When Diana Velez became the paralegal studies program director in fall 2015, one of her priorities was to add more experiential learning to the program. She wanted students to be exposed to legal careers and the variety of roles paralegals can fill in the legal field. An internship component was added to the paralegal studies program at Nunez Community College last spring. Since spring 2016, nine students have completed internships with area law offices and eight of them have found employment in the legal field.
“The paralegal program at Nunez had a practicum where students get hands-on experience in the last semester of the program, but I wanted to add another opportunity for them to learn by doing earlier in their studies,” said Velez.
Some paralegal studies students have secured jobs at their internship site, others have been hired by a different firm. In both cases, the internship experience has given these students a competitive advantage in the job market. Law firms that have served as internship sites and hired Nunez students and graduates include: Couch, Conville & Blitt; Pandit Law Firm; The Law Offices of Chip Forstall; and The Pro Bono Project.
“Most students were offered positions at the office where they interned. Those who were hired elsewhere were still the best candidates because of the internship experience; they now had legal experience and a reference in the field,” Velez explained.
Paralegal studies courses will be offered online through Nunez Community College this summer. Introduction to Law and the Paralegal Profession, Legal Ethics, and The Law of Torts and Product Liability will be offered beginning June 1. Questions about paralegal studies can be directed to Diana Velez at email@example.com.
Nunez Community College is an open-enrollment comprehensive community college offering over 30 academic programs, including specialized training and continuing education courses. Registration for summer and fall 2017 semesters is open now. On-campus registration assistance for summer will be available from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30 and Wednesday, May 31. Summer classes begin on Thursday, June 1. Apply online at www.nunez.edu.