Fostering Her Legal Career

Fostering Her Legal Career:

Dalyn Fountain’s Story with ANU

With experience in the field, Dalyn Fountain was struck with a choice. She either goes to school to become a Paralegal to solidify her career choice or move on to something different. Once she joined American National University’s Paralegal associate degree program, she knew she made the right decision. With law school in her future, a family to look after, and a career to uphold, our program allowed Dalyn the flexibility she needed to graduate in her desired field. And in 2022, Dalyn graduated with her associate degree and became a senior paralegal.

Dalyn found American National University by researching the top paralegal programs offered to her. She says, “I googled ‘top paralegal online programs’ and [ANU] was the first to come up.” Along with that, despite applying to other universities, it was only ANU that she felt “a warm welcome with the people I talked to at ANU – and I didn’t get that anywhere else.” It was also important to her to have an ABA-approved program like ours. “I knew I wanted to sit for the state bar certification, and they wouldn’t let me do so without that!”

The biggest pull for Dalyn to choose ANU was our class structures. The Zoom meetings for classes motivated her to push for her education. “I needed something to hold me accountable,” she says, “I enjoyed it. Even the two- or three-hour long courses, I enjoyed it.” And her decision to go to ANU was solidified with the ease and comfort that her student services counselors provided her. No matter what it was, “they were always super nice, easy to talk to. They were knowledgeable – I knew they knew what they were talking about. And I felt comfortable going into each course every term.”

When it comes to her experience at ANU, Dalyn felt supported throughout her educational journey and even after because of the faculty. She explains that her professors got to know who she was and connected with her on places like LinkedIn. “I had a few professors who took the time to talk to me about going to law school and what that would look like.” She never felt alone in her education, either.

“The professors were up to date with grading, that was great! Response time was always good – 24 hours, if that, that I would receive a response from professors… Talk to your professors, especially in the Paralegal program, they will go the extra mile to help you and foster your legal career.”

Along with that, she found our services to be user-friendly. She says, “I didn’t find that anywhere else – that Canvas was as user-friendly as it was. The interface is pretty and easy to use.” Her professors also recorded their Zoom sessions and uploaded them to Canvas. This helped her if she ever missed a course or if she needed to go back over those sessions for studying.

After graduating from ANU, Dalyn received a promotion to Senior Paralegal from her workplace for completing her Paralegal education. Along with that, she sat for the State Bar certification and passed, and also became a notary public. She’s begun her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and plans to sit for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) soon. In her day-to-day work, Dalyn describes it: “As a senior paralegal, I do all of our intakes, I do all of our discovery review. I meet with our clients if they have pleas, and if they want to go to trial, I do trial notebooks. I am also responsible for the federal case load we have so I meet with those clients… Anything you can think of [a Paralegal doing], I do. Even office management.”

With all of the work she does as a Paralegal, Dalyn feels that ANU prepared her for the new responsibilities she gained. Within her courses, she received a lot of real-world experiences and studied real cases to learn. For her personal injury course, she had to “open the case and close the case. That was the whole course. That was great! Because I really didn’t have interest in personal injury until then.” Dalyn explains that her education at ANU gave her more insight into the job she was already performing. “Before, it was just ‘do this because this is what you need to do,’ but now I know why I’m doing it.”

In her future, Dalyn hopes to finish law school and become an associate within the law firm that she is currently working in.

“I would whole-heartedly recommend ANU!” Says Dalyn. “It was the best experience I have had thus far!”

Her advice to new students:

“try everything. You don’t know what you don’t know. Just get a feel for everything. Don’t be afraid to make new connections, because you don’t know where those connections will take you. ANU definitely taught me that. I have somebody in just about every state on the east coast I can reach out to ‘hey I need a referral for an attorney.’”

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