Student Spotlight: Jackie Freeman
Jackie Freeman wanted to be a lawyer since the second grade.
But life got in the way, and she eventually earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in other disciplines. Freeman hoped to take a somewhat early retirement to do pro bono work for the Innocence Project, but the recession forced her to change her plans, and she found herself considering a legal field once again.
“A Paralegal Certificate was on my ‘bucket list’ since my 40s. When the opportunity for a grant came up, I researched many professions, and the legal profession was the only one I found that would value my prior management experience and my education. So the practical coincided with the passion,” she said. “After a 30-year corporate career and more degrees than I probably need, my goal is to find a job doing work I enjoy, that challenges me, stimulates my brain and keeps me active.”
Freeman selected College of DuPage’s Paralegal Studies program because of its excellent reputation and ABA-approved curriculum, which she considered essential.
“COD and the Paralegal Studies program are moving me in the direction of finding gainful employment again,” she said. “On a personal note, I have made some wonderful friends, some of whom will be friends for life.”
Freeman is vice president of the Paralegal Club and finds the club events as important to her education as classes. She strongly encourages other students to participate in the club, which presents speakers and provides opportunities to give back to the community.
She also would advise prospective students to take full advantage of the advising and counseling opportunities at COD.
“I met with the program coordinator and with Stephanie Wilcox before deciding to enroll,” she said. “I also set up job searches in a variety of fields in advance of enrolling. I received more job postings for paralegal jobs than for any other field.”
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