TCC Opens Doors in Paralegal Field

August 12, 2019

Paralegal Student reading a book Tallahassee native Rachell Arnett began her journey at TCC in 1998 as a criminal justice major, fresh out of high school. However, at the time, she didn’t feel ready for college and put her pursuit of education on pause.

In 2007, she began working with the state at a call center.

“With working there, I taught myself how to learn in an environment,” said Rachell. “My job required a lot of research.”

Although she enjoyed her time at the call center, she wanted to find better opportunities, which ultimately inspired her to finish what she started. She thought about attending TCC once again, but felt that online classes at the ITT Technical Institute suited her lifestyle best.

In 2014, she enrolled at ITT. The skills she acquired while at the call center helped her keep up with deadlines and complete her goal. She graduated in 2016 with her A.S. degree in Criminology and Forensic Technology.

After graduating, she began working in the private sector as a recovery specialist, a position she’s had for two years. Her job duties are similar to that of a paralegal, and she works alongside an attorney.

“[The hiring manager] was so impressed with the things I had learned on my own in my last job and my good communication skills,” said Rachell. “I was teachable.”

In the beginning, the position presented its own challenges, but Rachell continued to use these as learning opportunities. She decided to push herself farther in her career and go back to TCC, this time enrolling in the paralegal program. 

“I started last year,” said Rachell. “All of my classes are online, and my instructor is phenomenal.”

She especially enjoys the fact that TCC is flexible, allowing her to juggle her responsibilities effectively.

Rachell urges anyone who is already established in life to look into becoming a legal assistant or paralegal, and she emphasizes the importance of education to those who may not consider it.

“No matter what you do, having an education give you more opportunity, and that’s something I didn’t know when I started in ’98,” said Rachell.

To learn more about the paralegal program or other TCC2WORK opportunities that have trained and employed more than 160,000 people, visit or call 1-833-TCC-JOBS.