The Choice That Makes the Difference: Becoming a Paralegal from Home

Lora Bernard was no stranger to research once she joined the Paralegal program at ANU. Working with lawyers in a mortgage servicing company, Lora did all the work a paralegal would, just without the title. When her company was forced to close and she was laid off, she made the decision to go to school and earn that title. After searching around, Lora chose ANU for the American Bar Association (ABA) approval, and that choice made all the difference.

The connections she made at ANU, from the faculty and staff to fellow students, are bonds that are like a family. Lora has a network of people that studied with her that she can go to for support, “I’ve met some really great friends through the program, and we live in completely different states and completely different areas,” said Lora. “We’ve created this small family here at ANU in the paralegal program, which as it’s growing, it’s becoming more enriched.”

Along with that, she values the time that she got in classes with Dean of Paralegal Studies Wendy Notz. “She said, ‘I’m always here for you’ and she truly means it!” Lora speaks highly of the support system she found within all the staff at ANU. Lora advises students just starting their ANU journey to take advantage of this support. “Reach out…any of the instructors I had I was able to reach out if I had a question” she said. “No question is a bad question. And they were always right there to answer for me.

When it comes to her career, Lora attributes much of her success to her distance education she got from ANU. Just one week after graduating in December 2021, Lora had a job offer as a paralegal in a law firm specializing in foreclosure. “The director of the law firm said that because I went to school online, that made me more of an asset since it was a work from home position. She knew that I would be able to handle learning virtually,” says Lora about her job interview. Not only did she gain an education from our paralegal program, but she gained the technical skills that were needed to navigate her new career through the work she did while attending ANU. Much of what she learned through distance learning contributed to her work from home career, like gaining colleague camaraderie and how to speak to people without truly ever seeing them outside of a computer screen.

Regarding her future, she’s been debating going back to school to get her bachelor’s degree. When asked if she would get that degree at ANU, she says, “I don’t know if I’d go anywhere else. ANU has become my family. I don’t know if I’d even look anywhere else but ANU to get my bachelor’s.”

For those looking to make the leap to go to school, Lora says “go for it…it’s an enjoyable experience, it’s something that you can feel accomplished by actually getting the degree.”

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