Gailynne Ferguson earned her Paralegal certificate from Villanova University in 2006, and the certification has influenced her career in a multitude of ways since that time. Most recently, she has had two articles published in Law Officer Magazine: Eye in the Sky and Police Divers & Underwater Investigations, about the use of unmanned aircraft vehicles (drones) and the standards and procedures of underwater police investigations, respectively.
Ferguson says, “The education I received from Villanova’s paralegal certificate program provided more credibility as an author since my statements are based on Constitutional and case law, which can be cross-checked for validity. It has helped me fine tune my research abilities and be the ‘devil’s advocate’ regarding current and, in many cases, sensitive issues”.
Ferguson’s full-time career has also allowed her to put what she learned in the paralegal program to good use. As a contract administrator for a highway specialty construction company, Ferguson describes her role as this:
“I review every construction contract that comes into the company, address insurance and bonding issues and identify issues that the corporate attorney should be made aware before we sign any contract to ensure it is truly a binding contract or work order. I process multi-million dollar construction contracts―ensuring we have met federal and/or state requirements for minority participation―prepare subcontracts, research bidding opportunities through various state and federal websites, as well as submit all bid documentation for contracts in which we desire to be a general contractor.”
Looking back, Ferguson can identify many reasons that made the program worthwhile, especially the flexibility and the personal relationships she forged with her professors. As a full-time employee, Ferguson was able to earn the certificate because of the evening program option, which didn’t require her to miss any work commitments. In addition, Ferguson has kept in touch with program administrators and her professors for nine years now. She says, “Even after all this time, I have been able to bounce ideas off of them regarding my full-time position, my writing or personal issues and they have provided guidance on the avenues to pursue.”
We at the College of Professional Studies wish Gailynne the best of luck and many more published articles and successes in the future!
For more information about the paralegal program, visit paralegal.villanova.edu.