Major: Paralegal Studies
Leena Yacoumakis initially was planning to attend law school.
“I took Legal Logic and Criminology at Aurora University, where I fell in love with the legal field,” she said.
But after Yacoumakis earned bachelor’s degrees in both Pre-Law and Political Science, her mentor suggested looking into becoming a paralegal before applying to law school. So she came to College of DuPage and enrolled in the Paralegal Studies program, which is approved by the American Bar Association.
“I had some wonderful professors who provided real-world scenarios and lessons that helped prepare me for the workforce,” she said. “I was ready to continue my career as a paralegal because of the excellent education I received. I took four classes each semester while working full-time as a legal assistant. Although it was a lot of work, I learned that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to, no matter how difficult it is.”
After graduating with her certificate in Paralegal Studies, Yacoumakis secured a job as a paralegal in a small law firm. Although she initially wanted to attend law school, she loves her job so much that she wants to continue working as a full-time paralegal.
Yacoumakis encourages other students to get involved and learn both in and out of the classroom.
“Make sure you connect with professors and ask any questions you may have,” she said. “Many classes have paralegals come in as guest speakers, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. They have real-life experience as a paralegal and a different perspective than the attorneys. They are more than willing to help you get a feel of where you may want to work in the future. Lastly, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The professors and staff are there to help you reach your goals.”