Student Spotlight: Batool Fatima
Batool Fatima got her B.A. in accounting, but after 12 years of being a stay-at-home parent, she decided to build an entirely new career path for herself. “Paralegals advocate for their clients, and the impact they can have on someone’s life is incredible,” Fatima said.
“Through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) I was able to access the training I needed to take the next step in pursuing a new career,” said Fatima. She recalls being drawn to the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education because of its convenience and accessibility. “Other programs would have taken 1-2 years to complete, and with everything else going on in my life, I wasn’t able to make that big of a commitment. This program is only 6 months and gave me real-life experience.”
“Having real-world assignments and hands-on learning doing work that paralegals actually do was very beneficial.”
When Fatima began the program, her main goals were to understand the entire process of a court case and acquaint herself with legal terminology. She found that the program gave her practical experience that allowed her to immediately use the skills she was gaining. “You’re not just learning from the book and applying it later; you’re learning it and applying it at the same time.”
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Fatima completed the program in January of 2021 and immediately began looking for jobs in the legal field. Despite the hurdles that come with lacking professional legal experience and job hunting during a pandemic, she remained optimistic, explaining that completing the program helped her feel better prepared in applying for jobs. “I saw that even after 12 years of not being in a school setting, I could still get good grades, turn in assignments on time and stay on task—despite everything going on around me and it being a completely online, self-paced program. This boosted my self-confidence and helped me going into the interview process,” she says. “After going through this experience, I’m considering getting a J.D. down the road.”
“Getting good grades and receiving positive feedback from instructors helped boost my confidence.”
Just three months after earning her certificate, Fatima landed a job in the legal field and shared her gratitude for her experience in the program. “I would recommend this program for someone trying to excel in their career or just trying to understand if this is a field they want to get into, without having to make a big commitment. It’s a foundational program that you can build on.”