Student Spotlight: Peggy Wojkowski
Major: Paralegal Studies
Peggy Wojkowski decided to become a paralegal because it was a fast-growing occupation that interested her.
“Now that I’m working in the field, I know that it is interesting,” she said. “It’s pretty fast-paced and never dull, and I learn something new every day.”
Wojkowski took her first Paralegal Studies class at College of DuPage with Sally N. Fairbank, professor and coordinator of the program, who inspired her throughout her studies.
“Sally is so dedicated to making the program a success, and I wanted to be a part of that success,” she said. “Her efforts and enthusiasm to start the Paralegal program, to get it ABA (American Bar Association)-approved, and to continue to make it a great program are inspirational. It is so easy to sit back and accept the status quo, but Sally inspires me to better myself and stay connected to the program in order to help other new paralegal students.”
During her Paralegal Practicum course, Wojkowski completed an internship at Haskin & Corrigan, PC and then was hired as a full-time paralegal, concentrating on family law. She graduated from College of DuPage and then majored in chemistry at North Central College, where she was an award-winning member of its Mock Trial team.
“I have an aptitude for math and science,” she said. “Chemistry has always been a fascinating subject. It could be a great springboard to getting involved in the Intellectual Property area of law.”
After earning her bachelor’s in Chemistry, Wojkowski enrolled at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and is a third-year law student. A law clerk at Irwin IP, LLC, she is currently the co-supervising manager for the Self-Help Web Center at the Cook County Circuit Court, where she helps pro se litigants navigate the legal system and works as a 711 Domestic Relations Clerk. Wojkowski is a member of the Chicago-Kent Student-Alumni Board, a Submissions Editor for the Journal of Intellectual Property, and a 3L Representative for the Student Bar Association.
During her most recent year of law school, Peggy was the Alumni Relations Chair for the Intellectual Property Law Society, President of the Irish-American Law Student Association, a competitor on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Intellectual Property. She recently served as a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Ann Claire Williams in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and as an Intellectual Property Extern at Seyfarth Shaw, LLP.
Wojkowski is proud to speak with other students about her experience in COD’s Paralegal Studies program and has plenty of advice for them.
“The greatest lesson I took away from the program is the importance of the ethical rules that we discussed in every class,” she said. “Varying degrees of ethical situations arise every day. It is important to know that you are not stepping over any ethical line.
“I also would advise that current students act like every day is a job interview and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Professors, other students and attorneys who are active at COD will take notice. They could be the connection to your first, or next, paralegal opportunity.”
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