Zoni Berger became interested in the legal field during her first job as a legal assistant beginning in 2014. In this role, she was responsible for many of the administrative functions of a legal assistant and was also supporting the attorney in many other ways such as scouting new office locations and helping with office design. It was this small glimpse into the legal field that sparked Zoni's interest in the legal area and helped her realize that she wanted to go to school to study the law.
While searching for schools with a paralegal program, Bryan University came up as an option. For a single working mom, the online aspect was especially compelling. Zoni felt Bryan offered the flexibility and support she needed, and she decided to enroll in the Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and E-Discovery Litigation Technologies.
Zoni began her associate degree while working for a solo practicing attorney who handled both criminal and civil litigation. As she neared completion of her associate degree, she received a phone call from the FBI informing her that her boss had been arrested. She faced the unenviable task of winding down a law office while juggling the demands of a mother and finishing up her associate degree. She then faced the challenge of traveling to Florida to testify in the hopes that her testimony would help put this issue behind her. However, it didn't end with her testimony. She arrived home from Florida only to learn that a hit had been put out on her and her daughter. Faced with tremendous pressure and concern over her family’s safety, Zoni testified with great courage against the woman charged with witness tampering and conspiracy to commit murder. The trial ended in her favor – justice was served and her safety was assured. Throughout this experience, Zoni gained a new appreciation and respect for the law and the legal process, which helped motivate her decision to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies and Litigation Technologies at Bryan U.
Throughout her educational experience, Zoni felt that her classes were very beneficial and directly applicable to her work. Although an online legal course could be challenging because laws vary state to state, Bryan U's approach provides students with hypothetical situations and simulated job tasks that paralegals encounter every day. She appreciated the flexibility of the program, as well as the support she received from her professors. Zoni looked forward to her professors’ recommendations on how to improve her work and was impressed with their responsiveness to questions about the class. She states: "My favorite aspect of online learning was the preparation it gave me for my career. Everything is online now – for example in Texas, attorneys need to know how to locate files online. At my current job, everything is done on the internet, and I feel that Bryan helped prepare me for this – from using a scheduling app to uploading files to the cloud."
Currently, Zoni is a paralegal for a solo practicing attorney where she helps in the preparation of jury trials, along with private investigative work. She is delighted with her experience at Bryan and feels she has gained so much diverse knowledge and skills for her career field. She credits her Bryan degree and her work in the legal field with the fact that she frequently gets offered a job by other attorneys!
If you are interested in a legal career and are considering Bryan University – Zoni has one piece of advice, "Be prepared with self-discipline, and don't lose sight of where you want to be."