LCC paralegal program is ‘best in state’
By Maddy Warren
The website ParalegalEDU.org named LCC’s paralegal program the best in the state for 2019.
LCC’s paralegal program offers an associate degree program or a post-bachelor’s certificate program. It is for students who have previously received a bachelor’s degree.
“It’s a career-training program,” said Tracy Nothnagel, assistant professor and lead faculty member for the paralegal program. “It is training students to become paralegals (so) once they complete either one of those degrees they can go out and get a job right away.”
Bill Selesky is an adjunct instructor for the LCC paralegal program. He is also an attorney in the Lansing area. He said the recognition for the program is noteworthy.
“It’s cool to know and (it) makes you think that you’re on the right track … to know that the program’s been recognized,” Selesky said.
Nothnagel said one of the best things about the program is that all of the faculty are practicing attorneys.
“They’re learning from people who are out there in the trenches so to speak,” Nothnagel said. “So they’re getting that real-world experience.”
LCC is the only community college in the state that now has the Certified Paralegal Exam-National Certification Exam (NALA) for students embedded into the program.
“(The exam) will allow students to obtain national certification in their last semester of their program,” said Nothnagel.
“It does show that we’re recognized by … a national organization, so being recognized by them as the top associate program in the state means that we’re doing something right.”
Paralegal student Jennifer Buhns agreed the acknowledgment for the program is important.
“I think for us it’s extremely important because it helps put us in a better position to get a job,” Buhns said. “A lot of employers look for paralegals who are educated through ABA-approved programs, so that’s something that we really look for when we’re looking for schooling.”
Fellow paralegal student Nancy Douglas said one of the best things about the program is that it offers a lot of different opportunities to students who are looking to further their career skills.
“There are a lot of different people in our classes,” Douglas said. “There are people who are full-time employees transferring to a different department in their company. And then there are people like me, who are doing a career change.
“In one year I can have this certificate that’s going to set me up for a job that is experiencing growth.”
The paralegal program is also approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). For more information regarding the paralegal program, visit www.lcc.edu.