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Paralegal Program: A Great Choice for Single Mom

Posted by Gail Armatys

Mar 5, 2013 11:32:00 AM

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Krystle Fowler has set her toddler up with cartoons and a banana and is now ready to talk. She says her son gets his stubborn nature from her and he sometimes pipes up during Krystle's paralegal program on-line classes, but for now, it seems as if he's occupied. Being a mother of a two-year old has forced Krystle to take some time and seriously consider her options.

Trained in the battle field of call-center sales

Krystle is a veteran of the tough, soul-destroying industry of call-center sales. And she not only survived; she enjoyed it. She is good with people and only ever had one customer that she couldn't calm down and keep. But every other irate caller, who was angry because his service was not working or her bill was too high, was captivated by her Southern charm. She has a knack of talking smoothly and encouragingly that would tame the most beastly of buyers. Her success in turning  fuming and grumpy customers to devoted and joyous ones was not lost on her employers who wanted her in their win-back department - where brave, intrepid telephone representatives only deal with the enraged. The company was devastated when she decided to leave.

Choosing to use her skills as a paralegal 

But Krystle was now a single mom, split from her boyfriend and living with her grandparents for support and she needed to be able to securely provide for her son. "I needed to put myself in a position where I never had to depend on a man; even if I ever find a breadwinning husband, I need something to fall back on if something were to happen. "

So she cast about for a more secure career. She considered medical transcription, but then realized that being a paralegal is another way to use the skills that she had honed in the call center. She would be helping people at a time when they may be unhappy or stressed, just like those she once dealt with on the other end of the phone.   

Being a paralegal is another way to help people

As a child, Krystle always wanted to be a lawyer, psychologist or a teacher. Now, as a paralegal, she'll  take the first step on the road to a legal career. And the ability to read people and work with them that psychologists and teachers employ comes naturally to her and  will be very useful in a law office.  She would like to work in family law. Helping distraught families, at a time when they're under emotional stress, is what Krystle is most looking forward to. " People come to a lawyer when they're in a state of crisis; they're not at their best. But, I'm good at calming people down. And, I want to help." And she's proud to be entering the legal profession. "Lawyers get a bad rap," she says. "But most of them are just trying to be of assistance during a time of need."

The Center for Advanced Legal Studies builds skills and confidence

She has been delighted with the Center for Advanced Legal Studies. "When I first started, I was very insecure. But the more school I get under my belt, the more papers I write, the more papers I read, I see the transformation in the power of my mind. I feel my confidence growing."

"CALS teaches you more than just the law," she says. "It's a place where people say no matter what, we know you can do it. The teachers want you to get the material so that you can go out into the world and either know the material from class or know where to access it. The instructors don't want to be your friend; they want you to be successful. That's amazing." And with her intelligence, tenacity and charm, Krystle is in for a very successful career. But for the moment, the cartoon has ended and it's back to being a mom.

  

Joy Oden, Center for Advanced Legal Studies Faculty 

Blogger, Joy Oden teaches English Comprehension at CALS in both the traditional and online classroom. She writes about her students because she is continually amazed at their desire to change their lives, their ability to overcome difficult circumstances,  and their determination to help others.

   

Topics: paralegal skills, education and training

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