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DCE Magazine

Alumni Spotlight: I ♥ My Job

Summer 2020

DCE alumna Cody Brown launched a new career as a patent paralegal and loves it. Here’s why.

A paralegal career turned out to be a perfect fit for Cody Brown – and she believes it offers a world of advantages for anyone interested in entering the legal profession. Best of all, you don’t need a costly law degree to make it happen.

About five years ago, Brown was working as an assistant for an investment group when her boss suggested she enroll at UCI and become a paralegal. She took the plunge and never looked back.

“As an assistant, I had been taking on a lot of work that involved legal matters, and my boss suggested I expand my role as a paralegal,” she said. “So, I enrolled in the DCE’s paralegal certificate program and I loved it. It was one of the best moves I’ve ever made.”

Brown had worked in sales, capital investment, and commercial real estate before finding her niche in the legal world. Today she’s a patent paralegal for One LLP, an intellectual property and entertainment law firm, and serves on the DCE paralegal program’s advisory board.

Brown says she loves being a paralegal – and she offers a handful of reasons why others might love it too.

A great introduction to the legal field.

Becoming a paralegal provides a straightforward path into law, allowing interested individuals to earn a paralegal certificate within a year or two depending on their chosen track, to get a good look at the opportunities available, and to consider whether going to law school might be a good investment of time and money.

“I was able to complete my certificate in two years while I was working full-time. I realized I loved it, and now I’m working on studying for the LSAT to apply to law school.”

Opportunities for rapid advancement.

A paralegal with a certificate can start climbing the career ladder within just a few years, moving from a junior paralegal position into a more senior role fairly quickly. And with a large percentage of senior paralegals at or nearing retirement age, the demand for young professionals is greater than ever.

“There’s a growing demand to fill those positions with a new generation of paralegals.”

A variety of career options.

Paralegals have a wide range of options in a number of fields, whether you’re interested in litigation, or something more transactional like business law, or intellectual property.

“Whichever legal field you choose, you can find a paralegal job that suits your lifestyle and fulfills your passion. There are a lot of different paths.”

A transferrable career.

Paralegals have a great deal of flexibility. They can find work virtually anywhere in the country, one of the advantages in this field, is that there are plenty of opportunities for relocation. Paralegals aren’t tied down, and they’re in demand in a wide variety of settings, whether you prefer a boutique law office, a corporate law firm, or working for the state in a DA’s office.

“There are so many possibilities, and you can work anywhere you want.”

Paralegals play a vital role.

Regardless of the type of legal field you’re working in, a paralegal’s job is vital in any organization, Brown said.

“What I love most about being a paralegal, is that no matter which field of law you’re in, you’re helping people solve a problem or achieve a goal. Working in intellectual property, I love the fact that I’m helping clients bring their ideas to fruition. The development of our economy is fueled by these innovations and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Learn more at Paralegal Certificate Program.