Residency Reflection: Jessica Keys-Hall
Written by Jessica Keys-Hall
One of the things that actually intrigued me about starting this program was the residency portion. Coming from an education background, this seemed like something similar to student teaching; a baptism by fire (albeit fake flames since we aren’t working for a lawyer, rather a grade). I didn’t know what to expect when preparing materials or when I arrived on campus. I’ve never even set foot in a law office. Ever. So I came into the residency totally green and ready for anything. I’ve learned that it is hard to prepare a paralegal student for any specific area, however, exposing them to as much as possible helps to produce a well-rounded paralegal. I am thankful in that aspect. It is very advantageous to have so many different types of work product examples to show a potential employer. While in the ‘heat of battle’ - aka semester classes, it seems very disjointed and difficult to see the forest from the trees but the residency helped to tie everything together. Now that that both the semester and residency are over, I can better appreciate what I have learned and the manner in which it was delivered.
Since I didn’t know what to expect, the residency didn’t change my feelings toward the field. During the semester, I found it difficult to keep up. I was enrolled in four classes and each required copious amounts of reading and various assignments. At the time, I was pulling my hair out wondering how I would ever get it all finished and how in the world would I ever remember all of the material. Then I started the residency and one of the professors said something that calmed me, “Don’t try to memorize everything. That’s not practical…or possible.” It helped tremendously.
I feel that the residency and the classes offered in the program prepare each student to succeed in the paralegal field. I feel that I can do what is asked of me. If I was asked to prepare a complaint, I could. If I was asked to research for a case, I could.
I want to end by thanking each of the professors I have had in the program. I have learned so much and cannot wait to put what I’ve learned into practice. Learning that there are so many different avenues of employment and areas of expertise allows us to have the freedom and ability to find an area we like and serve the community to the best of our ability.
Published on September 16, 2014