Ms. Lisa Jurs: Preparing Students for an Impactful Career

Criminal Justice Programs - Gaston CollegeMeet Lisa Jurs, instructor in the Criminal Justice and Paralegal Studies programs at Gaston College.
A member of the GC community since 1996, Ms. Jurs is passionate about two things: learning and the law. She combines these passions to help students prepare for a variety of careers, from police officers, to legal assistants, to forensic technologists, and more.

Read on to learn about what makes the criminal justice programs at Gaston College unique, through the voice of Lisa Jurs.

A Love for Law

I definitely have a love affair with the law! I love reading it, researching it, pondering it, debating it, and most of all, teaching it! I want students to leave my classes feeling empowered by the subject matter. If someone has the knowledge and skills to study criminal statutes and solve complex problems, they are uniquely equipped to make a difference in the world. Students have told me that they are more aware, more knowledgeable, more curious citizens after having me as an instructor, and this makes me proud.

Real-World Knowledge

I started teaching soon after earning my J.D. and knew immediately that it was my passion. However, it is also beneficial for me to keep my foot in the courthouse door, so I continue to do some pro-bono legal work. This is a great way to give back to the community while gaining knowledge that I can later impart in the classroom. In my courses, students are educated in numerous subject areas such as:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Legal Ethics
  • and more!

When a student delves into the material, emailing me about news stories or asking me thoughtful, relevant questions, I am inspired. For me, this is what it’s all about – the simple fueling of a spark of interest and engagement.

Hands-On Experience

Practical experience is so important in this field. In my Administrative Law class, students participate in a mock administrative hearing. Students are divided into teams and truly advocate for their side with zeal! This spring, some students conducted extensive outside research, brought evidence into the hearing, and prepared thorough trial notebooks. Each group found the applicable laws and presented convincing arguments in the hearing. Many students later told me that the hearing was one of their favorite learning experiences because it challenged them in a fun and practical way.

Never Too Late

As George Eliot said, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” I encourage students looking for a career change with this little piece of wisdom because it says so much in a few words. I believe as long as there are laws, there will be career opportunities available in this field. Each year, I have my students look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected job growth for Paralegals/Legal Assistants; it has been growing for years!

Learn More Now

Are you looking for an exciting education and a promising career opportunity? Criminal Justice and Paralegal Studies might be the program for you! We hope you’ll learn more about Gaston College and our variety of programs in the legal field. To get started, contact our admissions staff at 704-922-6307  or apply online now.


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