Speech by Valedictorian Hannah Tammen – Spring 2010
On our very first day, we were told by past graduates how challenging this class would be. “Jac’s tough,” they told us, “but she pushes you to be your best.” For the past nine weeks, we’ve been in a mental boot camp designed to transform us into competent, successful paralegals. During this time, our worlds have changed. The word ‘discovery’ has taken on a new definition. The word “more” will strike fear into even the bravest of our hearts for years to come. And we will all forever remember, verbatim, the definition of hearsay.
This experience has been humbling for us all. We did not know how much we did not know until Jac told us. We did not know just how incorrectly we had been using the word “hopefully.” We did not know that we did not know how to use a semi-colon. I really didn’t know I’d been spelling “calendar” wrong my entire life.
The demands of this class have taken up most of our time for the past nine weeks. Without the understanding and support of our families and friends we never would have made it out with our sanity. For that we thank them.
We thank our fellow classmates for all that we’ve done for each other. We started out as strangers, but quickly we became a support network. For everything from troubleshooting computer problems, to homework help, to quizzing each other before tests, we’ve been there. The characters that make up this class are unforgettable, and though we’ve been split into two for our mock trial, we complete this program as one family. We made it through this challenge, and we did it together.
Finally, we thank Jac for her dedication to making us the best paralegals she possibly can. We thank her for sharing her brilliant mind with us every weekend, and we thank her for opening her home to us at midweeks to keep us on the right track. It’s true that Jac is tough. I’d say she’s picky. On the first day, Jac told us to take down some notes on her pet peeves. “Who is this woman?” I thought to myself. “Who does that?” Now we all know the answer to that question. Jac Brennan does that. Jac’s a lawyer, and lawyers have weird lists of pet peeves. And if we want to work for lawyers, we’re going to have to get used to it. Not all of Jac’s lessons were spelled out in the pages of a power point. But as the weeks went by it became more and more clear that Jac was training us not only to do the practical things that paralegals do, but to meet the high standards that will be set for us by the attorneys for whom we will go on to work. Jac’s demand for nothing less than the right answer is a tool for success in the working world.
So now as we hopefully approach the job market, we bring with us our new skills and the confidence that we will all make great paralegals. Best of luck to everyone.
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming out to celebrate this wonderful occasion with the UH Paralegal Studies graduating summer class of 2010. It has been a very long 10 weeks for the students in this class. You know we’ve all been to school before so we have a pretty good idea of what is expected of us, so going into this class, so we thought would be no different. We were so wrong.
From the start, all of our expectations went out the window. We were told by former graduates how challenging this class can be. They told us, “You might as well forget about your personal life if you’re going to be completing this course.” They were so right. Jac is tough. She told us about our mistakes before we knew we had any. From spelling the word definitely wrong to using the word hopefully in the wrong context, these are simple mistakes I know we will all remember from this point forward.
This class has been an experience of a lifetime for all of us. We’ve gained so much knowledge and built so many friendships that will last many years to come.
This class has also been a strain on us as well as for our family and friends. And so first I want to thank God for giving us all the strength and wisdom to stick with it. Next, I want to thank all our family and friends for their support and encouraging words as we completed this course. We really could not have made it through without you. Finally, I want to thank Jac for believing in us and not giving up on us when we did things wrong after being told over and over again how to do it correctly. Jac is a really special person and we admire her hard work and dedication put towards this class.
I want to say congratulations to all of the graduates and I wish you the best of luck in your future.
Speech by Valedictorian Lori Busch – Fall 2010
Hello everyone, and thank you for coming out to celebrate the accomplishments of the Fall 2010 graduating class of the UH Paralegal Studies Program.
It has been a long, but rewarding 8 weeks for the students in this class. We came together from different backgrounds and we came together for many different reasons. But our goal was the same: To become a paralegal.
We were told from the beginning, that it would be tough and that to be successful in this class, we would need to put aside our personal lives, as well as give up any free time. Surely not, we thought. We believed we would file into class every Saturday and Sunday for 8 weeks and voila! — magically, we’d earn a certificate and become a paralegal. Boy, were we wrong! We didn’t know how much we didn’t know, but Jac took care of that.
We found out that we had been using the word “hopefully” incorrectly. And that “literally,” really does mean “literally,” and it shouldn’t be used any other way. We have memorized the names of the 9 Supreme Court Justices, and we “definitely” know the definition of hearsay.
The demands of this class have taken up most of our time for the past eight weeks. To all of our families and friends, we thank you for your support. We had no idea how much this course would consume us. We couldn’t have done it without your help and understanding!
Fellow classmates: We did it! We survived Jac! We appreciated each others help and encouragement in so many ways over these past weeks. Just knowing that we were all hunkered down in the trenches together, and knowing we weren’t alone in this, was oddly comforting. We encouraged each other to persevere. We laughed and we cried, but most importantly, we survived.
And Jac. We all thank you so much for being you. You were relentless in getting your points across and in shoehorning massive amounts of information into our brains! All of us were shell shocked at the beginning, but we grew to know what you were expecting from us, which turned out to be more that we were expecting from ourselves. We learned to listen, which we will need to do in our new careers as paralegals. Words are important. We learned to dot every i and cross every t, because in the real world, that is what will be expected of us. We learned that we can exceed expectations instead of merely just “meeting” expectations. We learned to be aware of the world around us — to know current events, to know our world leaders, and to know who the leaders of this country are, because it is important that we know this. We appreciated listening to all of the interesting guest speakers that you had come to speak to us. Your sense of humor is what got us through! We appreciate all that you taught us and we are thankful that you pushed us to be the very best we can be. Thank you, Jac!
I want to congratulate all of the graduates and I wish each of you the very best of luck in your new endeavor! This is the class that Jac built!