College Boosts a Paralegal Career
Sometimes, the path to the career we want is a long one. As with anything, we may have to step out of our comfort zone in order to reach a new level. That was the case with Kim Tardie. She relates, "After graduating from high school and working 27 years in the legal field, I found it [was] time to step up my game and get my associate degree in Paralegal Studies at UCC."
Even though Tardie worked in the field for almost three decades she had some solid reasons to get her degree. "The online program fit perfectly with my busy work and life schedule. I have worked in many areas of law and felt that I had the skill set and experience that qualified me as a Paralegal. By getting my degree, it not only gave me a sense of pride because I had never attended college and was taking a big step at the age of 49, but I felt the program could provide me with additional skills and knowledge that could help me excel and become a valuable asset to my employer and our firm."
For Tardie, at least part of her reasoning was to fill in her knowledge gaps. Thinking about it, everyone has them. Filling in knowledge gaps is always a great reason to go to college. She continued, "The UCC program allowed me to learn more about different areas of law that I was unfamiliar with, enhance my research and writing skills, and [acquire] the tools to be a more professional and successful Paralegal in my career journey. Even with 27 years of on-the-job learning throughout my career, the Paralegal program educated me in so many ways - not only in the legal field, but on an educational level."
Looking back, Tardie gives an insiders view of her UCC experience, "The program advisor was amazing and from my very first inquiry call to her about the program until graduation 2½ years later, I felt the positive support and helpful guidance every step of the way."
Tardie was working for Lindsay Fowler, Attorney, when she decided to go to college to earn a degree. Fowler shares her thoughts about when Tardie broke the news, "When Kim came to me to tell me she was thinking about going to college to obtain her AAS, I was extremely supportive. Knowing she wanted to invest in herself for the better of our firm was a great feeling. With her prior experience and knowledge, I knew she would excel and bring so much more knowledge from the program."
Looking back, Fowler shares the benefits to her firm, "Having a paralegal in my practice just gives clients more assurance of our dedication to high quality representation. The UCC program gave her additional skills that she now can use to assist me through my trial and case preparation and it’s provided her tools that will benefit not only me, but our clients."
Chair, Social & Behavioral Sciences; Associate Professor, Paralegal