We recognized Post University for offering one of Top Entry-Level, Pre-Degree Paralegal Certificate Programs, adding them to our list of top recommendations for students in the area.
We were excited to hear from Peter Chepya, faculty member at Post 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.
Peter: Although every class makeup is different, there is always an array of “career changers” along with “career beginners.” The “changers” usually have prior workforce experience, but are looking to obtain the knowledge they will need to take on a new career phase in their life. While the “beginners” usually do not have much workforce experience, but are looking to obtain the knowledge they will need to take on a new first career phase in their life. Although different, both are drawn towards and have the desire to learn the law, and both are welcome at Post. To be more specific, about 7 out of 10 students in our classes are career changes. Included in that number are those retiring from military careers.
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?
Peter: I make sure that everyone in the Legal Studies program learns all the necessary skills across the curriculum and is immediately useful to the employer upon graduation. The change in approach has come with our early adoption of technology. Post is a founder of online learning and all our paralegal courses are offered in either “hybrid” or completely online formats. As a result we have been able to introduce teaching/learning techniques and practices using various up-to-date e-resources not otherwise available.
Does the program at your school include an internship and are faculty available to help students find one?
Peter: Two Internships of 3 credits each are available but neither is required.
As Program Chair I help students find internships.
The placements include everything from traditional law firms, community law clinics, and the court system, to some very 21st century initiatives; for example: we pioneered a “virtual internship” where the student was employed “remotely” by a west coast Law Firm to research the recently enacted European Union Digital Privacy Regulation.
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?
Peter: “Love” is most certainly the correct word… we are a solid, close-knit, mutually supportive group with strong links to the legal profession that includes innovative, worthwhile internships and a history of successful job placements.
Everyone helps everyone in the program: each of our paralegal students is assigned their own staff “Academic Success Coach” and all students are assured of a quick response and resolution of any concerns –everyone: staff, instructors, and administration, are all immediately available to support and assist.
Check out our full interview series here to see what other professors and faculty are saying about their paralegal programs.