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DCE Magazine

Instructor Q&A: Kai Williamson

Paralegal Instructor

Spring 2018

Q. Why did you decide to become an instructor?

A. I actually started as a guest speaker for another instructor, Dennis Nakata. After several visits to his classes, I noticed how engaging the students were while I spoke. The next day, I contacted Dennis to inquire about how he became involved with UCI's Paralegal program.

After nearly 26 years of practicing as a Paralegal, I thought it was time I give back to the profession that has given me so many opportunities. I must say, it's been the most rewarding experience I've ever taken part in. I consider it an honor to share knowledge with students interested in a Paralegal career.

Q. What's unique about your teaching style?

A. I teach my Corporate Law class as a 10-week workshop. The main focus is “Practical Application” and students find this approach rewarding. I don't think lecturing for 3 hours is valuable with today's students. In the legal world, employers are looking for entry-level paralegals to have acquired skills.

In my Corporate Law class, I break students into 5 groups and task each group with creating a Corporation from start to finish. The workshop allows each group to function as a Board of Directors. This includes learning how to draft Power of Attorneys, Bylaws, Operating Agreements, Unanimous Written Consents and Board Minutes.

Q. What's your favorite lesson to teach and why?

A. My favorite lesson would have to be from the “Fundamentals of Paralegal Profession” course. This course gives students a glimpse into the profession as a whole. The lesson I love most is week #1 when I talk about the paralegal profession in general.

I share a broad perspective of this career since most students think a “Law Firm” is their only workplace option. When they hear that working in the legal department of a corporation or with state and federal government are additional options, I love to see the look on their faces as I open the window of opportunity that they never knew existed.

Q. What do you find most rewarding about being an instructor?

A. My rewards are all the relationships I've established with students outside of the classroom. I'm a people person by nature and my willingness to help students establish their careers has afforded me lasting friendships with several of my former students.

I've been invited to weddings and baby showers. In addition, this year I will celebrate 10 years with UCI Division of Continuing Education. In these 10 years, I've helped nearly 70 students find employment in the legal profession, and several of my former students have gone on to practice law. It's such a joy to be a blessing to others and make an impact in young people's lives.