Robin Hall: Program Coordinator for the Certificate Program by LawCrossing


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									PROGRAM COORDINATOR PROFILE                                                                     1. 800.973.1177

                           Robin Hall: Program Coordinator for the Certificate
                           Program in Paralegal Studies at California State University,
                           Los Angeles
                           [By Devon Pryor]
                           On the morning of November 7, 2006, I sat down for a phone interview with Robin Hall, Program Coordinator for
                           the Certificate Program in Paralegal Studies offered by California State University, Los Angeles,’ Extended Education
                           department. Hall had much to say about the program and about her role as Program Coordinator, but first I wanted to
                           know a little about her background. Hall earned a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, and a
                           master’s degree in higher education counseling from Cal State L.A., her “home university.” She has worked in the paralegal
                           certification program for eight years and, before coming to the paralegal program, spent 10 years working in other areas of
                           Cal State L.A.’s Extended Education department.

When I asked Hall what her responsibilities       opportunities for students and graduates,          However, to ensure legal expertise enters
were as Program Coordinator, she listed a         she maintains all of the program records,          into the equation, as well, Hall has Kathleen
myriad of tasks and then said, “Um…that’s         she arranges placement workshops, and she          Leroy, a paralegal who LawCrossing
kind of a nutshell of what I do.” It was a huge   conducts and analyzes surveys of employers         previously featured in a profile, on her team
nutshell! Hall handles almost everything          in the legal field, students, and graduates.       to play the role of External Coordinator for
in the program. She is a gatekeeper               Hall even finds time to provide some one-on-       the program. As a team, Hall said, the two
of sorts, overseeing the recruitment              one resume help to both current students           can “cover more ground.”
of prospective students and evaluating            and alumni.
students’ applications and transcripts to                                                            Hall explained that, to be an effective career
make sure their qualifications meet the           In spite of the huge amount of work on her         services counselor-or program coordinator-
program requirements, which, Hall said, are       plate, Hall said that if there is anything she     one has to love to learn about the field in
preset for it because it is “an ABA (American     doesn’t like about her job, it is that she         which he or she is advising. She said “there
Bar Association)-approved program.” Hall          doesn’t have time to do everything she’d           are a lot of different areas for paralegals,
always remains up-to-date regarding the           like to! People are what Hall likes most           so you need to be really looking at all the
approval requirements of the ABA, as she          about her job, and she described herself as        different industries and professions” and
writes the reports that keep Cal State            “a pretty outgoing person.” Hall also said         that “you need to understand the techniques
L.A.’s program approved herself. She also         that she enjoys ensuring that the paralegal        and methods of placement” in order to be
handles what she called “the logistics of the     program works smoothly and helping it grow,        able to assist students effectively. Hall listed
program,” including writing promotional copy      admitting that “when there are bumps in the        flexibility, mentorship, openness to new
for catalogs and brochures, web material,         road for students or faculty, or various things    ideas, good networking skills, creativity, and
radio and print advertisements, and other         to do with the program, then I’m pretty good       an understanding of student psychology as
promotional marketing materials.                  at figuring out ways to make things better.”       other necessary skills.

Hall writes the course schedule and               Hall said that one obvious difference              Hall was adamant about the benefits of
chairs the instructor meetings held by the        between Cal State L.A.’s program and those         taking advantage of career services and
program, providing instructors with content       of other schools is that most paralegal            counseling opportunities, bemoaning the
and professional development advice,              programs are directed by attorneys or              fact that, by her estimation, roughly half
which she gathers by attending various            paralegals. Although she admitted that             of the students in her program do not
professional association conferences and          this has some advantages, she said that her        “make near enough use of the resources
meetings. When she told me that she also          background in higher education counseling          they have available to them through their
leads the advisory committee meetings, I          allows her to “bring a little different flavor     career centers.” Hall is aware that many
marveled that she has time for anything           to the administration of the program” by           students are simply uninformed about
besides meetings. But she does; she               providing students with valuable counseling        what is available to them, a situation
solicits and posts job listings and internship    to which they might otherwise lack access.         she is constantly working to remedy by

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PROGRAM COORDINATOR PROFILE                                                              1. 800.973.1177

employing various tactics based on what         avenues that they may not otherwise explore.   Cal State L.A.’s Division of Extended
she calls an “in-your-face way of helping       Considering Hall’s dedication to her program   Education
make them aware of things.” She likened a       and to its students, there is no doubt that
student’s choice to work on his or her own to   having Hall in one’s court is, in itself, a
“reinventing the wheel,” saying that “career    resource to be tapped into.                    Program objectives and contact information
services departments can usually tap into                                                      for the Cal State L.A. Certificate Program in
what the individual student may not be as                                                      Paralegal Studies
                                                ON THE NET
able to do on their own” and asserting that                                          
it is always better to get input from others                                                   paralegal/#ProgramObjectives
                                                California State University, Los Angeles
who can enlighten students about new


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