Since 1985, our Paralegal Certificate program has assisted thousands of students aspiring to enter the legal field. Last year, we established our Paralegal Advisory Board with the goal of enhancing the college’s longest-running program by increasing awareness and improving value. The volunteer board has worked to help our college launch the courthouse tours and grow the number of professional internship opportunities offered to current students. The tours allow students to gain further knowledge of the multiple departments within the county’s court system.
We sat down with two of the board’s esteemed members — Vic Reynolds, District Attorney, Cobb County District Attorney’s Office and Adele Grubbs, Retired, Superior Court Judge — to learn more about how the Board can be beneficial to students. Here is what they had to say:
Share some of your background and how it relates to our Paralegal program.
Adele: I am Senior Judge of the State of Georgia, previously a Cobb County Superior Judge. I came to the bench later in life having practiced law for over 26 years. During that time, we did not have anyone called paralegals. We had secretaries, some of whom were very savvy, but they did not do what paralegals do. The idea of a paralegal with some legal training was an excellent idea. While they cannot practice law, the help they provide both to the lawyer and the client is immeasurable.
Vic: I am the Cobb District Attorney. I am a former judge and was in private practice previously. There is a need for paralegals in the legal system and hopefully, I can refer the students to positions in Cobb County.
Why is the Paralegal Advisory Board important?
Adele: It pulls from the legal community and this helps in developing the program and moving with the changes in the needs of lawyers and the law. Sometimes the changes in the law itself changes the needs of the paralegal. It also gives the instructors a chance to discuss the workings of paralegals in different offices and conditions. The lawyers and judges also learn about the program and help spread the existence of the KSU program and its excellence to the community as a whole.
Vic: The Board provides guidance and direction to the program from a practitioner’s perspective. Since lawyers are usually the folks who employ paralegals, it makes sense to have them on the Board. It is important for the program and students to know where there are openings and positions for the graduates to pursue. I envision the Board giving the students this direction.
Why did you decide to join the board?
Adele: I was invited to join the Board. I have a friend who teaches one of the courses and I have spoken to her class a couple of times. I saw firsthand what good work the program does. I was interested in supporting the program and improving it.
Vic: One of my Senior ADAs is both on the Board and is an instructor. He asked me to serve as a Board member and I’m honored to do so.
What are some of the key initiatives the board is working on?
Adele: Improving the input into programs and courses with the goal of making it invaluable to the students.
Vic: The Board is working hard to make sure there are as many opportunities as possible for the graduates of the program. We also have made an effort to include the program in various attorney related events in Cobb County.
How can this board be of value to our students?
Adele: I think the members of the Board could be of benefit to the students and teachers directly by being available to speak to classes where relevant.
Vic: The Board needs to continue to look for opportunities for graduates. The Board also should strive to include students in internships.