General Overview of the Paralegal Program

The Paralegal program prepares students to enter into the legal services field as specialists who will provide assistance to an attorney or other legal professional. The Paralegal program at Tacoma Community College is an Institutional Member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) and American Bar Association (ABA) approved. The TCC Paralegal Program offers two options for those interested in pursuing a career in the legal services field, with both the Associate of Applied Sciences degree program and Paralegal Pro-Certificate option.

Our Program's Mission is:

To aid students in becoming ethical, top-quality paralegals with the knowledge, flexibility, analytical, interpersonal, communication, and other skills needed to excel and succeed in a diverse and ever-changing legal profession. 

Upon successful completion of the Associates in Applied Sciences Degree in Paralegal and the Paralegal Preferred Pro-Certificate, students should:

1. Recognize ethical issues that arise in a legal work environment and apply rules of professional conduct to resolve them .

2. Demonstrate oral and written skills that paralegals use on the job .

3. Apply basic principles of legal analysis.

4. Use computers and other technology for document production, law office management, and trial preparation.

5. Demonstrate sensitivity through adaptability and flexibility in working with a diverse group of people.

6. Manage multi-tasks while prioritizing them to meet deadlines.


Meet the Program

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Janet Olejar, Program Chair

Janet Olejar serves as Chair and Coordinator of the Paralegal program. In addition, she advises students, teaches a variety of courses, and supervises the internships. She earned her J.D. degree at the University of Washington Law School. Before law school, Janet was a teacher with experience teaching English in the public school system and the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Paralegal Educator, the semi-annual magazine published by the American Association for Paralegal Education.


The faculty of the program represent various aspects of the field and hold a high regard for its academic and professional integrity.


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Harry Boesche

Harry Boesche has been a TCC instructor for 6 years, and teaches courses including civil procedure, family law, and interviewing and investigation, as well as other subjects. Mr. Boesche is currently the lead prosecuting attorney for the City of Auburn. Prior to that, he worked for 7 years as an associate in a private firm handling civil litigation, municipal law, personal injury and landlord/tenant matters. Mr. Boesche holds law degrees from Seattle University and the University of Washington.

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Neli Espe

Neli Espe is a summa cum laude graduate of Seattle University School of Law. She has worked for a number of years in the area of business and employment and intellectual property law and has represented individuals, businesses, and government agencies in negotiations, arbitrations, civil trials and appeals.

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Todd Howard

Todd Howard's practice focus is in the areas of Family, Criminal, and Business Law.  Prior to entering law, he held a variety of corporate sales management positions.  Todd's undergraduate degree is in computer science.  Additionally, he holds a MBA and JD from Washington University and Seattle University respectively. Todd teaches the entry and advance legal writing and research classes at Tacoma CC.

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Arlene Joe

Arlene Joe is an attorney with a solo practice in family law, guardianship, and estate planning. Arlene was born and raised in California, where she completed her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley and a graduate degree in public health at San Jose State University. Arlene has been involved in a variety of community organizing efforts, including HIV education, cancer control, workplace wellness, and pregnancy care in both the San Francisco Bay Area and in Olympia. She graduated from Seattle University's School of Law in 2004. Arlene loves her work because it affects lives, hopefully for the better.

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Jonathan Kaiser

Jonathan Kaiser's law office is located in Gig Harbor where he focuses on general business and real property practice. Jonathan is a graduate of Western Washington University, B.S. ; the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University), J.D.; and the University of Washington School of Law, L.L.M. in Marine Affairs. Mr. Kaiser serves as chair arbitrator for FINRA Dispute Resolution (securities law) and is a commissioner for the Pierce County Boating Advisory Commission. As adjunct faculty for the Paralegal Program, Jonathan teaches courses in civil procedure, law office technology, and real property law.

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Rebekah O'Hara

Rebekah O'Hara received her J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law and her LL.M in Intellectual Law and Policy from the University of Washington School of Law. Rebekah was a torts tutor at Gonzaga University School of Law for two years and is currently an adjunct instructor for Tacoma Community College in the paralegal program. She currently  teaches Introduction to Civil Law and Contracts.   In the past, she has done pro bono work for JAMPAC, Center for Democracy and Technology, Access to Justice, Technology Bill of Rights and the Shidler Center as well as representing an array of clients in an income sensitive law clinic.  She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association. She volunteers for Washington Lawyers for the Arts and is an attorney at the Department of Information Services, a Washington State agency dedicated to technology oversight and acquisitions.

































































 Now that you have met the people behind the Paralegal program at TCC. Please click "Next" for further information regarding the curriculum and degree/certificate options.

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