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Q&A with VCC Paralegal instructor MaryAnn Reinhardt

MaryAnn ReinHardt has been teaching torts, personal injury practice, and litigation courses at Vancouver Community College (VCC) since 2019. Learn more about her love of teaching and industry experience.

What do you love about teaching?
I like interacting and connecting with my students. Although the weekly discussions happen in online forums, I am always taken aback at the insightful and interesting perspective of students. Many students draw from experiences that hit close to home. I feel privileged that these personal experiences are shared as they provide a little window into understanding and appreciating each of my students. 

What are some highlights from your courses?
I love guiding students in understanding principles of law through case law. Through these courses, we regularly review and analyze previous decisions handed down by the Court. These decisions are sometimes unexpected and always interesting. Truth really is much stranger than fiction. I love that “aha” moment when the concept suddenly becomes clear for students through interpretation and discussion of the decision. I also love some of the great students’ arguments in opposition of the Court’s decision – impressive! 

What is your experience in the legal field?
I have been in this industry for more than 30 years. Currently I am a designated paralegal with RDM Lawyers LLP specializing in personal injury. I have had the opportunity to work on some very interesting cases which both fascinated and challenged me, and I have even been lucky enough to travel overseas in my role.

My experience also extends beyond the walls of my office. I have participated on various boards including the BC Paralegal Association and access to legal services committees which allowed me to give back to my profession. I have also had the privilege of co-chairing and presenting at seminars through both the Trial Lawyers Association of BC and the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC

What kinds of opportunities are there for paralegals?
The role of a paralegal is diverse and exciting. It requires you to exercise your critical thinking, your people skills, and most of all, your resourcefulness. There are many environments where the skills of paralegals are valued – from government positions to private business to law firms. It is my hope that the paralegal’s role here in B.C. will continue to expand and we can play a greater role in the efforts to increase access to legal services for all British Columbians. 

Learn the skills to be an essential part of any legal, medical, or business team by exploring Legal and Office Administration courses and programs from VCC Continuing Studies.