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Penn College Paralegal Student Wins National Essay Contest


George R. Roles, a student in the Legal Assistant/Paralegal program at Pennsylvania College of Technology, has been awarded a $3,500 scholarship in a competition sponsored by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and West Group.

Students vying for the top prize wrote essays on the topic: “How the Internet Will Impact Access to Legal Services in the Next Century.”

In addition to the scholarship, Roles will receive travel and lodging expenses for a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, where the NFPA will hold its spring convention May 4-7. Roles has made arrangements to take his final exams a week early to accommodate the trip.

Kevin R. Derr, director of Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies at Penn College, praised Roles for his efforts.

“George is genuinely interested in the law and the legal profession,” Derr said. “He approaches every task with enthusiasm and commitment, and is respected by the faculty and his colleagues. He is an excellent representative of Penn College and its paralegal program.”

In his winning four-page essay, Roles suggested there may be changes such as juries viewing trials at home on their personal computers, court documents being filed on-line and communication from the lawyers in the courtroom to research teams outside.

“The impact is going to be broad,” he said.

Roles plans to receive his associate’s degree in Legal Assistant/Paralegal in December. He then intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies at Penn College. After that, Roles hopes to enter law school.

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