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Winners Named in Legal Assistant Student Writing Competition

Pennsylvania College of Technology has announced the winners of the 2000 Legal Assistant Student Writing Competition, the first ever of its kind among paralegal/legal assistant students nationwide.

The winner of the $500 First Place award is Marilee M. Patton of North Carolina. The winner of the $300 Second Place award is Y.E. Fray of California.

Patton is enrolled in the Legal Assistant program at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music, sings professionally and works for the Environmental Law Division of the Attorney General’s Office in North Carolina.

Fray is enrolled in the Paralegal program at West Los Angeles College, Culver City, Calif. She owns a transportation company and is involved with her college’s Law Club and Phi Beta Lambda, a national business organization.

In January, the Penn College Legal Assistant (paralegal) program conceived of the competition to influence legal assistant/paralegal students to write discerning articles for publication. Such articles should advance various social and professional concerns for legal-assistant practice and professionalism.

“We chose several topics − such as professionalism, family law and law-office administration − that would lend insight into the day-to-day dealings of paralegals and their fellow staff,” said contest coordinator S. Layne Russell, an attorney and assistant professor in the Legal Assistant program at Penn College. “We are greatly pleased with the quality of our winners.”

As a top honor, one of the top five merited articles will be published in “Legal Assistant Today” magazine, a nationally recognized leader in the publication of legal-assistant news and education.

Sponsors supporting the contest are the McCormick Law Firm of Williamsport; Lepley Engelman and Yaw, P.C., of Williamsport; JurisTech, Inc., a law-practice service firm specializing in expert-witness locating; Pearson Publications Co., a legal assistant curriculum publisher; and Penn College.

“What made this competition truly unique was that the faculty member, and students enrolled in the College’s Senior Legal Assistant Project (bachelor-degree program), elected the top submissions,” said Denise Holbrook of South Williamsport, a recent graduate of the four-year paralegal and legal studies program.

According to Russell, “It gave our students, such as Denise, a unique role − not only in the contest, but also in their individual education.”

The winning article, to be published in “Legal Assistant Today,” will be announced later this summer.

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