Did you know our Paralegal program is our longest-running certificate program? Now in its 31st year, the program will help prepare you for a prestigious career in the legal field. Named 2014’s Program of Excellence by UPCEA South, it offers daytime and evening courses — making the path from the classroom to the courtroom easier than before.
Over the past three decades, the program has become well established and respected in the community. It’s instructed by an extensive roster of high-profile attorneys and paralegals. We sat down with one of them, Jeff Gaba, to learn more. Here’s what he had to say:
How long have you been a paralegal instructor for us?
I have been teaching KSU Paralegal real estate classes for three years.
Briefly discuss your credentials and background and how it relates to instructing this course.
I have a very unique background in that I have worked as in-house counsel, as a federal government attorney, solo practitioner and in a large law firm. I have been a partner in my firm for the last nine years. So, I have had an opportunity to see the practice of law from many perspectives.
Give us an overview of the program. What can students expect to learn?
I teach basic real estate law as it pertains to a real estate practice. My students learn the basic fundamentals of a real estate closing practice so they can immediately transition to a real estate paralegal. Several of my former students currently work in real estate closing firms and have been able to hit the ground running from what they have learned in class. We do a lot of simulations and I provide numerous form documents from contracts to deeds.
Who is the ideal student for this course?
I think the ideal student is someone who has some business life experiences. Or, perhaps an individual transitioning through a second career change or someone who has worked in the business world for more than five years.
What are the employment trends showing?
I think the legal market is definitely changing. Law firms are now utilizing paralegals more because the market dictates that clients would rather pay lower rates. Our firm and many downtown firms are moving in this direction very fast. We feel that paralegals are more valuable than administrative staff because the firm can bill their time. Their hourly rates are much less than first-year associates and they actually pay for themselves and are profitable to the law firm. The same principal is happening in the medical field with PAs and nurse practitioners.
Where are some of the best places to work as a paralegal in the real estate field?
I tell my students the best place to learn real estate law is in a large volume residential closing firm. After they get trained and master the basic real estate principals then they can be more selective and move to a commercial real estate practice or real estate litigation. They must first understand and have a working knowledge of the basics.
Is Paralegal in your future?