It’s graduation week at WCC! Here’s one graduate’s story | The Wilson Times
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WCC CORNER

It’s graduation week at WCC! Here’s one graduate’s story

Posted on May 14, 2022

OpinionColumns

Jessica Griffin

Jessica Griffin

It’s graduation week at Wilson Community College! On Friday, May 20, more than 200 students will turn their tassels and officially become WCC alumni.  And we’re so proud of each of them.

One of those graduating is Anna Hill. Anna grew up in Wilson and is a May 2020 graduate of Wilson Christian Academy. She knew she wanted to study law, so she immediately enrolled in WCC’s paralegal technology program and started taking classes in June 2020.

Anna was anxious to get hands-on experience working at a law firm, so during her first year as a paralegal student, she worked as a runner and helped with real estate work for a local firm.

And although she loved working at the firm, Anna was offered a new opportunity to grow her knowledge, skills and experience. She was hired as a paralegal with Wilson Attorney Ericca Fulghum. She performed her work-based learning internship with Fulghum as well.

This experience has given Anna the opportunity to learn about the practice of family law, including drafting divorce complaints and separation agreements. In the future, she looks forward to interacting more with clients. Her kindness and compassion, along with her desire to help others and her strong work ethic, have made her a shining inspiration to others.

When you look at Anna today, she is a confident, articulate and outgoing person. But Anna is also open and honest — she says that she wasn’t always like this. As a child and while in high school, she struggled with being an introvert and was painfully shy. She forced herself out of her shell by getting involved with organizations like National Honor Society and by applying for and getting jobs with local law firms.

In these positions, she has interacted with her supervising attorneys, other paralegals and court personnel and clients. Anna has overcome her shyness and pushed herself outside her comfort zone. The result has been a beautiful transformation, and we are excited to see what she’ll do next.

Throughout her time in the program, Anna maintained a 4.0 grade point average — and because of her hard work and dedication, she will earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in paralegal technology this week.

“My two years in the paralegal technology program have challenged me, pushed me to pursue my goals and expanded my knowledge in many ways,” Anna said. “I’m forever grateful to WCC and Mrs. Grode for providing such an encouraging environment.”

So, what is a paralegal, and what options does WCC have in this field?

A paralegal works under the supervision of an attorney and is responsible for many essential law-related tasks. Paralegals conduct client and witness interviews, maintain case files, prepare and file documents and assist attorneys in preparing cases for trial. They perform legal research to locate applicable law in the form of court decisions, statutes, constitutional law and administrative law and regulations. And they use technology in the performance of these duties. 

Students interested in the paralegal technology program at Wilson Community College have three options to choose from — a two-year associate degree, a one-year diploma or a paralegal technology certificate.

Ninety percent of WCC Paralegal Technology graduates are employed in the legal profession or in law-related businesses or occupations within six months of completing the program. And many get hired while still in the program. Lawyers and law firms often contact the program director seeking to hire students or graduates.

Graduates may become employed with private law firms and government agencies or with banks, insurance companies, real estate firms and in the law departments of companies and businesses.

For more information about WCC’s paralegal technology program, contact Wendy Grode, paralegal technology instructor, at 252-246-1304 or wgrode@wilsoncc.edu, or Wes Hill, dean of business and applied technologies, at 252-246-1339 or whill@wilsoncc.edu.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

• Now — Summer registration.

• May 19 — Basic law enforcement training graduation.

• May 20 — Associate degree in nursing graduation.

• May 20 — Wilson Community College graduation.

Jessica Griffin is director of institutional advancement at Wilson Community College. She can be reached at jgriffin@wilsoncc.edu or 252-246-1271.

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