SMC Paralegal Program celebrating Governor’s Proclamation

The Paralegal Certificate Evening Program at Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to report that Tuesday October 14, 2014 has been declared PARALEGAL DAY in the State of South Carolina by Governor Nikki Haley.

The Governor’s Proclamation states that whereas, paralegals have the skill, education, and training to provide support to attorneys in a variety of areas including legal research, document preparation, and file maintenance; and whereas, working in law firms, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations, paralegals contribute to lower counsel fees, improved management of cases, and greater cost containment for clients; and whereas, demonstrating a high level of achievement, responsibility, dedication, and integrity, paralegals across South Carolina uphold the highest standards of professionalism; and whereas, Paralegal Day provides an opportunity to recognize paralegals throughout the Palmetto State for the role they play in an efficient and effective legal system.

Governor Haley’s proclamation encourages all South Carolinians to honor paralegals for their many contributions to the availability of quality legal services.

“Paralegals provide critical and integral support to attorneys and have established themselves to be an indispensable workforce within the legal system since the 1960s,” stated to Yvonne Harper, director of the SMC Paralegal Certificate Evening Program, who prior to moving to SC, served for over thirteen years as a litigation and bankruptcy paralegal in Virginia. “The paralegal profession continues to be among the fastest growing of any profession in the nation. Employers are reducing costs and increasing the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers. Paralegals are also performing a wider variety of duties, making them useful to even non-legal businesses.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. In fact, in the coming years, paralegals may have more career opportunity than attorneys, stenographers —even federal judges. The latest job rating survey at the CareerCast job portal ranked 200 different jobs based on five vital work criteria: stress, work environment, physical demands, income and outlook. While “lawyer” came in 82nd on the list of 200 best jobs and “federal judges” 69th, “paralegal assistants” made the top 20—ranking 17th overall. CNNMoney.com ranked the paralegal profession 14th in the Top 20 jobs for “people who want more pay, more upside and more control over where they’re going.”

“SMC provides adult students convenient evening hours of instruction, reasonable tuition and real-time learning with quality legal faculty, composed of local judges, practicing attorneys and paralegals, who provide networking opportunities and offer real-world experience with practical application,” Harper stated. “In the past 10 years at SMC, I have had the pleasure of assisting adult students with no-college, some-college, college graduates, as well as multiple students with advanced degrees (Masters and even Doctorate) receive the education they needed for the legal career they wanted,” said Harper, who added, “all had one thing in common, they wanted to work in a profession that valued their contributions!”