If you enjoy research and writing and have excellent organizational skills, paralegal studies might be the career you’re looking for.
“It’s a good career field with many options for paralegals to work in,” said Jim Falco, executive dean for education, career and technical education at McHenry County College where the new program just started in January.
There are plenty of job opportunities available throughout the area, Falco said. In fact, when the college did a search for paralegals within a 50-miles radius, it found more than 1,300. “So there’s a demand for qualified paralegals,” Falco said. The Average salary in Illinois for a paralegal with a 2-year associate’s degree is $49,000.
“Paralegals work under the direction of a lawyer and typical duties include interviewing clients or potential witnesses, preparing trial evidence, maintaining case files, summarizing depositions, researching legal issues, writing briefs, contracts and letters,” Falco explained. It’s for someone who enjoys research and writing and has good organizational skills.”
“We have paralegals, lawyers and judges teaching in the program,” said Diana Sharp, associate dean. It’s been fun to be part of something new and see people excited about it. A large number of students asked for the program.”
Students include recent high school grads, returning adults, veterans “and people ready for something new,” Sharp said. The program offers an associate’s degree with 60-63 credit hours. Classes are offered in the evening to accommodate working students.
“If they want to do an internship that’s another three to six hours,” said Sharp.
Classes begin again this fall. Information sessions for the Paralegal Studies program are scheduled for May 4, May 20 and June 17. No registration is required. Financial aid options are available. For more information, visit www.mchenry.edu/paralegal call (815) 479-7728 or (815) 455-8996 or email jAfalco@mchenry.edu.