Four years working at a law firm as a senior paralegal on workers’ compensation issues convinced Rebecca Bailey that she wanted to be a lawyer, but going to law school while working fulltime presented certain barriers.
“Learning that Widener Law offered an Extended Division program
to students with full time jobs made embarking upon the journey of becoming a lawyer feasible for me,” Rebecca says.
Participation in the Trial Admissions Program
offered her an early taste of the time pressures law school would bring for a law student with a full time job, but Rebecca points out, “Excelling in the TAP program earned me a seat at Widener Law as well as the Pamela K. Karpouzis Memorial Scholarship.”
Rebecca came to Widener Law seeking the tools that she would need to excel as a lawyer. “I would like to utilize the skills that I have acquired through both Widener Law and my experience as a workers’ compensation paralegal to work with the legislature in reforming the Workers’ Compensation Act in Pennsylvania,” she says of future goals.
As for her legal education thus far, she adds, “Widener has exceeded my expectations that I had coming into the program. It is refreshing to know that the professors legitimately care about our success and are willing to go the extra mile to make sure that we not only understand the rules of law, but more importantly, that we know how to apply them,” Rebecca says of the faculty, whom she commends as one of the best parts of her Widener Law experience. “I was very skeptical of the Socratic method of teaching at first,” she admits, “but what I have come to realize is that this teaching style gets us to think ‘outside of the box’ and approach legal issues from alternate perspectives.”
Rebecca encourages future law students to take advantage of all of the resources available to them and she points to the Student Bar Association
’s Mentor program as a particularly helpful source of support. As finals approached at the end of her first semester, she reached out to her mentor when she felt overwhelmed. “She was willing to take time away from her own studies to listen to me and provide me with advice. Her words of encouragement were the sounding board that allowed me to persevere through all the anxiety and finish strong,” Rebecca concludes.