When Lakisha Chichester heard about Meredith’s paralegal program, she was instantly intrigued. Once she learned more, she knew the profession was the right one for her.
The experience at Meredith went beyond coursework. “At Meredith, I was mentored and coached, plugged into paralegal networks, and encouraged to seek out opportunities,” Chichester said.
Chichester now uses the knowledge she gained at Meredith as a corporate paralegal at Self-Help, a community development lender and real estate developer in Durham, N.C. Self-Help consists of two credit unions, a nonprofit loan fund and an advocacy group. She is the sole paralegal for the legal group, working with six attorneys.
“I manage and maintain corporate records and report filings; review advertising and marketing materials for compliance with various banking, finance, and fair lending regulations; prepare and file quarterly and semi-annual lobbying reports and disclosures; draft commercial and residential real estate documents; and serve as the contract administrator,” Chichester said.
The Meredith paralegal program experience helped Chichester define what she wanted from her career.
“For me, career success meant being a certified paralegal and working with autonomy at an organization that respected and supported the value that I bring to the organization,” she said. “I have achieved my original goals: I have a wonderful job, I am a North Carolina State Bar certified paralegal and I am an NALA advanced certified paralegal.” NALA is the nation’s leading professional association for paralegals.
Completing the paralegal program at Meredith made Chichester able to take advantage of more opportunities.
“Louis Pasteur said ‘Chance favors only the prepared mind,’” Chichester said. “We are not in control of when or how an opportunity will come our way, but we are in control of preparing for them. Once you identify your career niche, prepare for it and stay ready,” she advised.