Laura Barnard is the Executive Vice President and Provost at Lakeland Community College. She has been actively involved in paralegal education for more than 30 years serving as a full-time faculty member and program director at the college. She is a licensed attorney having earned a Juris Doctorate degree from The Ohio State University College of Law. Prior to her career in education, she practiced labor and employment law and worked as an antitrust litigation paralegal. Currently, she serves as a trustee of the Lake County, Ohio Bar Association and the Shaker Heights, Ohio Public Library. She is a past member and chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Paralegals and its Approval Commission.
Paralegals play an important role in the legal profession. As a tenured faculty member and the chief academic officer of a community college, I have worked to encourage students to start a career in the law beginning with paralegal coursework at our community college. There are graduates of our paralegal studies program who have immediately started work as paralegals, while others have gone on to complete a four-year degree and then attend law school. I take pride in how they have valued their education from Lakeland Community College’s ABA approved program.
The Standing Committee on Paralegals and its Approval Commission ensure awareness of the value of paralegals and provide students with the opportunity to attend educational programs that meet a strict set of quality standards. I am pleased to have an opportunity again to participate in the Committee and Commission processes which move the legal profession forward to serve our communities.