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Center for Advanced Legal Studies Paralegal Education and Training
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What is a Regulation, Anyway?

Posted by Thomas B. Swanson, J.D.

May 6, 2019 10:00:00 AM


By Thomas B. Swanson, J.D. - Academic Dean

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Topics: faculty, featured, law

James I. Wiedemer J.D. - Real Estate Law

Posted by Joy Oden

Feb 3, 2016 9:18:37 AM

James I. Wiedemer, J.D. Paralegal Instructor

Jim Wiedemer is a real estate lawyer, teacher and writer.

“Yes, but which one is your favorite?” I ask. He can’t decide; he likes them all.

“Working as a lawyer helps me see how things actually work, which makes me a better teacher; teaching helps me fine-tune how I present a concept. The best writing comes from teaching because you get immediate feedback, and the writing makes me a better lawyer.”

Jim is a well-rounded individual.

Long-time Favorite Teacher

He was the second teacher hired by Center for Advanced Legal Studies in 1987, four months after the Center opened its doors. He has taught most legal classes, but these days, as he does in his practice and his writing, he focuses on real estate law.

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Topics: faculty, education and training

Five Tips for Managing Speaker's Anxiety

Posted by Gretchen Havens

Mar 19, 2014 7:38:00 PM

fear of public speakingIf you dread the mere thought of “public speaking,” you are among millions of individuals who feel the same way. Giving a speech ranks above snakes, death and financial ruin in the hierarchy of human fears. Furthermore, it doesn’t take a large audience to trigger panic. Just presenting material out loud to one person can set your heart pounding and your mouth feeling as dry as the Gobi Desert.

You may think that, as a paralegal, you will never have to give a speech. But if you define a speech as any information you prepare and deliver verbally to another person, or a group, then you could find yourself becoming a “speaker” fairly often.

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Topics: faculty, education and training

Academic Dean's Commitment To Paralegal Students

Posted by Gail Armatys

Jan 31, 2014 11:06:00 AM

Thomas B. Swanson, Paralegal Dean & Faculty 

Thomas B. Swanson, J.D.
Academic Dean and Faculty

"Students realize that I'm committed to them entering the field and doing well..."

An Original Paralegal Instructor

Thomas Swanson is an original. He was the first teacher that the Center for Advanced Legal Studies hired 27 years ago and his crusty charm, self-effacing humor, and extensive knowledge of the law make him someone to impress and emulate for students and faculty alike.

An Original Paralegal

Born in Washington, D.C., Swanson served in the United States Air Force from 1971 to 1976 where he worked primarily as a paralegal. He received a Commendation Medal for his outstanding service as an investigator in the USAF Foreign Claims Commission in Taipei, Taiwan. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida,  he came to Houston, where he entered  the South Texas College of Law, graduating with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. He was licensed as Texas attorney by the Supreme Court of Texas in May of 1981. After having worked for a number of years at an established Houston law firm, Swanson started his own firm in 1986.

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Topics: faculty, online classes, education and training

Paralegal College Instructor Highlighted in 'Legally Mom'

Posted by Gail Armatys

Jul 12, 2012 3:20:00 PM

Vy Nguyen  “I don’t think my career has affected my motherhood, and I don’t think my motherhood has affected my career in any negative, detrimental way. Instead, they enhance each other…You can definitely do it and be happy.” Vy Nguyen, Legally Mom



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Topics: faculty

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