Castañeda’s winning LAPA application included an essay entitled “Why I Decided to Become a Paralegal.” In the essay, she described how dealing with post-partum depression and the loss of her job had deflated and depressed her. Trying to figure out what to do next to support herself and her family, she remembered that she had previously taken paralegal courses at Cal State LA’s main campus. This motivated her to return to school to complete the paralegal program. By taking evening classes at Cal State LA Downtown, Castañeda is able to study and take care of her son during the day.
“I experienced a resurgence of energy when I entered the Paralegal Studies Program at Cal State LA Downtown,” says Castañeda. “I found a fit. I am excited. And the coursework is both challenging and interesting.”
In her letter of recommendation to LAPA, Cal State LA Downtown Paralegal Studies Instructor Lisa Rauhauser described Castañeda as an extremely intelligent person with excellent verbal communication skills that will help her in her paralegal career. Rauhauser said that Castañeda was deserving of the scholarship because she is committed and dedicated to her new career as evidenced through her class work and interest in the paralegal field. Rauhauser complimented Castañeda’s business-like approach to her studies, acknowledging the importance of effectively listening and delivering a quality work product.
“Cynthia is an example of the type of student that Cal State LA Downtown aims to help to succeed,” says Eric Bullard, Ph.D., dean of Cal State LA’s College of Professional and Global Education. “Our certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs are designed to fit the needs and schedules of busy people who want to change their career trajectory and/or continue their education through high quality university teaching and extensive resources.”
Castañeda hopes to use her education and previous professional experience to work for an in-house general counsel department within an internet company.
“As a future paralegal I know I will have extraordinary opportunities that will give me the responsibility to model what it means to be a respectable and engaged professional,” continues Castañeda.
Cal State LA’s Paralegal Studies program has been American Bar Association (ABA) approved since 1978, making it one of the earliest approved programs in a university setting in California. Offered at Cal State LA Downtown, students can earn a general certificate or a certificate in one of three specialty tracks: Litigation, Corporate Practice or Legal Technology.
The Los Angeles Paralegal Association is dedicated to developing, strengthening and advancing the paralegal profession.
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