Student Spotlight: Terry Kelly
Major: Paralegal Studies
Terry Kelly launched his career after graduating from Fordham University School of Law, so it seemed fitting in retirement that he returned to school to study law.
“I worked as in-house counsel at several New York brokerage firms after graduating from Fordham before moving on to the management side of the business,” he said. “I spent the rest of my career working as a senior executive at brokerage firms and asset management companies in New York and Chicago. I retired once, was bored, and wound up working for a major energy company as a compliance advisor.
“I retired again in March of 2015 and was looking for things to keep me busy. I always maintained a keen interest in the law and was skimming through the College of DuPage course catalog when I discovered the College offered a Paralegal Studies program. I thought it might be interesting to learn more about it.”
After meeting with Program Coordinator Sally N. Fairbank, Kelly decided to sign up for several courses to decide whether to pursue a certificate. He immediately was impressed with the quality of instruction.
“The instructors are seasoned attorneys who understand the law and bring their real-life experiences into the classroom,” he said. “They all like teaching and want to help students succeed. They focus on developing practical skills that graduates can use in any law firm, in-house law department or other employment opportunity following graduation.”
Kelly earned his certificate and took some time off to focus on other activities – visiting his brother, attending his college reunion, and working on some projects for the Village of Willowbrook, where he is a trustee. He has since updated his LinkedIn profile and is starting to look for a job. He would like to work for a smaller law firm, an in-house legal department or as a corporate paralegal for a nonprofit.
He strongly encourages prospective students to enter the Paralegal Studies program and take advantage of everything it offers.
“Students should get involved in the Paralegal Club and attend as many events sponsored by the Club as possible,” he said. “I learned a lot attending Club meetings, had a chance to get to know instructors outside the classroom and made some very good friends.
“COD provided all the support and tools I needed to succeed. I think the program is terrific.”
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