Manor College’s Paralegal Program Sets Up Students for Success

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Mary Sims with Dr. Diane Pevar, Assistant Dean of Academic Support and Retention, President Jonathan Peri, and award-winning student Angelica Rodriguez.

Founded in 1947 on a beautiful, 35-acre campus in Jenkintown, Manor College is a two-year college with a long history of quality education. It offers a wide variety of academic programs in STEM disciplines, business, technology, and the liberal arts.

One of Manor’s premier programs is paralegal studies. The paralegal market is large and growing, and graduates are well trained to immediately start working after graduation. As of December 2016, Manor placed 93 percent of its paralegal graduates in jobs.

As an alternative, paralegal graduates can also transfer to four-year colleges and universities to complete bachelor’s degrees. Manor has dual admission and articulation agreements with many colleges and universities in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Mary Sims poses for a picture with the Justice Studies Association, which led a donation campaign to support Career Wardrobe.

The program’s success starts with its commitment to academics. Most of the professors are practicing attorneys with real-world experience.

“We have a great program,” said Mary Sims, the program director. “We keep our class sizes small with five to ten students in a class.”

The legal world is diverse, and Manor’s program offers a variety of specialties, including family law, real estate, employment law, and criminal justice. Courses change each semester, creating new opportunities for learning.

“We are planning to start an immigration clinic this year, focusing on helping students with visa issues,” said Sims. “We are going to have an immigration attorney teach a class and work on the clinic.”

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In addition to classwork, paralegal students also have a variety of internship opportunities. Students work in the private sector, for government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. These internships have led to job opportunities both at the firm and at other nearby organizations that get to see the students’ work in action.

“Nearly all of our students get good marks for what they know,” said Sims.

Program staff works hard to prepare the students for the workforce. Sims frequently meets with students one-on-one to help them develop critical job-hunting skills like interviewing, resume writing, and more.

“The paralegal program at Manor College gave me great knowledge that I now use every day at my work in the legal field,” said Alyssa Serrao, a 2011 graduate. “The staff at Manor is friendly, supportive, and helpful, and treats each student as an individual.”

The program also frequently hosts employment conferences. Legal recruiters and representatives from the local paralegal association attend, answer student questions, and look at resumes. Manor also has a large alumni association, and its members also often attend.

Law firms like Manor’s program because it is approved by the American Bar Association.

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“One of the reasons I chose Manor College was because the program is approved by the American Bar Association,” said Sharon Williams, a 2011 graduate. “There are so many programs that advertise for paralegal training; however, without the ABA approval, you would be wasting your time and money.”

Many students have gone on to achieve great success. Several have completed bachelor’s degrees and have gone on to law school. Others have worked at prestigious law firms. One even went to medical school, and became a doctor.

Manor is currently running a discount on credit hours for the summer semester. When students buy one credit, they get two free, enabling them to take a full three-credit-hour course for the cost of one. Students need not commit to the whole program at once – they can start by taking a single class and going from there.

For more information about Manor College’s paralegal program, contact director Mary Sims at msims@manor.edu.

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