We recognized John F. Kennedy University for offering one of Top Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies, adding them to our list of top recommendations for students in the area.
We were excited to hear from Lisa S. Hutton, faculty member at John F. Kennedy University, who took the time to answer a few questions about how the school works to create a great student experience that helps prepare graduates for a career in the legal field.
Are you finding a lot of career changers in your program looking to get their start in the legal profession?
Lisa: Yes, especially in the paralegal certificate program. Most already have BA degrees in the certificate and are re-entering the workforce after raising children, or working in another field. Most in the BA are looking for an undergraduate degree prior to attending law school.
Paralegals are really getting the respect they deserve these days, and taking on more and more responsibilities on the job. How is this changing the approach to educating new paralegals?
Lisa: We conduct employer interviews each year to ensure our curriculum is keeping up with the required skills and knowledge needed by paralegals in our area. Additionally, we utilize an advisory board of practicing paralegals and attorneys to guide us as needed. We have specifically added a legal technology specialization into the degree, as well great emphasis on legal writing and analysis and document drafting (discovery, pleadings)
Does the program at your school include an internship and are faculty available to help students find one?
Lisa: Yes, we have a 4 unit internship that includes a classroom component. We have an internship supervisor who finds students appropriate placement. Students do not have to find placement on their own.
What are some of the things you love most about the paralegal program at your school – the kind of things you’d like future students to know about as they consider their options?
Lisa: We are the only ABA approved Bachelor’s Degree in Northern California. We are housed within our College of Law which allows for excellent opportunities of collaboration with our law students, such as working in our two legal clinics. All textbooks in the paralegal program may be “borrowed” and therefore students are not required to purchase any of the texts. All faculty are practicing attorneys who mentor the students, rather than lecture them. Our emphasis on practical application skills is exceptional.
Check out our full interview series here to see what other professors and faculty are saying about their paralegal programs.