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Meet the new Director of Institute for Paralegal Studies: Marie Harrigan

On July 1, 2017, Marie Harrigan started her new role as Director of the Institute for Paralegal Studies. Marie was the former Assistant Director of the Institute and has been with Loyola for over 15 years. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association, and is also on the CBA’s Judicial Evaluations Committee.Loyola Paralegal Director

With a undergraduate degree in Economics and Juris Doctorate from Fordham University, Marie brings over two decades of legal expertise to the role. Her legal career has been primarily in legal services, most recently at CARPLS and previously at the Chicago Legal Clinic.

While ensuring a smooth transition, her immediate priority will be to review the curriculum and make adjustments to align the Institute’s courses with the with the work currently being done by paralegals.

Says Marie, “The number of non-attorney professionals in the legal field has exploded over the past 25 years.  I want the Institute to continue to position our graduates to be well prepared for these positions.  This will require that we keep up with trends and new uses of technology and software.  It will also require that we embed project management skills into our curriculum as law firms incorporate more best practices from the business world.”

Marie’s biggest motivation at Loyola is her students. Many of the Institute’s students have encountered significant roadblocks during their education and life and it’s wonderful for her to see them succeed.

“When I started teaching at the Institute for Paralegal Studies, I knew that I had found a way to collaborate with students seeking to make a positive change in their life.  I really enjoy working with career changers and others who have a great job, but maybe not the credentials to move to another position. Also, paralegals are in demand, so it’s fun to see our students get snapped up by firms after graduating and sometimes even before they graduate.”, says Marie.

We welcome Marie to her new role and look forward to seeing the Institute for Paralegal Studies grow and flourish under her leadership!