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Marine veteran finds his career path through Blinn’s Paralegal Program

Daniel McCarthy discovered his passion for the law while on his fourth tour of duty

May 13, 2016

Daniel McCarthyServing in the U.S. Marines, Daniel McCarthy sat in a lot of operations where rules and regulations were crucial. It was on his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan that McCarthy realized that his passion lay in the law.

Searching for his next move after leaving the Marines in 2012, McCarthy discovered Blinn College’s Paralegal Program. His decision to enroll placed on the path to a fulfilling career.

Originally from New Jersey, McCarthy didn’t realize his interest in the legal field until his final tour of duty.

“I could finally see where my heart and passion lies, and that was in the legal field of battle,” McCarthy said. “I sat in on a lot of operations that were filled with rules and regulations.”

After spending eight years in the Marines, including four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, McCarthy returned home in 2012 and began to pursue a career in the legal field. Searching for a school led him to Blinn’s Paralegal Program, which equips students for a variety of law careers with an Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) degree or a Legal Office Certificate and features tracks for classroom and online students.

Paralegals, or legal assistants, serve as attorneys’ top assistants in the delivery of legal services, performing duties that include attending trials, assisting in testimony preparation, locating and interviewing witnesses, conducting client interviews and conducting investigations and research. Their role is expanding as companies look to hire employees with a broad understanding of legal matters.

“The professors at Blinn allowed me to fully apply myself and learn not only in the classroom, but from their vast professional experience,” McCarthy said. “The program gave me connections and a new drive.”

After graduating with an AAS degree in December 2015, McCarthy was hired as a deputy clerk with the Washington County Attorney’s Office, where he has combined the knowledge from his paralegal education with the work ethic he learned in the Marines.

“I have made numerous contacts and continue to pursue my education while being surrounded by like-minded individuals,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy is currently looking at schools to continue his education and a program that will allow his to balance his time between school and a new baby girl arriving in September.

“My ultimate career goal is to be in public office so I can give back to the community and continue to fight for the values that so many have died to defend,” McCarthy said.

Robert Stanberry, Paralegal Program coordinator and professor, could see the passion on McCarthy from the first day of class.

“I knew he would be successful in our program,” Stanberry said. “Daniel prepared well, asked great questions and clearly wanted to get the most out of his legal education.”

In addition to preparing students for careers, Blinn’s Paralegal Program provides a strong foundation of legal knowledge for students who choose to continue their education via law school. All professors in the Blinn Paralegal Program are lawyers or judges.

For more information, visit www.blinn.edu/twe/legal or contact program coordinator Robert Stanberry at robert.stanberry@blinn.edu.