Julia Hanson, who graduated from The University of Toledo in May, is one of two recipients of the first National Association of Legal Assistants Certified Paralegal Scholarship Award.The award recognizes students who excel in their academic paralegal studies and show strong professional leadership. It was presented by Delmar, Cengage Learning, a long-standing partner with the National Association of Legal Assistants.
Nominees from around the country were ranked based on references, achievements, course work, leadership and professional goals by an award selection committee of paralegal educators and program directors.
“I was really surprised, pretty excited and kind of in shock at first,” Hanson said. “I’m honored.”
She was chosen because she demonstrated a focused maturity, ethical values, creative problem solving and a strong work ethic. She also took initiative both in and beyond the classroom, as shown by her internship in Washington, D.C., in spring 2012.
Hanson applied for and was accepted into the Washington Center’s Internship Program, which paid for her living expenses as she interned with Keith Watters & Associates, a personal injury and criminal defense law firm. After working with the firm for a semester, the firm decided to hire her as an official employee upon graduation.
“Having the energy and courage to apply for the Washington Center’s Internship Program and to carry through with this incredible experience speaks volumes to Ms. Hanson’s drive to be the best paralegal she can be,” said Kathleen Reed, UT associate professor and director of paralegal studies.
Hanson is the first of Reed’s students to complete the Washington Center’s Internship Program, and it was Reed who nominated Hanson for the National Association of Legal Assistants award after seeing the drive and passion she had for her paralegal studies.
“Professor Reed put all the work into it, so I owe her a lot of credit,” Hanson said.
Hanson graduated in May from UT’s Paralegal Studies Program with a 3.78 overall grade point average and a 4.0 in her paralegal courses. Her grades allowed her to be on the president’s and dean’s lists, as well as a part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society.
Hanson also worked part time throughout her collegiate career and was a member of the Undergraduate Law Society and Paralegal Association of Northwest Ohio.
“Julia is one of the best and brightest students I have been privileged to have,” Reed said.
The scholarship award will pay for Hanson’s application to be admitted to the National Association of Legal Assistants Certified Paralegal Program. Delmar, Cengage Learning also provided Hanson with a Certified Paralegal Review Manual and a Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal Study Guide/Mock Examination, both published by Delmar, Cengage Learning.
The review books will assist Hanson with a certified legal assistant/certified paralegal exam she must take in order to become a certified paralegal; she plants to take the test in December.