Sally Dahlquist, J.D. serves as the Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development & Manager of Externships at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She brings a wholistic approach to counseling law students and graduates cultivating their careers to align with their talents and chosen vocation. Prior to joining St. Thomas Law, Sally brings over twenty years of experience working as the ABA Approved Paralegal Program Director and Yellow Ribbon Company Chair at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota. She is very active as a special attorney advisor on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Paralegals and was honored to serve as the Past Chair of the ABA Approval Commission for Paralegal Educational Programs. Beginning her career as a legal receptionist, then paralegal, and practicing family law as an attorney, Sally followed her passion to serve people by assisting students with their educational goals, providing opportunities to all people to study and learn the law, and preparing them for careers in the legal community.
I am interested in the work of the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegal Education because of its profound dedication to quality legal education and the paralegal profession. Serving on the Standing Committee and ABA Approval Commission has deepened my understanding of how and why paralegals are vital to our public good, legal community, and practice of law. What excites me the most is the ABA Standing Committee’s commitment to excellence! As one of my prior Paralegal Program graduates puts it, “my ABA approved education is the gold standard”.
The ABA doesn’t just provide training tips for students. It focuses on educating “competent” paralegals. The core of the ABA Standing Committee’s Guidelines challenges us to be our best, serve the public well, and deliver “practical” paralegal education. I have learned that paralegals provide glue to the practice of law, attorneys find focus with their assistance, and help meet their clients’ needs. The Standing Committee has inspired me to continue to volunteer and serve on our state’s bar and legal associations and has instilled a passion for the legal profession to increase the public’s access to justice, and the delivery of strong legal representation.