Program: Paralegal Studies
Linda Jenkins wanted to be a lawyer from the time she was 9.
"Americans are blessed with the finest judicial system in the world," she said. "Our Constitution is one the greatest documents ever written. I wanted to help people who experienced legal difficulties."
Jenkins became a bankruptcy lawyer for many years and saw bankruptcy from three sides. She started her career at Pierce & Associates, representing mortgage companies in bankruptcies and foreclosures. She later worked for Craig Phelps, Chapter 13 Trustee, doing court calls and conducting creditor meetings. After that, she represented debtors.
As for teaching, Jenkins simply fell into it. She took two classes from Linda Slusar, retired head of College of DuPage's Library and Information Technology program.
"Linda asked me to meet with Sally N. Fairbank, coordinator of the Paralegal Studies program, and the rest is history!" she said. "Both women have served as mentors for me. Teaching lets me help students learn more about the law. I absolutely love it.
"I want my students to become better writers. I teach two different writing classes and Bankruptcy Law. Every paralegal must know how to write and how to edit his or her boss’ writing. I also want my students to develop a passion for our legal system. That passion will make them better paralegals and better citizens. I want them to learn the importance of deadlines, ethics, good writing and hard work."
Jenkins draws her inspiration from many places and is clearly passionate about COD's program.
"Sally Fairbank is an inspiration. She’s developed the Paralegal Studies program into one of the top ABA-approved programs in the nation," she said. "I admire and respect my colleagues in the Paralegal Studies program. They are dedicated to their students and are always willing to give suggestions or help if it is needed. My students inspire me, in the classroom and out. They work extremely hard to learn as much as possible each semester.
"I am co-advisor to the Paralegal Club. My officers amaze me. They come from many different backgrounds, with different skill sets. They have one thing in common: the determination to succeed. They are high-achieving, hard-working individuals who come together as a group to equal more than the sum of their parts. I stand in awe of some of their accomplishments. Most of them have been inducted into COD’s new chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), and I could not be more proud of their achievements."