We recognized University of Hartford for offering one of Top Post-Degree Certificate Programs, adding them to our list of top recommendations for students in the area.
We were excited to hear from Regina Graziani, faculty member at University of Hartford, 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?
Regina: Yes, we consistently have a number of students who come primarily to our Certificate program with a desire to change professions.
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?
Regina: As attorneys understand what paralegals are able to do, paralegals will continue to take on more responsibilities in the workplace. Paralegals have become more than the “girls” in the office. Attorneys are recognizing the skill sets that an educated paralegal brings to the office. As such, we continue to provide paralegals with not only the practical skill sets that are needed, but also the legal (theory)background needed to understand the larger picture of what the attorney is doing. Paralegal education now must strive to raise the level of knowledge that is being imparted to students so they can better partner with attorneys to serve the client ore efficiently.
Does the program at your school include an internship and are faculty available to help students find one?
Regina: Yes, our program includes and internship. The internship is required for bachelor students, and is strongly recommended for associate and certificate students. One of our faculty is in charge of the internship program and assists students in securing an internship site, among other things.
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?
Regina: First, I love the support we receive from the University. Even though we are a small program, we have support from the larger University. Second, we provide students with a number of opportunities outside the classroom to develop and grow as professionals. Third, the passion and genuine desire that our faculty have. Our faculty is comprised of practicing attorneys who teach what they do. They have a strong commitment to educate our students to be the best they can be. Fourth, our students and alums are supportive. Students develop strong bonds with their cohort which continues long after commencement. Alums reach back and mentor students and new graduates. Finally, our Advisory Board provides support and insight that helps to make our program better at every turn.
Check out our full interview series here to see what other professors and faculty are saying about their paralegal programs.