Woman in the Library

Paralegal Alumni

Portrait of Sonya DeRose

SONYA DEROSE | A new start

After receiving an A.A. Degree in Business Technology, Sonya went to work in sales and marketing in the cable television industry where she rose to Director of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for several networks including BET and E! Entertainment Television. She then joined the Gospel Music Channel, based in Atlanta, to establish a West Coast office.

Her duties included traveling around the country to promote and sell-in the independent network to various cable and satellite companies. But in the last recession, the company closed the West Coast office and she was laid off. After researching careers, Sonya felt Paralegal was a good fit. "“I want something that is always needed. The legal system will never stop.You can apply paralegal skills anywhere, working for a law firm, a company/corporation or as an independent contractor."

Sonya set her sites on Sony Pictures Entertainment and began attending networking events and browsing their website. She applied for and was granted a college-credit internship which became a full time position in Sony's EVP Music Affairs Group.

Sonya is thankful to her West and her professors for helping her get a new start in a satisfying career. “Having been taught by instructors with real world experience and knowledge was defi nitely a plus."

BARBARA LICHTENSTEIN | Going to the next level

Barbara recalls that it was her boss who encouraged her to take her career “to the next level” by becoming a paralegal. She wanted a program that was approved by the American Bar Association and that was convenient to her job in Downtown LA. She enrolled as a night student and completed the program efficiently. “The best things about West were that it was approved by the Bar, didn’t cost an arm and a leg and many of our instructors were Judges, Paralegals and Lawyers that worked in the field!” Today, Lichtenstein is a paralegal in the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office. “I wake up excited to go to work,” said Lichtenstein of her new career. "In America if you can dream it, it can become reality. Take advantage of your time and take classes at night and you can get a degree."

Portrait of Barbara Lichtenstein

Portrait of Header Lindquist

HEATHER LINDQUIST | Paying for law school

When Heather Lindquist finished her two year scholarship at Mt. St. Mary’s where she majored in Political Science and a minored in Pre-Law, she couldn’t secure a job at any law firm. She realized that in order to get hired you need something extra, like experience. “You need the job experience to get the job but you need the experience to get the job,” Heather said. So a frustrated Lindquist heard about West’s paralegal program through a friend and applied. She liked the thought of attending West because the intimate class setting was similar to Mt. St Mary’s. Once Lindquist earned her paralegal certificate through West’s ABA approved program and completed her internship, doors started to open for her. She is currently working for two law firms and is half way through LawSchool. After she graduates from LawSchool she wants to open her own practice in family law.