CPS Brings Together VIISTA and Paralegal Programs Together for Career-Building Event
Villanova's College of Professional Studies (CPS) recently hosted Legal Professional Development Day, inviting students from each of its law-focused certificate programs to learn more about the legal field and potential careers in the industry. Students from Villanova's Paralegal Professional Certificate and the Villanova Interdisciplinary Immigration Studies Training for Advocates (VIISTA) programs are both invested in finding or furthering careers in the legal profession. At the event, held at The Inn at Villanova, students from both programs were led through a day of panel discussions and networking opportunities, driven in part by their shared interest in the legal field.
"The Professional Development Day was an opportunity for VIISTA and Paralegal students to come together, as students who are looking to grow or start careers in different areas of the legal field, for networking, career advice, and development opportunities," explained Liz Remelius, Assistant Director of Professional Education in CPS.
The event opened with a big picture look at how the modern workforce is changing, with a keynote address from Mike Palladino, Director of Enterprise Agility at Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals, looking deeper at the effects of new technology in the workforce.
Meredith Okenquist, a Career Management Coach at Villanova, then detailed The Art of Networking, focusing on the ever-changing landscape following the pandemic. She and a team from CPS also offered advice on resume creation and pitching one's self to potential employers.
The event also featured panels, specific to the paralegal and VIISTA groups in attendance, featuring local professionals speaking to their experience in the industry.
Immigration Advocacy Panelists
Kerry Hartington, Founding Partner - Hartington King English LLC
Shaloo Jose, Program Manager - HIAS Pennsylvania
Heidi Roux, Executive Director - Immigrant Rights Action
Anu Thomas, Executive Director - Esperanze Immigration Legal Services
Lisa Albarran, Paralegal - Cody & Pfursich Law Firm
Denise Dellaratta, Chief Practice Services Officer - Fox Rothschild LLP
Monica Muehsam, Owner and Senior Paralegal - Monica Muehsam Paralegal Services, LLC
Meghan Sutherland, Fiduciary Administrator - Fox Rothschild LLP
The event brought together students, faculty and staff from two programs that both run within CPS, but previously featured no crossover discussions, despite the shared area of interest.
"In addition to a shared general umbrella of interest, these two programs attract change makers: they are all looking to participate in a healthy legal system that is adaptable to the needs and concerns of the people," Remelius shared.
"And they all have the potential to make positive change for their clients and the legal system, whether they’re working in a non-profit, in a boutique law firm, or on a national level.