Blinn Paralegal Program and Legal Assistant Student Organization to host the Brazos Valley Paralegal Forum on Thursday, April 25

Blinn alumni, local paralegal professionals to share experiences, answer questions at the Blinn College-Bryan Campus

April 24, 2019

The Blinn College District Legal Assistant Program and Legal Assistant Student Organization (LASO) will provide current and prospective students an opportunity to network with local paralegal professionals during the upcoming Brazos Valley Paralegal Forum.

Blinn will host a panel of veteran paralegals – including alumni of Blinn’s Legal Assistant Program – from 7-8 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in Bryan Campus Student Center Room F-120. There will be a short reception preceding the forum at 6:30 p.m.

Billy Hart, chair of the Brazos County Legal Professionals Association and litigation paralegal with College Station-based law firm West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry, P.C., will chair the discussion. The panelists will discuss trends and developments within the field, and share their personal experiences and perspectives regarding the positive impact paralegals have on the legal profession and the community.

Panelists include Brandi Cooke from the Bryan law firm of Rodgers and Miller, Dayla Hall of the Texas A&M System General Counsel’s Office, and Jeri Alexander from the Brazos County District Clerk’s Office. Hall and Alexander are alumni of the Blinn Legal Assistant Program.

“The Brazos Valley Paralegal Forum is a great opportunity for current and prospective students to learn, ask questions, and network with veterans in the paralegal profession,” said Robert Stanberry, Program Coordinator. “The presenting panel is elite and experienced. Billy Hart is a longtime supporter of Blinn’s Legal Assistant Program and one of the leading paralegals in the State of Texas.”

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. Job opportunities abound in private law firms, courts, government, insurance companies, administrative agencies and corporations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for certified legal assistants is expected to increase 15 percent between 2016 and 2026, creating more than 41,800 new jobs in the field. Legal assistants earn a median pay of $50,410 per year, or $24.24 per hour.

With traditional classroom and online tracks available, Blinn’s Legal Assistant Program equips students for a variety of law careers with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or a Legal Office Certificate. Courses are taught by a faculty comprised entirely of lawyers and judges whose classes are structured to promote quality student-faculty interaction. Students completing the AAS degree are eligible to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) certification exam, and majors in the program join the Legal Assistant Student Organization.

In addition to preparing students for careers, Blinn’s Legal Assistant Program provides a strong foundation of legal knowledge for students who choose to continue their education via law school.

“The Blinn Legal Assistant Program strives to connect local professionals with students currently enrolled in the program,” Stanberry said. “We want to give our students every perspective possible so they can be successful.”

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