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Fullerton College Professor Comes Full Circle to Give Back to Students￼ Feature Story
Michael Moore was climbing the ranks as a veterinarian technician when the economy collapsed beneath him. At the time, he was attending Fullerton College to complete his GED and start building his future. Unsure what to do next, Michael sought career counseling to become a lawyer. He found himself in the Introduction to Paralegal Studies class and hasn’t looked back since.
In 2014, Michael graduated from Fullerton College’s Paralegal Studies Program with a Certificate and an Associate in Science Degree. He first started working as a paralegal while still a student and continued in the field for the next 11 years. Michael kept in touch with his favorite professor, Barbara Pollinger, who mentored him and frequently invited him back to her class as a guest speaker.
“I offer the perspective of a student who has come full circle,” says Michael who is now a professor and department coordinator in Fullerton’s Paralegal Studies program. “I’ve completed the same program students are enrolled in now.”
In 2018, Michael began teaching part-time. Then, just three years later, he started teaching full-time and became the new department coordinator of paralegal studies. Michael is grateful Barbara saw his career come full circle before she passed away last year. He will always cherish her for inspiring his passion for teaching and the field of paralegal studies.
“The most rewarding part of teaching is giving back to my students,” Michael explains. “We give students the skills to be confident professionals and increase their job opportunities.”
Fullerton’s Paralegal Studies program prepares students for entry-level employment in a law office. Under the supervision of a licensed attorney, paralegals research, write and prepare legal documents; interview clients; and provide office management support. Paralegals have a wide-variety of public and private sector career opportunities as immigrant paralegals, law clerks, legal analysts, legal assistants, legal clerks, and paralegal specialists.
“I started working as a paralegal while I was still a student at Fullerton College,” Michael says. “I applied what I learned in class straight to my career in the field.”
Today, Michael teaches legal writing, civil litigation, and other introductory paralegal courses. An avid writer, he enjoys breaking down complicated writing processes into less intimidating concepts that students can understand, especially those who see writing as an obstacle to their success.
“Students who complete this program flourish,” Michael explains. “Their employers have great things to say about them, which compliments their hard work.”
While Paralegal Studies is often a stepping-stone for students who want to pursue a career in the legal field, Michael reminds students that it can really a bridge to success in any number of fields.
“I want more students to know that in this program, you learn transferable skills to start your own business, work at any office, or within public service,” Michael says. “The greatness of our program is rooted in our faculty, and we give everything back to our students.”
For more information on the Paralegal Studies program at Fullerton College, please visit https://cte.fullcoll.edu/programs/paralegal-studies/.