The West Virginia Junior College Morgantown campus offers students who are interested in the legal field an opportunity to not only learn about what really goes on in a law office, but also prepares students for a career as a Legal Office Assistant.
The WVJC legal classes have a limited number of students and are structured to provide students with a welcoming learning environment.
Due to the small class size, Christina Fotsch (CJ) knows all of her students by name.
“My students know they can reach me at any time outside of class, and I enjoy helping them reach their goals,” she said. “I know what areas of law my students are interested in, and I can take the time to mold my legal classes to fit their interests.”
Beyond the classroom, students can meet with CJ at any time with questions about their legal career. CJ personally assists her students as they compile their portfolio, their resume and cover letter and prepare for their job interviews.
What are the benefits of WVJC’s legal program?
The benefits of this program include improving the earning potential, expanding career options and enhancing marketability. The program provides students with the opportunity to connect with others in the legal industry and develop a professional network as your progress through the program. As students progress through the program, they build a portfolio of work that showcases their capabilities. This portfolio is a valuable tool when interviewing with prospective employers.
What is CJ’s goal as an instructor?
“My goal as an instructor is to provide an environment where students enjoy coming to class and feel comfortable asking questions,” she said. “As a licensed attorney in West Virginia I am able to provide students with insight into the legal field, up-to-date information and real-world examples. When students graduate from WVJC, they have practical skills that will help them in their career. Upon graduation, students have improved their writing ability, their knowledge of the law and their ability to deal with clients.”
What makes WVJC’s legal program unique?
Attorneys always teach the WVJC legal classes. This ensures that program content is current, job relevant and responsive to the changing needs of the industry. In addition to general areas of law such as criminal, property and business, students are also kept up-to-date on emerging areas in the law. For instance, Marcellus Shale could be one of the most promising natural gas resources in West Virginia and the surrounding Appalachian Basin. Legal students may have a unique opportunity to utilize the knowledge they gain from the legal program and enter into a thriving multi-million-dollar industry.
WVJC students’ diverse backgrounds bring value to the program.
“We have students that are entering WVJC straight out of high school and are ready to jump start their career in the legal field,” CJ said. “We also have students who have taken a few years off to explore other options and along the way realized that they have always been intrigued by the legal system and have a passion for justice.”
Other students have found themselves at a crossroads with their career and want to enter a field where they have not only job security, but also the satisfaction of knowing they will be making a difference with their lives, she added.
Some students plan to use the legal program as additional training for their future aspirations. Some students plan to enter the paralegal profession, while others are considering the possibility of obtaining a four-year degree, then applying to law school. WVJC provides students with basic legal knowledge, which will supplement their future goals.
“My students are caring and compassionate,” CJ said. “One commonality that all my students share is that they have decided to enter the legal program because they want to take control of their future and enter a field where they can make a difference.”
For information about the WVJC Morgantown’s Legal Office Assistant Program, contact WVJC at 304-296-8282.
For more information on graduation rates, median debt of students who have completed their programs, and other important information, please visit our website at www.wvjc.edu/morgantown-programs. Our programs are equal opportunity employer/programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.