Newsletter intern Charlotte Walton interviewed Oreva.

Q. Would you recommend becoming a paralegal to upcoming PSIA majors? Is there anything about your degree that set you apart to become a paralegal?

A. I would recommend becoming a paralegal if there is a PSIA major who is debating going to law school. The work experience and getting to know attorneys is a really good opportunity, I think it’s beneficial to be exposed into the work environment. I don’t think there’s anything specific that set me apart to becoming a paralegal. All the papers I wrote in college are definitely a huge role that I work on now.

Q. Could you expand a little on your personal enjoyment of your job? Is it fulfilling?

A. I love my job because I get to prepare all of the cases and see them through the outcome. I love being able to help immigrants either come to this country or remain in this country. For me I think it is fulfilling because I help people on a day to day basis.

Q. What skills or certifications do you require/gain from being a paralegal?

A. In order to become a paralegal, some places require a paralegal certificate. I personally have never taken the certification, my bachelors and previous work experience/ Department of Justice Accreditation allowed me to be hired as a paralegal.

Q. How would you say being a paralegal helps potential law students? Is it only the networking, or is there an aspect of knowledge growth involved?

A. I think being a paralegal helps potential law students because it is that general exposure to the law. Being able to work closely with an attorney allows you to gain a mentor as well. So the networking aspect is phenomenal. I also like it because there’s always other paralegals forming study groups to study for the LSAT, some are even in law school at the same time. There’s definitely knowledge involved, it’s not just filing paperwork. You’ve got to stay current with the law and current policies. I definitely have learned a lot during my time as a paralegal.

Q. How might future graduates replicate that process that you took to become a paralegal?

A. I think the best way to replicate would be to do an internship, that’s truly the best way to get experience.

Q. Do you have any additional advice to upcoming PSIA majors? What could set them apart from students from other institutions?

A. Taking a foreign language, internships, study abroads and extracurricular activities definitely sets you a part. They talk about it a lot in college, but it truly does help. Also having a good resume/cover letter will also set you apart.