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

I wanted to be involved in the legal system for as long as i can remember. When most kids say they want to be a firefighter or a police officer, I always said I want to be an attorney. While I did not go into my post-secondary education directly after high school as "life happens," I was blessed to find the Paralegal program at SMWC. This experience has been very rewarding. I have been provided the skills and tools needed to become a successful paralegal. I was placed at a very respected law firm in my area as an intern and they were very impressed with the skills and knowledge I had obtained through my educational experience that once the internship was over the asked me to stay on as a regular employee.

- William Welch '15

I went for an interview this morning for an internship with the only firm that called me back. Instead of an internship, they offered me full time employment. I'll be working for the Kenneth J. Allen Law Group in Valparaiso, IN.

- Jennifer Staresina '14

The paralegal education I received from SMWC provided me with the necessary practical and legal knowledge to immediately begin working as a law school legal intern on day one at IU Maurer School of Law. While law school teaches students how to think like a lawyer, most students have no experience with the necessary skills and tools it takes to contribute to the law firm on the first day. Law school does not teach the practical side of practicing law. They assume students will pick it up on the way, instead focusing on rewiring your brain to "think like a lawyer." Having my BA in paralegal studies enables me to understand both the paralegal field and attorney field and to cohesively bind both professions into one mindset, along with sharing my real world knowledge with my classmates. One word - invaluable!

The biggest complaint I hear from fellow peers is how no one knows how to draft motions, file petitions, draft correspondences, or the day-to-day aspects of running a law office. Even maneuvering WestLaw takes time and practice. My education gave me the practical side of practicing law and the management of the law office. I can spit out responses to ROGS and RFPs in my sleep. My fellow peers have no idea what these acronyms mean. Meaning when we get out in the real world next year, I'll be light years ahead of my peers in terms of efficient productivity, communication skills, researching skills, and the acumen to be competent on the first day. Of course this builds my confidence which may be why people assume I'm an authority figure when I'm just like them. 

-Stephanie Slone '13