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Graduation Comments - Spring 2006 - 5-20-06


Welcome everyone to the Spring 2006 Certificate Awards Ceremony.


It is a pleasure to see all of your shining faces and smiles today, both of the graduates and especially their proud parents. - es un plazer der ver tan sonrisas gloriosas de los graduados y su familias.


I am David Jordan, the Director of the Paralegal Studies Program.

Mark Rocha


It is my pleasure to introduce Mark Rocha, our new interim Vice President of Academic Affairs. Mark received his PHD in English and American Literature form USC, and is currently teaching an english class, so he keeps at least one foot in the classroom.


Mark -

Maria Ventura -

Next I would like to introduce Maria Ventura, Representative from our own councilamn Alex Padilla, who is currently running for Senate to say a few words.




I would like to thank Maria, our own Rosalinda Gallegos, a graduate from our Paralegal Program who has worked in Councilman Padilla's office, for preparing the very attractive City of L.A. Recognitiion Certificates that our graduates will receive.

Patricia Flood,


I would like to introduce Pat Flood, Prof. of Computer Applications and Office Technology who will say a few words to our graduates


Sandi Lampert


I would like to introduce, Sandi Lampert Department Chair of Professional Studies who will say a few words to our graduates

David Jordan


comments -


Today we have over 40 students who will receive our Mission College Paralegal Certificate. Earning a Certificate of Completion in our Paralegal program signifies that our students comply with California Business and Professions Codes Section 6400 and 6450 which regulates paralegals in the State of California.


This means that we have trained our students to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by lawyers. Paralegals enable lawyers, the court system, and the criminal and civil justice system to discharge their professional responsibilities more effectively and efficiently. Paralegals are employed or retained by lawyers, law offices, governmental agencies, or may be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform this legal work.


We have an outstanding law faculty here at Mission College, and I would like to recognize - Barry Morinaka and Mike Hibler for their fine work in education of our paralegals over the years. It is their deducation to our students and our program that makes it a pleasure coming to work every day, and I personally thank them for myself and all the students that have taken their classes.


I would also like to this time to recognize our excellent paralegal tutors. All of of our tutors have graduated with high honors for our paralegal program, and possess proven academic backgrounds, and they foster strong study habits and organization skills that help to provide academic guidance for our students. Would the Paralegals please stand to be recognized. Our tutors, Rein Morgen, Susan Carleson, James Burch, Sandra Fenton, Jonathan McCracken, David Hirshfield, and Rosalinda Gallegos.


The objective of our paralegal program is to impart knowledge of the structure of the California and federal legal systems, to educate our students in basic understanding of areas of law with which law offices commonly deal, to give practical training in the performance of legal tasks associated with these areas including the preparation of legal documents, and pleadings , to train our students to do excellent legal research, to write and communicate clearly and precisely, and to teach the ethical principles governing the relationship of attorney, paralegal-legal assistant, and client.


In the early 1980s the U.S. Department of Labor told the nation that the paralegal profession was the fastest growing profession and that by the year 2000, there would be 100,000 paralegals in the nation. According to predictions by the Department of Labor, by the year 2005 there will be between 150,000 and 176,000 paralegals in this nation.

The median expected salary for a typical Paralegal I in Los Angeles, CA 90035, is $45,116.


I would now like all of our paralegals who will receive their certificates today to stand to be recognized for your hard work and efforts and for receiving your Paralegal Certificates today.


Finally, I always love closing by telling a story of one of our paralegals which captures the essence of what all of our paralegals go through to obtain their Paralegal Certifices.


Here is one of the stories, and it is from K.T. -



It was with great fear that I signed up for my first paralegal class at Mission College almost two years ago. I had not been in a classroom for 20 years. Although the wisdom that comes with age is a plus, the merging of my real world and its time restrictions with this new endeavor made my heart race at the very thought of homework and "due dates."


12 classes later I am left with a different feeling...pride. I have joined my two teenage daughters is carving out homework time! We "fight" over who has the more urgent need for the computer and I am usually the victor since I am, of course, "mom."


I find that my new understanding of the law pops into everyday interactions. While I was no stranger to the legal arena, the amount of information which now floats freely through my brain surprises me! For instance, my daughter's high school implemented a dress code this year. This code, while very positive in most instances, has become arbitrary with sporadic "amendments" as they become necessary. Yesterday we were informed that boys could no longer wear long NBA style jerseys. These jerseys, we're told, could conceal weapons. Forget the fact that these kids use backpacks and that we live in a crime-free environment and have never had an incident of this sort prior to the dress code. When the school announced that the dress code would extend over to non-school hours at extra-curricular events, including weekends, my first comment to my daughter was that the kids' constitutional rights were being violated and I scurried off to find relevant case citations to "arm" her with the law she might quote at the next student meeting. I felt wonderful and I know that my daughter appreciated and admired what I had done.


To sum it up, I do not exaggerate when I say that this program has been a life-saver for me. There would be no possibility of attending college and attaining my paralegal certificate had it not been for this wonderful online program. Having suffered some physical changes that brought about permanent disabilities which ultimately forced me to leave my much-loved position with the courts that I had for 20 years, I didn't see much hope in the years ahead of me, I now have CONFIDENCE that I can make a contribution to the working world. That being said, the greatest accomplishment is the respect I have received from my family...for a job well done. KT

Thank you K.T. and now for the presentation of the certificates

at the end - mention - Care for the elderly

Mission College sponsored “Caregiver Support Day” on May 19, providing those who care for the elderly and infirmed with a wealth of information. Workshops and resource tables offered guidelines on coping with Alzheimer’s, proper nutrition, appointment of a conservator, home care and home safety modifications, and much more. Shawn Hertz of the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center was the keynote speaker.

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