida. Because of the education and preparation that took place while I was in school at Seminole State, I am recognized as a legal professional and accepted as a knowledgeable, skilled paralegal.
I didn't realize the quality of education I received at Seminole State until after I started working. Once I was out in the "real world" it was apparent that the Seminole State College Paralegal program had taught me what I would need to know not only to survive, but also to excel. I have worked with other paralegals who graduated from other community colleges, or who had more experience in the field than I did (or both) and they didn't seem to know nearly as much as I had been taught. Paralegal classes at Seminole State teach you to be a professional and to surpass the rest. Among employers, the school's program has an excellent reputation and it just keeps getting better.
I employed two students who received their education from Seminole State, one full time and one part time. The full time employee became a CLA while she was employed at my firm. She will begin law school in a few months. I have found both Seminole State paralegal program graduates to be well-suited to work in the legal field. Unlike other employees with similar education backgrounds but dissimilar degrees, they bring a good basic knowledge of the legal system and legal matters to the workplace, without needing to be familiarized with what goes on in a law office. They are also better motivated than are other similarly educated persons to work in the legal field. Simply put, "they hit the ground running."
One of my employees has now worked for me two and a half years. The other is coming up on her one year anniversary. The best proof of their ability is that both are still working here. The first person I employed out of Seminole State replaced a legal secretary who had worked for me nearly 27 years. In my view, my 27 year legal secretary was a qualified paralegal by virtue of her experience. Also, with a four-year university degree, she was qualified in every other respect by virtue of her education. It was a hard act to follow. But the Seminole State legal education program graduate followed and followed with distinction. I am a "happy camper."