House of Delegates Visit WVJC Morgantown Campus

The WVJC Legal Office Assisting Program hosted the entire Monongalia County delegation of the WV House of Delegates on July 15th, 2019, including Delegates Barbara Evans Fleischauer, Evan Hansen, Rodney Pyles, Danielle Walker, and John Williams.

The purpose of this visit was for the LOA students to present their research and proposed legislation concerning their Lead Paint Abatement and Tax Incentive program. The students have worked diligently over the last several weeks preparing for this opportunity which showed during their presentation and subsequent meetings with the delegates. The delegates unanimously expressed their support of the students’ proposed bill, including their willingness to continue working with the students and ultimately to sponsor the bill in the next regular Legislative session which will convene in January 2020.

In conjunction with that sponsorship, and most exciting for the WVJC family as a whole, was the idea of the delegates to host a “WVJC Day at the Legislature” to coincide with the introduction of the bill. This initiative would permit students from WVJC Charleston, Bridgeport, Morgantown, and Online to attend and witness the events from the gallery of the House of Delegates, including meeting with and engaging in functions with the legislators during this special day.

Also during their visit, the delegates had an opportunity to tour the WVJC Morgantown campus, to obtain hands-on experience with our academic programs, including the nursing program, and to participate in a student government meeting.

The delegates were extremely impressed with the quality of our programs, our students, and the work product presented during today’s meetings. We hope that this relationship will continue to grow and foster new awareness and opportunities for our students who certainly proved today their dedication to their program and to the people of the great state of West Virginia with this important public health initiative.

Legal Office Assisting – Program Highlight

In the course of our daily lives, we all experience events that shape us.  These events could be the little things in life like a kind gesture from a stranger, or a rainbow after a storm.  However, sometimes the big events can shape us as well.  These events are life-altering and generally lead to a new perspective, a change in the way that we function day-to-day, or even the way that we see and experience the world around us.  Both events can be a catalyst for change.  At West Virginia Junior College, we consider it our purpose to empower that change and create opportunity for our students.

One of the programs that we offer that could empower that change for you is our Legal Office Assisting Program.  So as you read this, we want to make sure you understand what it is to be Legal Office Assistant student, and ultimately, an employee in the legal field.  As someone who may be seeking change, there are three areas of consideration you should examine.  The first is employment opportunities that may exist within the field you are considering.  The second is how the course work is structured as that could influence your success.  Finally, you have to look at the factors that could influence your success positively or negatively.

First, let’s talk about employment opportunities.  Let’s face it…the law touches every aspect of our society! Therefore, the need for qualified, educated, and motivated legal professionals is broad and affords our graduates numerous professional opportunities.  Options for careers depend on the individual graduate’s specific interests and local area demand, but most graduates find themselves working directly with attorneys in a legal office/firm setting. This is one option available to graduates, but there are several other areas that can be pursued, including but not limited to working for government organizations/agencies from the local, state and federal levels, working “in-house” for a private business with a legal affairs department/division (corporations, non-profit organizations, hospitals, etc.), working in a bank or financial office assisting in the preparation of key legal documents involved in the purchase of real or personal property or in obtaining financing for personal or business use and working for an insurance company assisting in a range of different legal affairs such as claims management. The Legal Office Assisting degree from WVJC is a versatile degree that can take you many different directions.

Now that we know about employment opportunities that exist for legal assistants, let’s talk about course structure.  The courses are comprised of general education and core courses. You will start your academic journey with Student Success Strategies and conclude at a Legal Office Assisting externship. The courses that are in between the beginning and end are filled with industry driven course objectives. Some of the courses include Legal Office Assisting, Legal Research and Writing I and II, Estates and Property Law I and II, Criminal Law, Business Law, and Civil Trial Practice. Throughout these courses, students gain knowledge and expand their practical skills on foundational legal concepts under the direction of qualified and experienced legal professionals. The courses are structured with supplemental material, lectures, case studies, and partnered with high engagement!

The final area to consider is more personal to your situation.  WVJC wants you to be successful.  To be successful in a field like Legal Office Assisting, there are a few things to consider. Students in the LOA Program spend substantial time engaged in reading a variety of materials, including but not limited to statutes and cases from the local level all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.  Not everyone is a proficient reader, nor does everyone enjoy detailed reading and analysis of complex legal issues. This is not merely an academic requirement, but one in which almost all legal professionals will spend their careers engaged in on a daily basis. If you are not into reading and critical analysis of what you are reading…the LOA Program is not likely the program for you.  At WVJC, we want you to be successful in your academic and professional pursuits, so these are all questions and factors you will discuss in the beginning of our admissions process.

So what shaped you?  Is Legal Office Assisting at WVJC a program that will empower change for you? If so, call us at 304-296-8282 or request more information HERE.

Legal Assistant Spotlight – Christina Johnson

MORGANTOWN, WV – For Christina Johnson, the Legal Assistant (LOA) program at the West Virginia Junior College is a family affair.

It began when her sister, Laura Johnson, began the program at the Charleston Campus.

“I’d talk to my sister, and she’d be so excited about the program that I would think, ‘I want to do this,'” Christina said. “It sounded fantastic.”

Christina contacted the WVJC-Morgantown admissions department to learn more about the LOA program. When she told her cousin, Jessica Hall, her cousin said, “If you do it, I’m going to do it, too.”

So, the cousins began the LOA program. A few months later, Christina’s sister Laura transferred from Charleston Campus to the Morgantown Campus.

“As I began my classes, everything clicked so easily for me that I knew I picked the right program,” Christina said. “Although it was easy for me to understand, it was still enough to keep me interested.”

Christina works in the healthcare industry and was looking for a change when she decided to attend school.

“I’ve loved it,” Christina said. “It’s been an eye opener.”

Legal Office Assistants need to be extremely detail-oriented people, said WVJC- Morgantown Assistant Campus Director Leanne Cardoso, Esq.

Christina, who said she may pay too much attention to details at times, agrees.

“Driven, detail-oriented people need to be in this program,” she said. “There are tough spots, and you get frustrated easily. You have to really want it.”

For Christina, who is the mother of 21-month-old Izaiah, going to school meant changing her priorities.

“Make sure that you set time away from everything else to focus on your studies, read, look over your notes and plan what you want to do,” she said. “You have to give up something – sometimes it’s sleep – to go to school.”

Christina said she appreciates her instructors, their gentle pushing and their ability to help students become much more comfortable with the new field.  She said she always loves being taught by lawyers, who teach the majority of the Legal Assistant classes.

“I love being taught by someone who has already been in the field and has already been successful,” Christina said.

For more information about the WVJC-Morgantown LOA program, call 304-296-8282.

Morgantown
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.