Ledgerwood Law Group congratulates newly graduated paralegal, Anysia Sypnicki
Posted on Jun 01, 2016
There is a serious power in a well-trained, dedicated staff. Having been in the legal trenches for over three decades now, I can tell you with some authority, that one of the coolest things to witness is that moment when an associate really comes on line professionally.
Although it seems like yesterday, it was seven years ago that Senior Paralegal Miller and I interviewed a young prospect who had worked extensively in the medical field. Anysia Sypnicki (then Mahoney) was an obvious old soul. She had a depth of maturity and experience in life that transcended her tender years. We snapped her up immediately. Since then, she has become an absolute juggernaut around here at the LLG. Anysia recently graduated from the Center for Advanced Legal Studies, an ABA-accredited paralegal program, with honors and a 4.00 GPA. It was a proud day for all of us here at LLG.
I have been asked by quite a few people over the years about a career in law and what it takes to become a paralegal. As of 2012, according to the according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 28,500 paralegals in our fair state. Studies done by the California Employment Development Department indicate from 2008 to 2018, it is expected that jobs for paralegals and paralegal assistants in California will increase by more than 17%.
A career in law is a good transition for many people who have found themselves shut out of the physical work force due to an industrial injury or a disabling medical condition. The paralegal certification here in California is governed by Business and Professions code 6450-6456. Before you can hang your shingle out as a paralegal in California you must fulfill one of the following educational requirements:
- Complete at least 24 credits in paralegal studies at an accredited or state approved college or university
- Complete a Bachelor’s degree in any field and one year of experience working under the supervision of a California lawyer who has been licensed for at least three years or works in the federal court system in California.
- Complete a paralegal certificate program approved by the American Bar Association.
I have had a succession of smart people with their Bachelor degrees work with us over the years. Once they had a year under their belt, and demonstrated their ability to apply law to fact, I got to declare them a paralegal under B&B section C (3). I have also had people who completed paralegal programs at colleges and universities who came equipped with their paralegal certification by completing their 24 credits in paralegal studies.
Anysia is the first one that has completed an ABA sanctioned program. These programs are not inexpensive. They cost ten to thirty thousand dollars, and are a huge time and energy commitment. People coming off an industrial injury, unable to return to their old job, should know that there are serious state and federal programs that can help pay part of all of this expense. Also, there are significant vocational programs for people on Social Security Disability to train for a new life and a return to the work force. I have outlined these programs in Chapter 9 of my book, The California Workers’ Compensation Survival Manual. It can be downloaded straight from our website or ordered for free form our office (thomasledgerwood.com).
Knowledge is power!
P.S. Our Medical Enforcement Specialist, Alicia Walls, just started the program Anysia finished this month. We just flew Senior Paralegal Miller to Baltimore to take the grueling California Bar-like test for her right to try Social Security Disability cases before the OHA; exam results are pending and we are all crossing our fingers. Watch out world!