We recognized University of New Haven 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 Victor Rodriguez, faculty member at University of New Haven, 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?
Victor: Most of our students are undergraduate students pursuing a major course of study in legal studies with a concentration in paralegal studies or another concentration but also pursuing a paralegal certificate. There are a significant number of students who are pursuing the paralegal certificate after they have completed their college degrees in an effort to find better jobs or change their career.
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?
Victor: This trend is fantastic and fits very well with our approach to educating paralegals because we have always firmly believed in the importance of providing our paralegal studies students with strong analytical and writing skills that would allow them to take on many responsibilities within the legal profession.
Does the program at your school include an internship and are faculty available to help students find one?
Victor: We strongly believe in the importance of the internship experience for our paralegal studies students. For this reason, we offer a pre-internship course and a full year internship course that requires at least 300 hours of work. The pre-internship course helps students prepare for the process of seeking and obtaining a job. They will draft and update their resumes and prepare for interviews. The students actively participate in the process of selecting their internship opportunity so that they may pursue their interests. We have been fortunate to have the support of the legal community in this area so that we can offer very challenging and enjoyable working opportunities for the students.
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?
Victor: The paralegal program offers a unique experience to our students because, in addition, to offering them a solid academic program focused on the development of research, writing and analytical skills for the legal professions, the program has very committed faculty to the students development and preparation. Program Faculty are assigned to students as first years and we take pride in accompanying the students on this journey every step of the way with the purpose of assisting them in pursuing their goals. Our faculty is readily available to answer questions and support our students as they build course schedules around their particular personal circumstances that also meet University requirements. In addition to the academic program, students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities like Mock Trial and the Legal Society. Both of these activities provide the environment that allows for the development of a solid network, as well as developing skills in advocacy, public speaking, legal writing, and legal analysis.
Check out our full interview series here to see what other professors and faculty are saying about their paralegal programs.