2015 Paralegal Certificate Program
Changing careers can be a real challenge, but Koyia Osby knew it was something she needed to do. Despite already having a bachelor’s degree, Koyia was stuck in a stagnant job that left her feeling drained. She wanted something more, and she turned to Peirce College to help her get it.
A New Path
Koyia had dedicated almost 10 years of her life to working in the social services field in the City of Philadelphia. But even with all of her experience, she couldn’t see any way for her career to advance any further, so she took a new path. She enrolled in Peirce’s Paralegal Certificate program and, before she even finished her certificate, transitioned to a law career.
The transition has been a good one so far, with Koyia securing a $10,000 pay increase when she landed a job at global law firm Reed Smith LLP.
“I was encouraged to look for employment at a law firm by a paralegal that I met while working for my previous employer,” she explains. “Prior to coming to Reed Smith, I had not had any law firm experience. The paralegal that I spoke to gave me tips and advice regarding entry level positions at a firm.”
Koyia took the advice and went after legal assistant and secretarial jobs at law firms while she was still taking classes at Peirce. Dean Edwin Miller also encouraged Koyia to reach for the career she wanted now. “He made smart/practical suggestions to his students that have helped [me] along the way.”
She also got hands-on attention and help from Peirce’s Career Development Services (CDS) department. Koyia says that CDS’ Ed Hill and Robin Dizes “went above and beyond” in helping her to find the job she wanted by sending her leads, introducing her to new connections and improving her resume. They also gave her a position as a Work-Study Administrative Assistant, which helped prepare Koyia for her role as a Reed Smith Legal Assistant.
Koyia recalls how impressed the firm was with what she was learning in the classroom at Peirce. “During the interview I was able to describe what my course work entailed and how it applies to the position I was interviewing for.”
She credits the lessons learned from Peirce professors who have experience as working attorneys with helping her get where she wants to be professionally. Though it was tough to commit to going back to school, Koyia says Peirce made it easy.
“I would and I have given students advice about preparing for their career by telling them to utilize ALL of Peirce’s resources, network with everyone in your chosen field, build relationship not only with your professors but with the staff at Peirce because today’s society is all about who you know!”