We recognized Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley for offering one of Top Associate’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 Gordon Wells, faculty member at Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley, 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?
Gordon: Yes.That was especially the case following the 2008 financial crisis, but that impetus remains strong with our students.
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?
Gordon: We emphasize the professionalism of the career even more. And do our best to stay current on changes in technology.
Does the program at your school include an internship and are faculty available to help students find one?
Gordon: The answer is yes to both questions. The Internship is the capstone class of our program. It is up to the student to find their internship in the first instance, but we maintain a list of attorneys and firms that are “Friends of the Program” and we encourage our students to consult and network with our faculty and their fellow students who may be already employed.
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?
Gordon: The Internship – it truly gives the students an opportunity to actually work in the field and develop their skills for a semester. Our faculty of working judges, lawyers and paralegals have tremendous experience and are great role models for the profession – and are very approachable to discuss careers in the field. Finally, our students are very excited to increase their skills , and this makes for a great learning environment.
Check out our full interview series here to see what other professors and faculty are saying about their paralegal programs.