Widener Legal Education Institute and Cecil College announce joint agreement
Public Relations - Published: December 15, 2010

Dr. Mary Way Bolt (left), vice president of academic programs at Cecil College; Nicole Ballenger, director of the Legal Education Institute at Widener University; and Dr. W. Stephen Pannill, president of Cecil College; sign an agreement that will allow Cecil College students a seamless transfer into the Widener University Legal Education Institute paralegal bachelor’s degree program. They are joined by Dr. David Linthicum (left), acting dean of academic programs at Cecil College; S. Tomeka Swan, director of advising at Cecil College; Dr. Patrick Beatty, assistant professor, law enforcement and corrections at Cecil College; and Dr. David Rudolph, director of teacher education at Cecil College.

Widener University’s Delaware-based Legal Education Institute and Cecil College in Maryland recently formalized an agreement that will allow Cecil College students a seamless transfer into the university’s paralegal bachelor’s degree program. The agreement streamlines the admission process and allows students to facilitate the transfer of their Cecil credits while still enrolled at the college. They will enter the Widener program with third-year, junior status.

The partnership will benefit students who are looking to become paralegal professionals. Students who successfully complete the paralegal option of Cecil’s arts and sciences transfer degree may then transfer to Widener in Wilmington, Del. to complete the paralegal certificate or bachelor’s degree program. Widener’s Legal Education Institute, which grants the certificates and degrees, is an American Bar Association-approved paralegal program.

“This partnership comes at a time when the paralegal field is growing, as changes in the economy have led employers to place even more value on the contributions of paralegal professionals in the workplace,” said Nicole Ballenger, director of the Legal Education Institute at Widener. “Our program offers both full- and part-time studies to accommodate students in a variety of ways, the same way Cecil College does so successfully.”

Career advisers at Cecil will counsel students on the new opportunity and Widener will waive application fees for those who pursue a course of study through the partnership. Paralegal professionals are not lawyers, but they perform substantive legal work in support of attorneys at law offices, corporations, banks, government agencies, advocacy organizations and other entities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics predicts that employment of paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018.

“This is truly an important event for Cecil College students to have an avenue, in addition to our law enforcement and corrections program, to the paralegal pathway,” said Dr. Mary Way Bolt, vice president of academic programs at Cecil College. “The paralegal education partnership provides seamless transfer for students from Cecil College to Widener University’s American Bar Association-approved certificate and degree program. There are many opportunities in the paralegal workforce and we are thankful for Widener University’s Legal Education Institute partnership with Cecil College.”

The primary goal of Cecil College’s Paralegal Studies Program is to educate students of diverse backgrounds to become effective, ethical and professional paralegals who are employable in a variety of legal settings and who are committed to ongoing improvement and continuing paralegal education.

For more information about Cecil’s Paralegal Studies Program, contact Dr. Patrick Beatty at 410.287.6060, ext. 642.

The Widener Legal Education Institute’s many programs include ABA-approved paralegal certificates and paralegal certificates with concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, estate administration, health law, litigation, and real estate. The institute also awards bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in paralegal studies.

For more information about the Legal Education Institute, located at the Widener Law Center in Wilmington, Del., visit law.widener.edu/paralegalLNC or call 302.477.2205.