Geena Olague recently completed the Paralegal Studies Certificate program and currently works as a Senior Transactional Paralegal. We asked if she would share a little about her experience in the program and how the program impacted her career and future goals. We’re delighted she was willing to share!
Why did you choose our program?
I chose CSUB’s Extended Education Paralegal Certificate Program because of my interest in the legal profession. I wanted to be proactive about my education and felt that this program would equip me with the proper tools needed to begin my career. At the time, I was going to school full-time and working two part-time jobs, so the asynchronous online program was a requirement for me.
How has completing the program affected your life?
Outside of what I learned from the curriculum, the program really helped me to improve my time-management skills and work-life balance. I really learned how to allocate proper time to the course by spending my Saturday mornings reading the material and doing the assignments in chunks throughout the week. The coursework was also doable in a day so there were times where I had to sit for hours just hammering out the assignments and readings. I really learned to focus for extended periods of time on those days. At times it has been daunting but, overall, I am very happy and proud of myself for investing in my education.
How has completing the program affected your career?
Completing the Paralegal Certificate program gave me the confidence and education skill set I felt was needed to begin applying to local law firms as a legal secretary or assistant. Before this, I was skeptical to apply because I felt I did not have any expertise to offer the firms. The course work helped me to develop a deep understanding of law office functions, general pleading formats, court processes and procedures, legal terminology, and a lot more. From this, I became a better applicant, interviewee, and student able to balance multiple responsibilities. I now work at Guerrero Mears LLP, a local premier transactional law firm that specializes in business, real estate, estate planning, and tax matters.
Was there a particular instructor or faculty member who had an impact on you? If so, which instructor or faculty member and how did they impact you?
All of the instructors were exceptionally nice and helpful. They were always understanding and willing to work with me. Without their consideration, it probably would have taken me longer to finish the certificate program. The instructors were composed of judges, attorneys, seasoned paralegals or legal educators with expertise in a given topic.
Would you recommend this program to a friend or colleague? Why or why not?
I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in the legal profession, wanting a career change, or expanding on their education. Like me, I think most people would be very pleased with the quality of the material, helpfulness of the instructors, and its affordability. If someone is thinking about becoming a paralegal or legal assistant I recommend taking these courses while also applying for entry-level law office positions. I also recommend this course to anyone who is already working in a firm and wants to grow their knowledge base with the certificates to back it up.
We wish Geena the best of luck as she continues on to law school and beyond! You can find more information regarding the Paralegal Studies Certificate on any of our professional development programs in the Programs section of our website.