Student Experiences

SMWC paralegal studies student recognized as one of Indiana's top interns


On Feb. 2, Samantha Friedman, a senior paralegal studies student at SMWC, was recognized by Indiana INTERNnet and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce as one of the top interns for 2008. 

Friedman, a native of Jasper, Ind., served as a Senate Democrat intern during the 2008 session of the 115th Indiana General Assembly. She worked with State Senator John Broden (D-South Bend) and the Minority Attorney's Office. 

Friedman says she applied for the internship because she thought it would be a great opportunity. Friedman also feels the internship was a chance for her to decide in which area of government she wanted to work.

As a legislative intern, Friedman's duties included constituent correspondence, staffing committee hearings and working closely with senators to research legislative issues. The annual internship program is designed to provide valuable experiences for students who are integrally involved in the legislative process.

The Indiana Senate Democratic Internship is open to all college sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students in good academic standing. No specific major is required. Interns work full time for the duration of the session and earn a stipend as well as academic credit. The internship provides students with a unique educational opportunity to gain hands-on experience in Indiana state government.

Indiana INTERNnet is the statewide resource for internship opportunities from the Indiana Chamber. For more information about the Indiana INTERNnet program, visit

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has been the state's largest broad-based business advocacy organization for over 85 years. 

More from SMWC paralegal studies graduates


"The WED [Woods Online] program made it possible for me to complete this degree while working full time.  There are no other schools in the area that have this major available. I began working for a local attorney only six weeks after I received my degree.  He posted his job opening on the SMWC Career site.  Many attorneys in Indianapolis also post their job openings on our Career site." 

-Jacquline Edington ‘07

"First, with the extensive writing required of the program, my writing skills increased dramatically. My diploma does not include an English degree, but it really should.

Second, the writing assignments required thorough analysis of legal issues. I started the program with good analytical skills and finished with exemplary skills. We were required to provide counter-arguments to our counter-arguments, forcing us to thoroughly analyze each issue from all perspectives.

Third, my self-confidence increased enough to prompt me to join Toastmasters International several years ago. I still get nervous speaking to groups, but wow, what an experience, thanks to my courage to join.

Lastly, I started the WED program determined to earn my bachelor’s degree. That determination wavered from time to time, as is probably the case for every student facing study, family, and work demands. The connections created while on campus, as well as through long-distance communication, kept me focused on the final goal: graduation." 

-Deanna Hennen ‘04


"My resume and transcript enabled me to win a full tuition scholarship to the Indiana University School of Law. My participation in extra-curricular activities such as the Paralegal Advisory Board and Law Day was a great boon when it came time to apply for law school.

As a law student, I found that my courses in the Paralegal Studies program continued to assist me.  Specifically, the multiple classes that I took in legal research and writing as an undergraduate put me a step above the other students in my classes; my knowledge of legal treatises and Westlaw were particularly helpful.  I also found that I had a practical knowledge of the law that was absent in many of my classmates due to my participation in the required internship during my senior year in the program. 

In 2004, I graduated with honors from the IU School of Law, due in no small part to the education I received in the [SMWC] paralegal studies program. Currently, I am employed as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Indianapolis/Marion County." 

-Lisa Ziperman Bragg ‘01


"The years I spent at the Woods prepared me for a career not only in the legal field, but in leadership positions. Upon graduation, I worked as a paralegal for an insurance company and then accepted a position as a medical malpractice trial paralegal in a law firm to one of the senior partners. My education, combined with the experience I gained in those positions, opened the door to my current position as Risk Manager and Patient Safety Officer at Lutheran Hospital of Indiana in Fort Wayne. 

Were it not for the ability I demonstrated to thoroughly analyze complex situations, interpret large amounts of data and present ethical and moral solutions to the hospital administration, I would not have been offered the opportunity of my career.”  

-Beth Michel ‘94


“The knowledge and skills gained through paralegal education transcends “paralegal” and translates into competency in any potential career the student may choose to enter.  I have been employed by Vigo County Homes for Children for ten years and serve on the administrative staff.  As is expected, this career is demanding and very often requires a plethora of knowledge and skills to meet those demands.  I can say with great confidence and certainty I gained those skills through my paralegal education.”  

-Laura Rogers Bartlett ‘98