Angela's Story

Angela, a native of Idaho and who now resides in the Seattle area, is a current student at Renton Technical College. She is on the verge of graduating from the Legal Assistant/Legal Secretary program. After struggling at first in high school, Angela focused her efforts and graduated with a 3.75 GPA. She then started her working career at high-end hotel properties in Arizona.

“It was a natural fit for me, making people feel welcome, plus I found that I love routine, and hotel work is routine all day long, getting people comfortable and providing what they want.”

However, Angela began to realize that every six months she was job-hopping from one position to the next and not establishing a solid career path and objective. Several years later, she found herself unemployed and needing to focus on something she was passionate about. “I have always been able to understand legalese without cracking a book. I’d helped all my friends with their legal cases, and I had all these great office skills, but I was untrained.”

While taking advantage of the services of the Washington Department of Health and Human Services, Angela discovered the state would help her pay for a one-year certification program at Renton Technical College. “I saw the legal assistant and legal secretary programs in the Renton Technical College brochure, and I realized that I needed my resume to look better in this competitive job market. Employers want people with degrees and special training.”

Angela credits the Renton Technical College counseling staff, specifically Ha Nguyen and Victoria Wang, for helping her keep her academic path on track and assisting her with personal achievements. “They looked up resources for me when I was having financial struggles, and they just listened when I needed to vent. If they needed to throw some ideas my way to change my thought process and bring me back to being positive, they’d do it. They know what to do with me; they help guide me through the rough patches.”

Angela is taking the next step and continuing classes for an additional quarter to get her Associates Degree in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies.

The Future

Thanks to Renton Technical College, Angela is fully engaged in finishing her academic path and planning her career which doesn’t stop with becoming a criminal law attorney.

“Cementing the next step in my path is getting a paralegal job. I’m looking at six years of working as a paralegal before I take the bar exam, and that includes three years of judge mentorship, which allows you to become an attorney in a non-traditional fashion.”