Front Row (from left to right) Heather Lawler, Connie Reed, Thea Gossett, and Kayla Knowles.
Middle row (from left to right) Floyd County District Attorney and instructor Leigh Patterson, Leigh Ann Johnson, Mitzi Ray, Tammy Gossett, Linda White, Marie Rangel, and Amy Lander, Program Coordinator and Instructor.
Back row (from left to right) Sandy Hall, Maria Parker, Dee Phillips, Teresa Robison, and Karen Blalock.
Graduates not pictured are: Samantha Madden, Ellie Nasworthy, Rachel Nix-Doll, and
Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) held a graduation ceremony for the Paralegal Certificate program at the auditorium on the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun.
Paralegals are crucial members of a law firm’s team. They also have job opportunities in the legal departments of large corporations, government offices, and as independent contractors. Paralegals specialize in diverse areas such as government, medical, real estate, family and estate planning, and litigation or corporate law.
The program is taught by Amy Lander, an office administrator and paralegal for the law firm of McRae, Stegall, Peek, Harman, Smith and Manning, LLP in Rome.
Ms. Lander enlists local attorneys and paralegals to teach the program and also to assist placing students into paralegal jobs upon graduation from the program. More than 500 students have graduated from the program since it began in 1998 and graduates have found employment in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Alabama, and the Northwest Georgia Region.
District Attorney Leigh Patterson, an instructor for the program for more than 15 years, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.
“Legal assistants have to make hard decisions, sometimes unpopular ones when working on their cases, but as graduates they have learned the necessary tools to do this,” said Ms. Patterson.
Listed are the 2015 graduates of the paralegal program showing the student’s name and hometown:
Karen Melissa Blalock, Dalton
Tammy Leigh Gossett, Dalton
Thea Suzanne Gossett, Dalton
Sandy Denise Hall, Fairmount
Leigh Ann Johnson, Rome
Kayla Diane Knowles, Rome
Heather R. Lawler, Rome
Samantha Madden, Silver Creek
Ellie Nasworthy, Rome
Rachel Nix-Doll, Calhoun
Maria B. Parker, Rome
Deloris Jane Phillips, Chatsworth
Keri Powell, Rome
Marie H. Rangel, Cohutta
Mitzi Ray, Rome
Connie A. Reed, Chatsworth
Teresa Marie Robison, Rome
Linda Ann White, Dalton
“It is a mark of high honor and distinction to completion this program,” said Mr. Patterson. “It takes hard work, courage, sacrifice, and character to put forth the effort to complete these classes and become a legal assistant.”
The Paralegal Certificate program is offered on GNTC’s Floyd County and Whitfield Murray County campuses. Classes meet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. The next session on the Floyd County Campus begins Sept. 14 and the next session on the Whitfield Murray Campus begins Oct. 12.
For more information or to register for the program, call (706) 295-6382.