An Illinois resident has become the first Paralegal Studies major to pass the Illinois Bar exam. Sarmistha Banerjee spent a good chunk of her academic career pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology when she made the sudden decision to change career pursuits. Changing tracks, Banerjee took up Paralegal Studies at the College of DuPage. Years after this decision was made, Banerjee, certified in civil advocacy, is focusing on her career as a lawyer. She credits her paralegal background as being instrumental to influencing her decision to go to law school.
Banerjee’s strong background in research work and writing prompted her to consider taking up Paralegal Studies. After some time, her instructors convinced her to consider the possibility of going into law school. Banerjee’s story is interesting for the fact that she chose to enter law school at an age where most people are already established in their professional career.
She enrolled in law school at age 42. Most of her academic peers at that stage were in their 20s. In spite of this fact, the preparation that Banerjee acquired through the program was enough to convince her that becoming a lawyer was a feasible decision. Her choice to enroll herself in the law program at Northern Illinois University would prove to be a pivotal decision that would profoundly impact her career prospects.
The decision to enter law school was a decision that would expose Banerjee to a host of harrowing experiences. The demands of family life coupled with the academic burdens that she was required to keep up with resulted in moments of doubt and anxiety. With the help and the encouragement of her personal circle of friends and legal industry associates, Banerjee chose to persevere and her decision paid off in spades.
Banerjee consistently made the Dean’s List and ended up graduating Magna Cum Laude in her class. Now, Banerjee is reaping the rewards of her career choices. She now works as a lawyer, a reality that proves to be a far cry from her previous plans based on an education in sociology.