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Career Changer Finds Success in Paralegal Program

Posted by Gail Armatys

Feb 12, 2013 10:44:00 AM


Sally Bakko

Sally Bakko,

Recent Graduate 


As a working professional and a person at mid-life seeking to change careers, the Center for Advanced Legal Studies has made a significant difference in my life and the professional path I have chosen.


The instructors are licensed attorneys who present substantive coursework that is challenging and helps prepare the student for the nuts and bolts work involved with the real world paralegal profession. Moreover, the instructors take an interest in the professional goals of the student and provide invaluable insights and advice. Mrs. Ziemnicki, an instructor of several courses at the Center, was extremely helpful to me when providing suggestions on my plans to prepare for and seek an intellectual property paralegal position, specifically in patent prosecution.


From the start my entry into the Center was smooth sailing. James Scheffer, Director of Admissions, was forth-coming about his own experience as a paralegal and provided not only tremendous guidance on the Center’s post-baccalaureate certificate program, but also was helpful in identifying transfer credits that could be applied towards my certificate requirements.

Figuring out how to pay for all of this education is always one of the greatest challenges when returning to school. Lori Baggett, Financial Aid Director, was instrumental in helping me through the maze of the federal student loan process. Without Ms. Baggett’s input and guidance, I could not have pulled together the sufficient funds to pay for my coursework.

The technology of on-line education can be challenging and frustrating. Eric Happe, Director of Distance Education, and Randi Jerding, Course Designer and Blackboard Administrator, were always quick to the rescue with solutions if ever I was running into technical difficulties. I am happy to say that I rarely experienced problems – another demonstration of the Center’s on-line education acumen.

Course Delivery Method

What can I say about Blackboard – the best ever and quite the lifesaver for part-time students! Since I work full-time, the convenience of an on-line alternative to attending classes is really what made my ability to complete my paralegal education a reality. More importantly, the interactive Blackboard approach to on-line education is what made the Center stand out above all other paralegal education schools. The real-time interaction real-time interaction with instructors and students enhances the learning experience and replicates the ability to build important relationships with that found in a bricks and mortar classroom.

Career Services

Simply stated - I would not have the IP Legal Assistant job offer that I recently accepted were it not for Tina Ghanavati, Director of Career Placement Services, and her personal interest in my goals and her advocacy on my behalf. Technology is an important tool in a job search strategy, but it can also become a frustrating obstacle when attempting to reach a hiring manager. Having Tina’s personable approach with potential employers on your side makes such a huge difference in getting the opportunity to interview and sell yourself as a successful candidate. Tina can help make dreams come true!


Contact Center for Advanced Legal Studies at 800-446-6931, info@paralegal.edu or click the button below to find out more about preparing for your career as a paralegal.

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Topics: online classes, financial aid, paralegal certificate, career, paralegal skills, education and training

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