Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Paralegal studies at Peirce, fall recap

The past year has been a busy and exciting one for the Paralegal Studies program here at Peirce College. Our students and alumni are doing great things and the program is more involved than ever in the local legal community. In case you missed something, are interested in getting involved, or are simply curious about what the Peirce Paralegal Studies program is all about, here’s a rundown of some of the great things that happened in Fall 2010.

Events in the Philadelphia legal community

Our students, faculty, and alumni continue to engage in activities, seminars, and forums that contribute to the growth of the profession and mentor the next generation of paralegals.

In early October, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) held its National Convention here in Philadelphia, where Peirce participated as an exhibitor and Professor Glenn Barnes presented a CLE program – Contracts for Paralegals: Practical Guidelines for Analysis and Drafting. The NFPA is one of the professional associations we look to as a guiding force for our profession. We encourage our students to get involved in our own Paralegal Student Association, and as student members in the professional associations

This year’s National Convention included a special session for students that featured a panel discussion of the legal field. Hearing from these distinguished legal professionals was a great learning experience for Peirce paralegal students.

In mid-October, a group of students, faculty, and alumni visited the National Constitution Center to hear Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer speak about his recently published book, “Making Our Democracy Work.” He is such an important voice in our legal system; we were all grateful for the opportunity to hear a Supreme Court Justice speak in such an intimate setting.

Peirce Paralegal Student Association hosts on-campus symposium

The Peirce College Paralegal Student Association hosted a large symposium on campus on Nov. 16. It’s an event we hold every year, and this year the theme was pro bono legal work. The symposium attracted a “standing room only” audience, including students, alumni, and legal professionals.

Representatives from many area paralegal associations were in attendance to offer their insight to students, including the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals, South Jersey Paralegal Association, Montgomery County Paralegal Association, Chester County Paralegal Association, Bucks County Paralegal Association, and the Keystone Alliance of Paralegal Associations. A panel of 15 industry professionals broke into three groups to field questions from students. They addressed everything from expectations and real world challenges that students will face in a legal career, to what students should do now to best prepare for their career.

On top of that, we had two amazing keynote speakers who spoke about important pro bono topics and opportunities for students to get involved:

Students who attended the seminar had an unmatched opportunity to learn about pro bono issues directly from professionals working in the legal field. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all those who joined us! Your wisdom and guidance is integral to helping students gain knowledge outside of the academic realm. Exposure to this real-world knowledge and experience is vital to their future careers. It was a vibrant, dynamic event that our students pulled off with polish.

Congratulations are in order for some of Peirce’s own

Babette Pace ’06 was recently appointed to the position of Student Membership Growth Coordinator for the NFPA. In this role, she will serve as an advocate for students to get them involved in professional associations early on, educating them about the opportunities to learn, grow, and build your career from the start.

Student Teresa Wilson, one of our Paralegal Student Association presidents, has been selected as a board member of the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals (PAP) for 2011-2012. This well-deserved recognition brings to light Teresa’s commitment to both academic and professional development within the paralegal field.

Both women continue to bring a high level of energy and commitment as ambassadors and advocates for the Peirce Paralegal Studies program.

Up next for Peirce Paralegal Students

We’re in the process of reviewing applications for our Paralegal Scholarship campaign for new students, and the next round will be awarded soon. This comes around every fall and spring, so if you missed the submission deadline this time around, keep an eye out for the next opportunity.

And coming soon, we’ll be launching a Peirce College chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), a nationally recognized academic national honor society for paralegal students. We’re planning our first induction of honor students within Paralegal Studies to occur during the spring term. But more on that to come soon!