Chatt Tech Paralegal Student Amelia Reece

Chattahoochee Tech Paralegal Student Lands Legal Job at Georgia State Capitol

When Chattahoochee Technical College student Amelia Reece decided to make a career change, little did she know that her decision would take her directly to a job at the Georgia State Capitol.

Reece was working as a hospital medical assistant when she enrolled in the Paralegal Studies program at Chattahoochee Tech. “I worked as a medical assistant after my Dad died in the hospital,” said Reece. “I thought that it would help me heal by taking care of other people.” From the time she was a teenager, her Dad suffered from acute myeloid leukemia. “He died during finals week of May 2020,” said Reece. “I almost dropped out of school and didn’t return because of this.”

Then it was time for a change. “Looking into the legal field, I realized that I could still make a difference in my community without having to be in a medical setting,” said Reece. “Once I started the paralegal classes at Chattahoochee Tech, I found my niche. I realized how much I loved it and that I was very, very good at it.”

Reece is currently working full time as a paralegal at the Office of Legislative Counsel within the Georgia General Assembly while completing her degree at Chattahoochee Tech. She is set to graduate this May with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies. As part of her college program last spring, she applied for a student internship at the Georgia Attorney General’s office.

“I applied not thinking I would be selected,” said Reece. “A few weeks later, they reached out to me for an interview and I was offered the position.” The student internship at the Georgia Attorney General’s office offered her practical experience in things like how to file e-docs, respond to correspondence, and draft pleadings. “I had never worked in a government setting before,” said Reece, “so it was an exciting experience.” She was, in fact, the first paralegal student ever selected for an internship at the Attorney General’s office, noted Chattahoochee Tech instructor Amie Ray Davis, who leads the college’s Paralegal Studies program.

Reece then flowed smoothly into a full-time paralegal position for the state’s Office of Legislative Counsel. This office serves as legal counsel for the Georgia General Assembly, which is said to be one of the largest legislatures in the nation. The Office of Legislative Counsel provides services to all members in their official capacities on a confidential, nonpartisan, and impartial basis. Included among her job responsibilities, Reece handles a large number of case filings, tracks litigation issues, completes legal research and manages digital file systems.

“I am learning from a team of incredible attorneys within our office,” said Reece. “I’m also getting to take in the experience of a legislative session at the General Assembly.” From January until late March, the Georgia General Assembly meets at the State Capitol in downtown Atlanta.

As she balances the excitement of working full time at the State Capitol with the goal of completing her college degree, Reece is also busy as a mother of three young children, ages two, four and eight. “Everything I do is always for them,” said Reece. “I pushed myself to my breaking point to be able to provide for my family and go to school.”

Even the road to just enrolling in college was not an easy one for Reece. Life has thrown many challenges her way. “I had my son my senior year of high school. I was a single mom. In 2017, on Dec. 23, I totaled my car leaving me unable to walk for close to four months,” she said. “I had extensive surgery on my leg, and I had a follow-up surgery last year. In 2018 and in 2020, I was hospitalized for respiratory failure and stayed 10-plus days in the hospital.”

“Be a parent, work, and go to school. You have to work through the trials,” said Reece. “If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen for yourself. I have hit obstacle after obstacle with my life, and there were moments I didn’t know if I was going to make it to 25. I made mistakes, but I never gave up.”

Thanks to her resilience and hard work, the future is very bright for Chattahoochee Tech paralegal student Amelia Reece.