When Jeremiah Pedro left the Marines after thirteen years he chose to pursue a career in one of today’s most promising fields, paralegal services.

Kaeleigh Jessen had always been interested in the law so when she heard about the Daemen Paralegal Studies Certificate, she made sure she could fit it into her program plan.

Jeremiah and Kaeleigh are now among the first graduates of the Daemen College Paralegal Studies Program. Offering a bachelor’s degree as well as a certificate, the program’s graduates are prepared for careers in law firms and corporations, as well as courts, legislatures, health care, and not-for-profits.

“Law firms were feeling the pinch as well as the medical field, and paralegals provide high quality services at a lower cost,” notes Daemen Paralegal Studies Director Margaret Phillips, J.D.

“Paralegal studies offers a profession — one that is stimulating, ever-changing, and requires a high degree of professionalism. Daemen will then help you choose the legal field that is right for you.”

pillars-sky-purchasedPhillips also points out paralegal studies is a good substitute for pre-law or can serve as an effective lead-in to law school. And it’s a fast-growing field — employment opportunities for paralegals and legal assistants are expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020.

Samantha Spicer came to Daemen as a transfer student and planned to major in Physical Therapy. She chose to redirect her studies into the paralegal field, and received a B.S. in Paralegal Studies in May of this year. She will attend Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan, with plans to become either a public defender or a prosecutor. According to Samantha, the best part of the Paralegal Studies program is “the professors and the practical approach the program takes. I feel prepared to go out and get a job as a paralegal if I choose to do so.”

“Paralegal studies provides a skill set that gives students flexibility if they don’t feel a law firm is for them. Fine arts, business, or health care management are all possibilities,” said Phillips.

After earning an associate’s degree from Geneseo Community College, and then realizing he preferred a four year degree, Jeremiah went on to Daemen, and he received a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies this past May. Jeremiah emphasizes he had a good experience at Daemen and was able to obtain two prestigious internships, one at Hodgson Russ, a prominent Buffalo law firm, and one at the New York Attorney General’s Office. Jeremiah now works as a licensing paralegal for Delaware North Companies in Buffalo.

“I would say the best thing about the program is the instructors,” he said. “All of the instructors are attorneys from the Western New York community, and they made the classes really interesting.”

Kaeleigh, who is from Rochester, NY, also graduated in May, with a B.A. in History & Government and a Certificate in Paralegal Studies.

“The best part about getting the Paralegal Certificate at Daemen is the practical experience and work I did in the classroom. In all of my paralegal classes I was able to do legal work that a paralegal would do in the workplace. I was able to draft complaints, answers, interrogatories, and documents in a real estate closing. I had an amazing experience at Daemen.”

Kaeleigh is attending law school at the University at Buffalo.