College Graduates First Male Paralegal
Back in 2009 I posted in response to Melissa H. at Paralegalese’s question, “Where are all the men?” in relation to the demographics of the paralegal profession. There does to be some progress being made in this regard. Each year our program graduates a few males, although some of them go directly to law school. I was reminded of the 2009 post by this article in the Aramillo Globe-News: Amarillo College student will be school’s first male paralegal graduate. The article recounts the adventures of Ben Staton, that college’s first male student.
I was especially interested, however, comments from Ben, Bruce Moseley, director of paralegal studie at the college, and Aramillo College President Paul Matney:
Staton and Moseley were shocked when they found out Staton would be the program’s first male graduate.
“I did a double take,” said Moseley, who has been the program coordinator since 2009. “I was like, ‘Not one, really?’ I scoured our records to make sure.”
Matney said Staton’s graduation is a historic moment for the college, and he hopes it helps break down stereotypes about who can enter a given profession.
Moseley said he thinks part of the reason the paralegal program has so few men is because the profession grew out of the secretarial field, which has historically been dominated by women.
He said paralegals are distinct from secretaries because they can do all the work of a lawyer except activities such as giving legal advice, representing a client in court or negotiating a settlement.
About 92.5 percent of paralegals in Texas are women, according to a 2010 study by the State Bar of Texas.
Moseley said there is no reason a paralegal has to be a female, and he expects more males to enter the field in the future.
Staton said part of the reason he was surprised to be the first male graduate was because the program is not specifically designed for women.
“Nothing in what I learned is directed toward females,” he said.
Moseley said the program currently has 142 students. He said about 80 percent of those students are 40- to 50-year-old women.
What do you think? What can be done to bring more men into the paralegal profession? Should the profession be concerned about the female/male ratio?