On Thursday, March 1, Kofi Montzka, Paralegal Chair at the Brooklyn Center Campus, arranged to have Kim Johnson, Real Estate Paralegal from Buffalo Wild Wings, speak to her Contracts class. A Supervisory Management class also attended. According to Kofi, this was the first time that students had the opportunity to hear from a paralegal who works in a corporation versus a law firm, which made the presentation all the more interesting for them. Kim spoke to the group of twenty-one students about how to get a job in a corporation as well as the benefits of working in a corporation. The two biggest pieces of knowledge that students gained from Kim dealt with networking and knowledge in the field. Kim explained to the students that networking is how she has found all of her jobs; she left each employer on good terms, so each was able to refer her to a new employer. Kim also emphasized the importance of having background knowledge on the corporation and its product. For example, even though Kim deals with the real estate transactions for Buffalo Wild Wings, it is still crucial for her to know about the day to day operations of the corporation including knowing about the food and what happens in the restaurant. One piece that Kim finds
most enjoyable about working at Buffalo Wild Wings is that the culture from the restaurant carries over into the corporate side of the business.
Kofi’s students in the Legal Writing class had the opportunity to enjoy a guest
speaker during the following week. On Monday, March 5, students heard
from Valerie Wolfe, a Paralegal from Maslon Law Firm located in Minneapolis, MN. Students learned about Valerie’s role working as a litigation paralegal in a large law firm. She discussed the writing process and gave the students tips on how to find a job.
The Contracts class heard from another guest speaker on Thursday, March 8. A former graduate of the Brooklyn Center Campus, Michelle Murray Hitchcock, came in to speak to the students about her role as a Paralegal at Assurant Insurance Company. She went over the process of drafting and reviewing contracts with the group. This presentation was especially meaningful to the students because of the fact that she went through the same program that her audience is currently enrolled in.
On Tuesday, March 13, the Legal Terminology class heard from Tammy Reed and Katiana Strickland from Walmart Asset Protection. The women spoke to the students about all of the different types of positions available at Walmart, including floor walkers (undercover security inside the store), forensics, field investigation, compliance, operations, human resources, and legal. It was interesting for the criminal justice and paralegal students to learn that if they work as security inside the store, they will get experience working with local law enforcement, writing reports, and assisting with investigations. They helped the students to see another example of a nontraditional place to work.
A huge thank you to Kofi for organizing these guest speakers as well as to Kim, Valerie, Michelle, Tammy, and Katiana for taking the time out of their busy schedules to give some insight into the paralegal field.