Pictured are McHenry County College's first class of paralegal AAS graduates, from left, Laura Dendor of McHenry, Beatris Beard of Cortland and Caroline McRea Keller of Crystal Lake. Not pictured is Christopher Flint of Crystal Lake. Also not pictured are certificate earners Monserrat Yeverino of Crystal Lake and Karen Bucchianeri of Woodstock.
McHenry County College announces its first graduating class from the Paralegal Studies program, which launched in spring 2015. Four students completed the two-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree program and two students earned certificates. All students completed internships at area law firms.
MCC’s program is tailored for the paralegal market in the McHenry County and Chicago Metro region. MCC’s first group of paralegal graduates qualifies the college to begin the process for American Bar Association approval.
Diana Sharp, associate dean of Education, Career and Technical Education at MCC said she is proud of the six graduates and added, “This is a milestone for our graduates and represents the final milestone for the college to be able to seek American Bar Association approval, which will be retroactive to all students in the program when obtained.”
“We were the pioneers of the Paralegal program at MCC,” said Caroline McRea Keller of Crystal Lake. “The College created the classes geared toward the demand in the area. We like to think we ironed out the bumps in the road, making it even better for the next group of graduates.”
Keller plans to transfer to Regency University in London to pursue an international business degree.
Another graduate, Laura Dendor of McHenry agreed, saying “MCC provided a well-rounded paralegal program that prepared me for the transition from student, to intern, and now graduate. Dendor completed her internship at Prairie State Legal Services and said the most rewarding part was implementing what she learned in class and helping McHenry County clients that would otherwise not have access to legal help.
“Being part of a team that is literally a lifeline to vulnerable clients has taught me that it is possible to make a difference…” She also said she learned how much attorneys rely on paralegals to provide work that is accurate, thorough and relevant.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Paralegals is projected to grow faster than average and the median annual pay is $46,990 a year. A degree in paralegal studies can lead to multiple career paths in the law field. Paralegals can work in all types of organizations, but most work for law firms, corporate legal departments, non-profits and government agencies.
For more information about MCC’s Paralegal Studies program, visit www.mchenry.edu/paralegal or call (815) 455-8996.