Student Spotlight: Deborah D'Attomo

Deborah D'Attomo

Deborah D'Attomo
Major: Paralegal Studies
Hometown: Orland Park

Deborah D'Attomo did her research on Paralegal Studies programs, and it paid off when she found College of DuPage.

"I knew I wanted an educational program that was certified by the American Bar Association (ABA)," she said. "A suburban commute was also important to me so family members could help me with child care. That meant the DePaul University and Roosevelt University programs were not practical options for me.

"Even though the ABA certification and suburban geography was a plus, I knew COD was the right fit for me after attending the Paralegal Studies program information session. That is where I met the program coordinator, Sally N. Fairbank, and one of the instructors, Linda Jenkins. Ms. Fairbank’s presentation was very thorough and professional. She spoke with knowledge and passion about the paralegal profession and her confidence was compelling. After the session, both Ms. Fairbank and Ms. Jenkins patiently fielded all of my questions and provided me with insightful information."

D'Attomo was familiar with the law field. She worked as a law clerk at a large downtown Chicago law firm while earning her bachelor’s degree from DePaul University. After that, she worked in real estate development and senior living licensing for one of the Hyatt family companies.

Returning to school after taking a few years off to stay at home and raise her son was not an easy task, and D'Attomo credits COD's Registration and Financial Assistance departments for their invaluable help.

"During my eleventh-hour registration in January 2012, the staff remained patient and pleasant through the whole experience. They never showed frustration as I am sure they answered the same question many, many times," she said.

Now that D'Attomo finished her studies, she would like find work at a medium to large law firm or in a corporate legal environment. She is most interested in real estate, bankruptcy and business litigation. She also would like to earn a certified paralegal designation through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) and be involved with COD's Paralegal Studies program alumni club -- currently in the planning stage -- in order to mentor students.

Most of all, she's pleased that the Paralegal Studies program exceeded her expectations.

"COD has a law library and a subscription to Westlaw, the premier legal research database," she said. "The program coursework has challenged me with legal research and writing assignments that mirror realistic situations. Also, serving as an officer of the Paralegal Club has given me the opportunity to work closely with the COD faculty and staff and to develop relationships with fellow students. 

"I am also very pleased with my educational experience at COD. Inspired by their love for the law, each one of my paralegal instructors inspired me to do my best."

More about the Paralegal Studies program