Flexibility in the Field of Law: Angela’s Story with ANU

With the changes that the Covid pandemic brought to the world, current American National University student, Angela Tinari, also faced a change in her plans after 2020. A Staten Island native, Angela had goals to work in the city with her bachelor’s degree upon graduation from another institution. When the pandemic shut things down, she decided to change her career plans. With inspiration from her criminal defense attorney mother, Angela decided to join ANU’s Paralegal certificate program. And her hard work earned her the title of Term Trailblazer for Term 236!

The reason Angela chose ANU over other Paralegal programs was the flexibility we offered her. Our class schedules were available from morning until night. Her work schedule changes frequently, so she needed something that could accommodate her time. “At ANU, I first registered as a night student, but luckily they’ve been very helpful and flexible and able, especially for this term, to move my classes to the morning,” she explains.

“They were a lot more helpful than most [other institutions] and just understanding that most people have jobs to get them through this program.”

In her classes, Angela is learning topics that make her a more well-rounded paralegal. She’ll often take concepts she learned in class to her mother who works in criminal cases. Sometimes, her mother won’t have the answers. And ANU is teaching her the knowledge she needs to be a confident worker. “This program has definitely helped because I can’t just assume my mom’s going to know the answer… [I] have to figure it out,” she says. “The discovery class [I took] I thought was really helpful because it was very hands-on… You have to go out and find out what documents you need and then put it together yourself. It was a challenge… but I think it was beneficial because now I have an idea of how to go about it and do it myself without bothering the attorney.”

From her very first interactions with ANU, Angela says everyone has been helpful and kind. “My last week of the term, I had to go on a work trip, and I had all my finals to take. All of my teachers were really helpful, and they were like: ‘we’ll open them a couple days early for you, you’ll get them done!’” She describes. She explains that other institutions she spoke to were rigid in their schedules and gave no room to budge or help her.

“ANU has been very helpful, and the teachers have been very great, they respond very quickly, even on the admissions side.”

Angela calls out Dean Wendy Notz and Professor Sheri Clark as two that have helped her learn not only a lot of information, but they make it fun and interesting.

Her future goals include wanting to continue her work as a fitness instructor while also working as a paralegal. She wants to be on the 18b Panel in the city and also help her mother with her cases in her paralegal work. “Just keep learning, maybe I’ll take on another program! I learned that I miss being in school,” she says.

Would she recommend ANU to others? “I definitely would any program because of how helpful and flexible [ANU] is!”

Her advice to new students: “Get ahead of your work… don’t leave it to the last second!”

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