By Bailey Anne Dermanci, PMP
Learn what personal experience inspired attorney Tiffany Haas to design the Paralegal Certificate Program
“Being a paralegal is a very demanding career, but if you do it right and work with the right people, it will be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.”
Tiffany Haas, Esq., Paralegal Certificate Program Curriculum Designer and Instructor
In 2016, attorney Tiffany Haas joined the Center for Professional Education with the charge of transforming our paralegal education programs. It was an unanticipated career transition out of the courtroom, but one that held deep personal meaning.
Haas was inspired to dive into paralegal education by two important figures in her life: her mom and the first paralegal she worked with as a new lawyer, Susan. For her, helping individuals learn the skills they need in order to be successful paralegals is a satisfying way to give back.
“I grew up with my mom being a paralegal, and I saw how much her attorney relied upon her and respected her work,” Haas told us. “Then I was lucky enough to work with Susan straight out of law school. She had been a paralegal for over 30 years when I met her, and she took me under her wing and showed me the way. She and I remain close even now.”
Before moving to Austin, Haas was an attorney in the Corpus Christi area, focusing on litigation and insurance defense. When she joined the team at the Center for Professional Education, she was able to leverage her experience appearing in the courtroom, preparing clients and working with her paralegals when recreating our paralegal certificate programs.
She started with our instructor-led certificate program where she created the curriculum, including the addition of a new focus on essential skills like legal writing, and recruited practicing attorneys and paralegals to teach. The instructor-led Paralegal Certificate Program is conducted three times a year, with Tiffany working in the background to manage logistics and support the instructors.
After the instructor-led program was up and running, Haas turned her attention to developing a self-paced online version of the curriculum, which launched in September of 2020. In addition to developing the curriculum, Haas serves as the instructor for the self-paced online program, working with students directly to ensure their success.
She says that she loves having the opportunity to teach future paralegals the skills they need to make them “indispensable to an attorney.” There are many different career paths for a paralegal, but some paralegals can hit the jackpot with the right attorney where they create a working relationship that makes both people better at what they do.
“Being a paralegal is a very demanding career,” Haas continued, “but if you do it right and work with the right people, it will be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.”
Attend one of our upcoming information sessions to hear about our programs directly from Haas herself. Or, if you have questions now about our programs or the paralegal career, reach out to your enrollment and success coordinator Brett Brinegar.
Bailey Anne Dermanci, PMP is a senior marketing coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®.
Learning and professional growth go hand in hand. For regular career insights and information on continuing education programs offered by UT’s Center for Professional Education, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, It’s Your Career.