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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. Hall explained that, to be an effective career

students’ applications and transcripts to 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 solicits and posts job listings and internship

providing students with valuable counseling

what is available to them, a situation

to which they might otherwise lack access.

she is constantly working to remedy by


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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


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.

services departments can usually tap into what the individual student may not be as able to do on their own” and asserting that it is always better to get input from others who can enlighten students about new


Program objectives and contact information for the Cal State L.A. Certificate Program in

ON THE NET California State University, Los Angeles

Paralegal Studies paralegal/#ProgramObjectives

Robin Hall: Program Coordinator for the Certificate Program