The required Paralegal Practicum, PLGL 2600, is an excellent way to obtain job experience before graduation. Students perform 120 hours of paralegal work during the semester (approximately eight hours per week during the fall and spring semesters), working in a law office under the supervision of an attorney. In addition, students attend seminars on campus that assist with creating a professional portfolio and a personal web site for posting an electronic portfolio.
Students are eligible to enroll in the practicum after they have been admitted into the program and taken PLGL 1500, Introduction to Legal Research and Writing, and have earned a grade of "C" or better. Instructor consent to enroll in the practicum is also required.
1. How to get into the Paralegal Practicum.
If a student has met the Paralegal Practicum course prerequisites, they must complete and submit an application within the stated time period noted on the application.
Note that the application requires the student to have been previously admitted or
in the process of applying for admission into the Paralegal Program.
Paralegal Practicum Application Form
2. Obtaining an Internship
After a student has been accepted into the Paralegal Practicum course, the instructor will send a permit to Registration, and the students can enroll in the course.
At this point, students should begin the process of locating an internship site. The instructor will send them a list of suggested site mentors to consider when searching for an internship. In addition, students can pursue other avenues to obtain an internship site.
Below is a list of useful tips and resources when seeking an internship site, as well as a sample letter of introduction to send to a prospective internship site. The students can send this letter, or a cover letter of their own choosing, to prospective internship sites along with their resume. Students can also send prospective site mentors the letter below, which is a letter from the program coordinator explaining the paralegal practicum.
3. After Obtaining the Internship
Once an internship has been obtained the student should notify the instructor and provide to the instructor a signed Practicum Site Agreement, which appears below:
Sally N. Fairbank, Coordinator
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 1816A, (630) 942-2955
Bev Carlson, Program Support Specialist
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 1526, (630) 942-2140
Business and Technology Division
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1034, (630) 942-2592
Daniel AlonsoParalegal Studies
"I have often asked myself why the professors in the Paralegal program go so much out of their way for us. I have come to the conclusion that they possess something many professors forget about today, which is to sincerely care about their students. They know what it takes to develop students into future professionals."Read Spotlight
Stephanie WeiserParalegal Studies
"Welcome the challenges and the opportunities provided, and work hard to learn everything you can. The Paralegal Studies professors are phenomenal. I cannot compliment them enough; they are experienced, intelligent and, most importantly, they care about their students."Read Spotlight
Victoria WadowskiParalegal Studies
"I have received the best opportunities while going through the Paralegal program. Since the program is ABA approved, it will stand out on any application. This program built and strengthened my legal knowledge. I honestly cannot imagine getting a better education and experience anywhere else."Read Spotlight
Peggy WojkowskiParalegal Studies
"The greatest lesson I took away from the program is the importance of the ethical rules that we discussed in every class. Varying degrees of ethical situations arise every day. It is important to know that you are not stepping over any ethical line. I also would advise that current students act like every day is a job interview and conduct themselves in a professional manner."Read Spotlight
Deanna RadtkeParalegal Studies
"The COD instructors honestly want their students to succeed and the knowledge they provide is practical and allows us to enter our new careers prepared. When I initially learned I needed to come up with 120 hours of practicum hours, I was terrified because I was already working full-time, but I am so thankful that it was mandatory because it led me to such great accomplishments."Read Spotlight
Deborah D'AttomoParalegal Studies
"COD has a law library and a subscription to Westlaw, the premier legal research database. The program coursework has challenged me with legal research and writing assignments that mirror realistic situations. Also, serving as an officer of the Paralegal Club has given me the opportunity to work closely with the COD faculty and staff and to develop relationships with fellow students."Read Spotlight
Cara EckertParalegal Studies
"It can be daunting to face returning to work after being home for almost 20 years, but College of DuPage has provided very practical training for me that I think will pay off. The Paralegal Studies program is top notch. Frankly, COD offers so much more than I thought."Read Spotlight
David WilcoxParalegal Studies
"Through its stellar Paralegal Studies Program, College of DuPage is preparing me expertly for a career in law, regardless of what venue I choose. Personally, the active and vibrant Paralegal Club is providing me with limitless options for learning and getting involved with the legal world right off the bat."Read Spotlight
2012 College of DuPage