Graduate Spotlight: Legal Assistant Advances Career with Paralegal Certificate
Danielle Cortolano has her sights set on career advancement.
An alumnae of Kennesaw State University, Cortolano was working in a real estate law firm when she began thinking about her long-term goals.
“I was a legal assistant and asked my firm if it would be beneficial for me to pursue a paralegal certificate,” said Cortolano. “In Georgia, you don’t have to necessarily be certified to work as a paralegal, but I knew I wanted the education. I knew about the program at the College of Graduate and Professional Education (CGPE) and decided to enroll.”
Taught by practicing attorneys and paralegals, the Paralegal Certificate at CGPE consists of 13 courses that focus on Georgia law. The entire program can be completed in as little as 12 months.
“The knowledge and experience that the instructors shared throughout the program was most valuable to me,” said Danielle.”They all had both real world experience and really knew Georgia law, which gave me a good grasp of what I needed to know.”
Since completing the certificate, Cortolano continues to grow her career.
“While I no longer work for the real estate firm, I was given more responsibilities while I was there,” said Cortolano. “I was handling more of the closings and documents that I wasn’t working with before. Now I work for a commercial lending firm as a post closer, and am moving into a pre-closing position that will be more legal based. My certificate helped me land this job and progress in it. It was a real benefit to have that certificate as a stamp of approval of my skills and knowledge.”
Cortolano recommends the Paralegal Certificate for anyone working in a legal setting.
“This certificate is a real benefit to you,” said Cortolano. “Take advantage of the instructors’ knowledge and experience. They have so much to offer you. I also love the professionals I met in the program. There’s camaraderie among the students and I wouldn’t have done as well without the study groups we formed.”