Bilijana Marjonovic Shares Her Inspiring Story
Louisiana State University’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is a college-level, non-credit program that can result in a Certificate in Paralegal Studies. The program is unique because it combines the resources of a large university with the personal attention of a more intimate, student-centered program. Students receive instruction from experienced attorneys, judges, and paralegals. They work closely with faculty advisors and mentors throughout their academic careers.
The LSU Paralegal Studies Certificate Program was established in 1982 to provide a pathway for students to become paralegals while maintaining their everyday schedules. Today, the program is the only non-credit paralegal studies program in Louisiana to be approved by the American Bar Association.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of LSU’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, we interviewed Bilijana Marjonovic, an alumnus of the program and an immigrant from former Yugoslavia. She has extensive experience in law and loves LSU’s program because of the dedicated and caring faculty. Her interview highlights why she chose LSU and how the paralegal studies certificate program has impacted her life.
What would you say to someone debating on entering the paralegal program?
“I was very happy to become an LSU paralegal student. The teachers were knowledgeable and caring. I had a professor who would walk into class every day and say ‘Paralegal jobs are most important for us attorneys. You are our extended right arm.’ It was exciting because I realized that the attorneys would appreciate my help, which meant I could immediately start contributing.
After I graduated, I’d be seen as an extremely important assistant. There’s no situation in an attorney’s life where paralegals will not be present and necessary. That’s what I learned as part of my experience.”
What was your biggest motivator while earning this certificate?
[Credibility] was one of the reasons I decided to go to LSU. There were so many small schools I considered, but I wondered ‘If I go there, would my diploma be valid?’ With LSU, [the education] was excellent and I knew it would help me stand out to potential employers.”
Do you have any advice for LSU paralegal students?
“You need to be strong-minded and enthusiastic. Also, be curious and persistent. Make a plan and be organized. If that’s the way you live, you will be well-positioned for success in the legal field. Be dedicated and have a passion for justice in your heart and mind. Most importantly, be willing to accept help from the ‘nobodies’. They will help you and save your life. Do not underestimate anyone, ever.”
What does Forever LSU mean to you?
“I love LSU. The first things that come to mind are my sweet, beautiful memories of how much my professors helped me, and how much they welcomed me. They made me feel safe and appreciated. They really cared for me and my son.
When I drive back to LSU, I am happy to see how much the beautiful campus has grown. I love Louisiana and its beautiful sense of welcoming you, cooking for you. I will never stop loving LSU because it changed my life.”
LSU Paralegal Studies Certificate Program: 40 Years of Success
If you’re interested in a meaningful career as a paralegal, consider earning a paralegal studies certificate with LSU. Learn more about our paralegal studies program and apply today.