By Bailey Anne Dermanci
Spring 2020 student Destin McIntosh is realizing his career goals with help from the education and certificate he earned at UT Austin.
The Paralegal Certificate Program offered by the Center for Professional Education (CPE) was designed by an attorney and is taught by a mix of attorneys and paralegals who enrich the program with their personal experiences and perspectives. We strive to make sure that our program thoroughly covers torts, contracts and civil procedure and equips our students with essential skills, such as research, writing, and time management, setting them up for success in the professional world.
So it is always gratifying to hear back from a student who found success in their paralegal career journey!
Student Destin McIntosh
Before going back to school, Destin McIntosh worked for the Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC) for nine months, helping people who were having trouble with the execution of their parental visitation rights. “Navigating the complexities of even a simple contract like a Standard Possession and Access Order with those who needed help can be very grueling, but was ultimately very gratifying,” McIntosh reported. “I knew that I wanted to continue and expand my professional career in this field.”
McIntosh decided that a career as a paralegal would allow him to meet his new aspirations. He enrolled in the certificate program that began in February 2020. He recalled of his experience in the program, “Everyone, from the person who responded to my initial inquiry about the course, to the in-class professors, has given everything they can to ensure the success of the participants in this program. I have felt challenged, supported and genuinely cared for throughout my entire experience.”
While McIntosh was enrolled in the program, he saw a summer internship posting on the UT Austin Paralegal Student LinkedIn Group. The posting was from Grotefeld Hoffman, a national litigation firm focusing on areas of mass tort litigation, catastrophic loss, products liability and insurance subrogation. McIntosh pursued the internship and was selected in May while still a student in the paralegal certificate program.
“As Grotefeld Hoffmann was searching for the highest quality candidates for our Summer Paralegal Intern Position, we chose to post our listing with the Paralegal Program at The University of Texas at Austin,” explained Terra Kinard, the paralegal at the firm who shared the job posting. “We were looking for someone interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal, who demonstrated a desire to learn about every aspect of working in a busy law office, from the simplest to the most complex tasks.”
The internship was a perfect introduction to the field for McIntosh who didn’t have previous paralegal experience. He began the internship at the end of May, and received news by the end of June that the firm would like to employ him full-time before the conclusion of the internship.
“During his brief internship, it was evident Destin McIntosh possessed the skills and work ethic we were seeking,” Kinard shared. “In the short time Destin has been with Grotefeld Hoffmann, he has worked on a major project, where he was instrumental in the project being completed [on time]; assisted the attorneys with research on a product liability matter; and is currently being trained to work on pre-litigation and litigation cases. Our firm is greatly appreciative of the education Destin received in the Paralegal Program at The University of Texas at Austin, as it has readied him to become an asset and valued member of our team.”
At CPE, we were so happy to hear his report that he has found employment in a place that he judges as being “comprised of excellent people. I feel like this firm was tailor-made for me and I cannot wait to learn more and grow with them.” We are proud of him and our other students who have found rewarding, meaningful work with the knowledge they gain in our program. While we cannot offer job placement services, we are happy to be able to provide opportunities for connections when we can on behalf of our students.
And we wanted to say, “Congratulations, Destin!”
Bailey Anne Dermanci is a senior marketing coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.
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