SCF Paralegal Program Celebrates 40 Years of Providing Skilled Legal Assistants

(Bradenton, Fla., October 24, 2014) — As the area’s oldest and largest provider of education and training for legal support staff, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has a long history of meeting Manatee and Sarasota counties’ needs for skilled legal assistants.

On Monday, Nov. 10, the program will celebrate its 40th anniversary, hosted by the Suncoast Chapter of the Paralegal Association of Florida (PAF), 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota.

SCF’s Paralegal Program Celebration and LEX Alumni Recognition 40th Anniversary event schedule is as follows: 5:30-6:15 p.m., cocktails and appetizers; 6:30-7:30 p.m., dinner and presentation; and 8:30 p.m., closing remarks. Tickets are $26 for Suncoast PAF members; $30 for nonmembers. For tickets and more information, email

Since SCF’s Paralegal/Legal Assisting Program began in 1974, it has grown into a dynamic program with hundreds of trained graduates who work for local and national law firms.

SCF alumnus Jorge Sanchez is a corporate real-estate paralegal for Asset Management Holdings LLC in Sarasota. Sanchez, who has a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from the University of Florida, worked as general assignment/courts reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, freelancer and graphic arts business owner before he decided to earn a post-graduate Advanced Technical Certificate in Paralegal from SCF.

“I thought my experience covering trials as a reporter gave me a good start in the paralegal field. It turns out I had barely scratched the surface. SCF professors are knowledgeable in both academics and the real world, and they prepared me for my future as a paralegal,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez gained confidence working in a law office after completing an internship at Williams Parker, where he learned to set up files, write letters and organize cases before he graduated in Spring 2014.

SCF’s internship program allows students to apply what they learned in the classroom, including document preparation, ethics, legal research and writing, and civil litigation. The program also provides additional support to law and government offices and nonprofit and corporate legal departments while also giving them access to prospective paralegal employees.

SCF student Mary Jane Fuller, who worked as a copier service technician for 20 years, has gained valuable on-the-job experience assisting attorneys in the courtroom as an intern for Legal Aid of Manasota.

 “I feel confident that my education at SCF and internship experience at Legal Aid of Manasota and has prepared me for a job in the paralegal field,” she said.

Fuller plans to earn an Advanced Technical Certificate in Paralegal and an Associate in Arts degree in December.

SCF is a voting member of the American Association for Paralegal Education and is in substantial compliance with American Bar Association guidelines for paralegal programs. According to the National Association of Legal Assistants, SCF has a strong tradition of preparing students to pass the Certified Paralegal Exam.

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