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Finding Paralegal Jobs in the Court System and Beyond

In Bryant & Stratton College’s paralegal program, much of the focus is placed squarely on vocabulary.

In the courtroom, at the judge’s bench and in the law office, the language used to practice law is different than the terminology used in any other career. Everyone from the judge to the paralegal needs to understand clearly what is being discussed.

“Obviously this is a very technical subject and we need to focus very early on and, really throughout the program, on vocabulary,” said instructor Michael Geary.

Geary, who teaches classes in the paralegal, criminal justice and health and human services departments said many of the paralegal classes involve less work in theory and more delving into practical experiences.

“We do a lot of hands-on work and I expose them to the same sorts of documents and projects they would be working on in the workplace,” Geary said.

The classes use many of the same document templates and resources that local law firms do. Also, for students worried about memorizing the legal jargon and document presentation, Geary said, there is no need to fret.

“I tell my students no one can memorize all of this. What I can teach you is where to find an answer,” he said.

Graduates of the paralegal program should not have set expectations for their career path after graduation. Geary said many graduates never work in a law firm.

“There are so many more opportunities out there, more than you think,” he said. “We have placed people in corporate legal department, in non-profit organizations, in various aspects of the court system, the DA office and the sheriff’s department.

“We try to tell them the opportunities are much broader than they have heard,” he said.

Within the program students are offered classes that span across a wide spectrum of law studies.

“We touch on all sorts of areas,” Geary said. “If students keep an open mind, they may be touched by one of these classes and find an area they want to go into.”  


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