Alumni Highlight: Kristi Pickett
Legal Studies alumni, Kristi Pickett shared her thoughts and experience with South College faculty and the programs.
Why did you choose South College?
Mainly, I chose South College, because they use the quarterly method of course structure instead of semesters. The quarter system allowed me to graduate almost a year sooner than I would have in a traditional college setting. Additionally, the classroom size was much smaller and made me feel more comfortable and get extra help, if needed. I was already married and had 2 young daughters and the schedule worked for my family. Honestly, I believe the quarter systems and smaller classroom size made it easier for me to achieve my goals and graduate successfully.
Why did you choose Legal Studies?
I chose Legal Studies, because I have known since I was around 6 years old that I wanted to be a lawyer. Obviously, a bachelor’s degree is required to enter law school and the Legal Studies program gave me the foundation I needed to start a step ahead in law school and have a fundamental understanding of the legal field and have the vocabulary I needed. This was helpful to me if I chose to go to law school.
What are you doing now?
I am the Sr. Criminal Defense Paralegal at Garza Law Firm, PLLC. I manage eight attorneys, two legal assistants, and three law clerks with a hefty criminal case load. I love what I do because I know that we help people when they are at the lowest points in their lives and help them get a second chance. Not only do I get to help people get through difficult times, but I get to participate in various events to give back to our community.
What motivated you to choose this career path?
I chose the Criminal Defense career path because I have always from a young age been intrigued by the law, specifically the criminal defense law. There are days that I have spent the day on the phone with a client in crisis to make sure they are safe. When a client calls or comes into our office to express their gratitude because our team cared about them and their situation without judgment, it fills my heart. Helping people in need is stressful but extremely rewarding.
Anything else that you want to share –
I am so pleased that I chose the Legal Studies program at South College because I feel I was prepared for my career. The thorough legal writing classes gave me the foundation I needed to draft any pleadings, memorandums or briefs that has been given to me to over the years. I am a proud graduate of South College!