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Graduation | Live in Person Event - August 20, 2022

Posted by Eric H. Happe

Aug 5, 2022 9:00:00 AM

On August 20, 2022, at 10:00 AM Central in the Joe M. Green Auditorium at South Texas College of Law, Center for Advanced Legal Studies will hold its 70th Commencement Ceremony for graduates of its paralegal programs. This will be the first commencement ceremony held in person since the global COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. CALS is committed to making it a special event for graduates and their friends and families.

6 months ago graduation was held virtually and 121 paralegal credentials were conferred. For the 70th Commencement Ceremony, attendees will finally be able to attend in person with their friends and families and have their accomplishments acknowledged as they walk to receive their paralegal certificates and degrees. 

A total of 96 paralegal credentials will be conferred. Paralegal Certificates will be awarded to 72 graduates, and Associate of Applied Science Degrees will be awarded to 24 graduates. Congratulations graduates on your hard work, dedication, and accomplishment. Your perseverance under the added difficulties imposed by a global pandemic has earned you the everlasting respect and admiration of us all.

In addition, Center for Advanced Legal Studies is proud to welcome AAS Degree graduates from the previous four virtual graduation ceremonies who were unable to walk cap-and-gown in acknowledgment of their accomplishments due to COVID restrictions. Congratulations once again on earning your paralegal degrees.

The commencement address will be presented by Nickolas A. Spencer, J.D., M.A. We are delighted Mr. Spencer has agreed to provide the commencement address to our most recent graduating class alongside our Legacy AAS graduates from March 2020 to January 2022.

The event will be moderated by CALS' Director of Outreach and Career Services, Tami Riggs, with contributions from members of CALS faculty and staff.

Nickolas A Spencer JD

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Topics: graduates and alumni, featured

20 Ways to Achieve Success as a Paralegal

Posted by Tami Riggs

Jun 28, 2022 2:00:00 PM

20 Ways to Achieve Success as a ParalegalBecoming a successful paralegal takes hard work and determination. Here are 20 ways to achieve success as a paralegal. Do you have suggestions for more?

  1. Develop a Plan – Explore a range of non-lawyer legal positions. Identify specific, short term and long-term goals that will lead you to success. Enroll in school, expand your skills, talk to your college, work with career advisors and recruiters, volunteer, intern, and build relationships with others in the field.
  2. Pursue Credentials – Take steps to obtain a certificate, diploma, or degree. Convenient options are available, both online and in person. Many firms require a credential as a pre-requisite for interviewing and hiring. Higher education will add value throughout your career.
  3. Continue Learning – Successful people are students for life. Cultivate a growth mindset. Increase your knowledge. Law is always evolving. Stay current and informed by attending seminars and completing practical, skills-based training and courses created specifically for paralegals yearly.
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Topics: career, paralegal skills, featured

How to Communicate Criminal History to Potential Employer

Posted by Tami Riggs

Jun 15, 2022 10:00:00 AM

AdobeStock_197066428_Job InterviewIf you have a criminal past, you have likely encountered difficulties re-entering the workforce or obtaining a professional position. A career change or job search with a conviction can be challenging. However, many find success! They can and do enter the legal field, despite the limitations a criminal record presents.

Any part of a candidate’s background that violates accepted social standards or involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or violence may impact interviewing and hiring decisions. Law firms typically refrain from reviewing or selecting candidates with a misdemeanor or felony conviction for drugs, assault, theft, burglary, trespass, and any offenses involving weapons. These are considered crimes of “moral turpitude.” Moral turpitude crimes disqualify a person from obtaining a Notary Commission in many states, and notary licensing laws disallow felons. Associations and organizations (including those that are not legal) may also deny testing, membership, and affiliation for applicants with a criminal background. However, there are opportunities in the legal field that do not require a designation or organizational membership. It will be important to explore possible restrictions in licensure and certification as you move forward in your professional career and educational pursuits. If you have a crime on your record, research the laws and regulations in your state so that you fully understand any job, designation, or membership restrictions.

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Topics: career, featured

Why Should We Hire You? Give a FAB Response!

Posted by Tami Riggs

Apr 20, 2022 10:00:00 AM

FAB is an acronym for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. FAB is a common 3-Step strategy employed in sales and marketing to generate interest in products. However, the technique can also be utilized during an interview to SELL yourself and fit any expertise acquired through experience, education, and training to specific job requirements. Consider the following when organizing your FAB responses:
Why should we hire you


Feature – What key factors, attributes, and skills do you have as required by the position?
Advantage – What strengths do your accomplishments, abilities, or past performance indicate relative to the competition?
Benefit – What is the result or value an employer can anticipate from hiring you?

A paralegal job description will typically require the ability to prepare legal documents and correspondence as well as the ability to organize and maintain files. The examples below illustrate how you can use the FAB method to focus your responses, so they are more impactful.

Example 1
Feature: You earned a Paralegal Credential
Advantage: You understand the legal process and terminology better than someone without a credential
Benefit: You are qualified through education and training to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts, and as a result, can complete the work more quickly and effectively.

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Topics: graduates and alumni, credentials, career, paralegal skills, education and training, featured

Social Media: Keep it Professional or Keep it Private!

Posted by Tami Riggs

Apr 1, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Social-Media-Dangers-AdobeStock_95115259If you are active on social media, be aware that what you give to the web and sharing platforms can be linked to your professional profile. Information you post publicly on any account leaves a digital footprint that is fair game for all to see, whether you are a prospective employee or a current one. A first and lasting impression can be reached well before a virtual or in-person meeting is ever scheduled.

Many hiring managers and recruiters review social media sites and public forums, including candidate posts and comments in internet communities. They may make assessments based on the information made openly available. This includes your online username and content found in your profiles and conversations. Employers are legally prohibited from asking about gender identification, race, ethnicity, disabilities, sexual orientation, political views, and religious affiliation – but they don’t need to if a profile is made public.

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