12 students inducted into LEX national paralegal honor society
04.15.2015 | By Rob Vanya
San Jacinto College recently held an induction ceremony for students who joined the LEX national paralegal honor society. Students attending the ceremony include, from left, (front row): Erin Russell, Stormy Aguilar, Cassandra Vega, Philip Cook, and Alondra Lopez; (middle row): Yesenia Turcios, Elisa Hill, Nicole DeLoach, Amanda Lewellyn , and Daisy Arteaga; (back row): Rochelle Pleasant (advisory committee member), Jeanette Liberty (paralegal professor), Pati Limon de Rodriguez (advisory committee member), and Ernest Davila (North Campus business and professional department chair). Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.
Twelve San Jacinto College students were recently inducted into the College’s paralegal honor society, Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), signifying high levels of academic achievement.
The requirements for LEX induction are stringent. A student must maintain a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) in paralegal courses and a 3.25 GPA in general courses, demonstrate superior academic performance, and be an active member of San Jacinto College’s paralegal club. In addition, in order to apply for LEX induction, a student must complete two-thirds of the College’s paralegal program requirement by completing 33 credit hours of legal specialty courses, and nine credit hours of general education courses.
The San Jacinto College program is one of the few community college programs in Texas approved by the American Bar Association. “Maintaining ABA approval indicates our program ranks among the best in the nation,” Ernest Davila, San Jacinto College North Campus business and professional department chair told the inductees. “That means you students being inducted into the LEX paralegal honor society are among the best of the best. So, I encourage you to continue with your education and career goals. Go out and make the College and the community proud of your accomplishments.”
The keynote speaker at the induction ceremony was Pati Limon de Rodriguez, executive director of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, and a member of the San Jacinto College paralegal advisory committee. She talked about the important role paralegals perform in the legal profession. “Paralegals are important because the law governs our entire system of behavior in accounting, finance, and real estate – virtually, every aspect of our day-to-day lives,” she commented.
Rodriguez also stressed the importance of ethics in the legal profession. “In your field of work, you will be constantly faced with ethical dilemmas and will have to formulate decisions that someone has trusted you to make,” she commented. “Remember to maintain these five virtues in all that you do as a paralegal: honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness, and compassion.”
Paralegal is a fairly lucrative career field, and one that is predicted to stay strong in coming years. According to the most recent statistics available from the Texas Workforce Commission, the average annual income for paralegals in the Houston area is $59,743 ($28.72 per hour). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nationwide, the paralegal profession is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020.
Graduates of San Jacinto College’s paralegal program have no problem finding jobs. During the past 12 years, the job placement rate for the College’s paralegal graduates has ranged from 90 to 95 percent. In fact, nearly 40 percent of paralegals at the Harris County District Attorney’s office, one of the premier paralegal work places in the Houston area, are graduates of San Jacinto College’s paralegal program.
San Jacinto College offers a two-year paralegal associate degree program at the North Campus, as well as distance learning paralegal courses that are available online.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.