Belinda Rivera, Paralegal Studies
by Elizabeth Griffith | July 15, 2015
Belinda Rivera’s career path began in 2007, when she enrolled at the University of Indianapolis to study political science and pre-law. She had always felt drawn to the legal realm, but wasn’t quite sure in what capacity. In her senior year, she had the chance to intern for Melinda Kennedy’s mayoral campaign, which left quite an impression. Still today, she speaks highly of the internship, calling it a great learning opportunity. The experience increased her overall understanding, allowing her to zero in on the specific aspects to which she was most drawn.
After graduation, in 2011, Belinda considered applying to law school but, instead, decided to take a full-time position with JP Morgan Chase as an analyst. They incorporated her interest in legal processes by allowing her to work with the legal team, developing procedures and contracts. As it often is with most people who land their first job out of college—that’s even remotely related to their field of study—it provided a good amount of informative insights. She was grateful for the experience but knew that it still wasn’t quite the right fit.
She researched options for paralegal studies and discovered that Marian’s Adult Programs (MAP) at Marian University, Indianapolis, offered “an awesome paralegal program… through a great institution.” She enrolled in June of 2014.
“The overall program and how it was designed seemed like a great fit for me due to my busy, crazy, and hectic lifestyle. The accelerated program that MAP had to offer was exactly what I needed. And when they say accelerated, they truly mean Accelerated. I cannot believe how fast this program is going. Time flies when you are having fun, learning things of interest!”
MAP instructors are experienced attorneys and paralegals, who know first-hand which skills and qualities make the best paralegals. “It is such a great networking and learning experience, all at the same time! When I first started the MAP program, I was new to the whole experience of the paralegal career. However, all of my teachers, along with my advisor, Ms. Lesley Neff, were great sources to learn about the career.”
Just over a year later, Belinda is nearing her completion date. She put her research and communications skills to work and found a position as a paralegal with the law firm, Dugan and Voland LLC., where she actively learns all she can. With just a few courses left, she continues to hone her skills through in-class exercises and assignments, as well as day-to-day responsibilities.
“Today I go to work and am super excited, because I know this is just the beginning of something I have always been passionate about! I actually love going to work. Everyday can consist of so many different jobs and tasks to stay busy. MAP’s paralegal program re-ignited my love for the legal world, and who knows… I may continue on to law school in the future.”