Skyline College’s Paralegal Department, in partnership with the Career Advancement Academy, hosted its third annual Legal Careers Night on April 26. The event featured two panels: “Pathways to Law School” and “Getting Started as a Paralegal” and welcomed nearly 75 attendees.

Legal Careers Night serves to inform paralegal students, those interested in the legal studies educational pathway, and students in the exploratory stage of their major, about key areas of the academic and career development process within the legal field: selecting a major and preparing for transfer and positioning yourself as a competitive applicant in the legal field.

Throughout the evening, attendees had the opportunity to have their resumes reviewed by the Career Center and network with employers, fellow students, faculty, legal professionals, and legal Human Resources representatives. Robert Half Legal Staffing discussed job placement opportunities within law firms throughout the Bay Area and supplied students with local and national labor market data for various legal positions. After each panel, students were eager to speak with panelists individually to gather additional insight, advice, and tips for future success.

The diverse panels included practicing lawyers, paralegals, legal recruiters, hiring managers, legal educators, and featured several notable Skyline College alumni, including San Mateo Community College District representative Trustee Maurice Goodman, a member of the Skyline College President’s Council Damian Guzman, and Skyline College Paralegal Program instructor Maria Segarra. Each panelist graciously gave of their time, generously shared their personal stories with the audience, and ensured that our students experienced an engaging night. Panel moderators Lavinia Zanassi and Jesse Raskin expertly facilitated these remarkable panels and fielded thoughtful questions from students during the Q&A portion.

Legal Careers Night was made possible by Skyline College’s support for innovative work and by the hard work and dedication of the Legal Careers Night planning team: Jesse Raskin, Maria Segarra, Jeremy Evangelista, Nikki McLaughlin (a CAA Legal Careers alumni and Skyline  College graduate), and Alina Varona. A special thanks to the facilities team who did a great job setting up and tearing down the event, Roger Marcelo in Multimedia Services for ensuring excellent sound and lighting support, and MCPR for their marketing support.

For the past six years, The Career Advancement Academy has connected students to opportunities in higher education and higher wage careers by integrating accelerated and contextualized English and math, career technical education, and integrated student support. To date, the Career Advancement Academies have served well over 1,500 students with academic programs in Allied Health, Automotive Technology, Biotechnology, Early Childhood Education, and Legal Careers, along with additional bridge and dual enrollment programs at Baden High School, Peninsula High School, 3rd Street Youth Health Center, and incumbent worker training partnerships with community based organizations, including Goodwill Industries.

As the Career Advancement Academy comes to an end this spring 2018 semester, we look forward to seeing the great work of supporting students’ academic and economic success continue to flourish across the College.

Article by Nikki McLaughlin & Alina Varona | Photo by Kevin Perez

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