Alyssa Harms '16

Young alumna Alyssa Harms ‘16 is using her degree to help others and truly make a difference in the world around her. Inspired from a very young age to work in the legal field, Alyssa was taught by both of her parents to be independent, persistent, and truth-seeking. After witnessing a loved one involved in an abusive relationship as a child, Alyssa’s desire to help women and children in domestic violence situations grew stronger. She made the decision to attend Lewis where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies and a minor in both Women’s Studies and Political Science.

“Like most recent graduates, I was both excited and terrified after graduation even though I had a job lined up,” says Alyssa. “The Paralegal Studies program at Lewis allowed me the opportunity to intern both at DuPage County Legal Aid and The Access to Justice Program in Will County. Through these internships, I was able to gain hands on experience in my field, which provided me with a smooth transition from the student life to full time work life.”

Before graduation day, Alyssa was offered her current job as a Family Law Paralegal at Reich, Jumbeck & Stole – a Family Law office located in Joliet. There, she assists in handling all aspects of Family Law services the office has to offer. From initial intake to final hearing, some of her responsibilities include petition preparation, discovery, motion picture, client communication, witness location, investigation, and other additional administrative duties.

 “The Paralegal Studies program was fairly small, so all of the professors were available for extra assistance,” says Alyssa. “My advisors Huma Zia and James Houlihan were both available whenever I needed them.”

The courses, professors, and experiences that Alyssa had at Lewis continue to benefit her in her everyday work as a paralegal.  She attributes much of her success to the relevant coursework and internship opportunities that she experienced at Lewis.

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend such a hands-on university that truly cares about the success of its students,” says Alyssa with a smile.

On campus, she was a member of the Theta Kappa Pi, a service and social sorority that focuses on Women against Domestic Violence as their philanthropy. With this organization, she spent much of her time volunteering at the Guardian Angel Home. She was also a member of the phon-a-thon team, class counsel, mock trial, and senior challenge. She was involved in VOICES (Vision-Oriented Intervention for Campus Equity and Safety) and initiated a Gender Equity Organization on campus.

Alyssa keeps busy with work but loves to read, cook, and volunteer in her spare time. She hopes to attend law school within the next year, so she can make an even bigger difference in the lives of others. A young motivated mind, Alyssa encourages others to find their passion and harness it to succeed.

“Harness your passion and do what you love most to make a difference in someone’s life, or even to change the world,” she says.

August 2016

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