Diploma in One Hand, Job in the Other

Beverly Vargas - Paralegal Graduate

Career prospects for UCC paralegal graduates are good inside and outside of Douglas County.

ROSEBURG, Oregon – Who wouldn’t love the stability of knowing they were well on their way to a successful career BEFORE graduating from college? That’s exactly what happened to Paralegal program graduate Beverly Vargas. She was hired to work in an attorney’s office while completing her degree at Umpqua Community College (UCC). She finished with a diploma in one hand and a job in the other.

“I love working in family law,” Beverly said. “Everything interests me—from pre-nuptials and pleadings to finalizing adoptions for families. It’s something different every day. There are so many jobs and law offices that need paralegals. Being able to complete the program online really helped, too.”

Beverly lives in Douglas County and that’s where she wanted to go to school.

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“I always wanted to go with a local college,” she said. “A place where if I had questions I’d still have someone local to talk with face-to-face. Crystal Sullivan, our instructor and program coordinator, always answered my questions and supported me through everything.”

Local employer and attorney Randy Rubin hired Beverly. As a member of UCC’s Paralegal program advisory board, Rubin makes recommendations on class topics that will make graduates desirable to employers.

“Having a paralegal who can listen, understand, and then take the ball and run with a task—like writing a legal brief—is important to those of us hiring,” Rubin said.

Job prospects are good both in and outside of Douglas County. Paralegals and legal assistants are in demand—especially those coming from UCC. Beverly is not the first student snapped up by a local employer even before having a degree in their hand, and she certainly won’t be the last.

“Lawyers know that the paralegals coming from UCC will have the skills to do the job,” Rubin said. “In the past, it’s been extremely difficult to even get applicants who had basic computer skills let alone knowledge of the court system. We don’t worry about that when they come from UCC.”

Paralegal Studies at UCC is an online program that prepares students for entry-level positions as paralegals or legal assistants. Graduates are hired by law firms, businesses, insurance companies, banks, public agencies, title companies, and government offices.

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.

Contact

Crystal Sullivan - Contact
Chair, Associate Professor, Paralegal Studies
541-440-4663

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