Paralegal Student and Single Mom Seeking Law and Order

Posted by on March 13, 2014

Erin Stocker likes details. She likes rules. It is not a mystery, then, that this Minnesota School of Business–St. Cloud (MSB) student chose the paralegal program to study.

Erin Stocker, paralegal student

“The law is precise,” she explains, “exactly how I like my life to be run!”

“It’s about reading and research,” she continues. “I’m a behind-the-scenes type of person, so it’s a great fit.”

A lifelong central Minnesota resident, Stocker chose MSB because of its proximity and flexibility for her as a single parent. She compared it to other local colleges, but did not even finish the orientation process there.

“I like to say that at MSB, you get individual attention, even if you don’t want it,” she laughs. Stocker credits her admissions representative as being persistent and encouraging, and the paralegal advisor Joseph Bazan as being knowledgeable and readily accessible for help.

Class size, also, is important to her. “Having six, ten or twelve people in a class leads to better discussion and learning experience,” she maintains.

However, Stocker has found certain elements of college challenging. “Like small group work,” she says. “I’m a take-charge, do-everything type of person, so if someone doesn’t step up right away, I feel like I have to do it all.”

“I’m working on my small group skills,” she admits. “This is important for the legal world. A small group of paralegals may all have to work together for one attorney. I get that.”

The highlights of college thus far for her include networking with her peers and student association work.

Erin Stocker (front, center) with MSB students and staff at MCCA Hill Day in St. Paul

Stocker recently joined other students at Minnesota Career College Association (MCCA) Hill Day in St. Paul and found it to be a genuinely rewarding experience.

“I was maybe a little intimidated to speak to the legislators,” she admits. “But it definitely gave me insight into my future career. I’d like to go back. I’ll be ready next year!”

Stocker graduates this spring with an associate degree but plans to continue her education and earn a bachelor’s degree in paralegal science.

She has some advice for students just starting out:

  • Get to know your instructors—particularly online: They only want you to learn and the best for you.
  • Keep ahead: Again, this is especially important for online studies. Getting behind only leads to disappointment.
  • Be present on campus: Meet other students so you don’t feel alone. Network with your peers.
  • Take pride in what you do accomplish for the day and shut your computer off at 9 p.m.


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