PJI Launches the 5th Cohort of the MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program

Cohort 5 of the MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program

Last week, the fifth cohort of the MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program began! This year’s cohort is made up of 16 fellows who eagerly embarked on their journeys towards completing The Georgetown Prison and Justice Initiative’s Paralegal Studies Program. 

The MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program is a 24-week intensive certificate program through the Georgetown University Law Center. Fellows earn a stipend as they take classes full-time to ultimately earn a certificate upon their completion of the Paralegal Studies Program. The program covers subjects including corporate law, contract law, ethics, legal research and writing, job readiness, and more. PJI collaborates with the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizen Affairs (MORCA) and the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) to offer this program to the district’s returning citizens. 

The fellows began the “bootcamp” portion of the program on Monday, April 1st, during which they complete digital literacy training, brush up on study skills, and otherwise prepare to begin classes. 

On Tuesday, April 9th, fellows got to hear from a panel of Paralegal Program alumni. The alumni discussed their experiences with the program and offered the new cohort guidance on how to best prepare for the program.

Paralegal Program alumni giving a panel

Paralegal Program Alumni speaking to Cohort 5 about their experiences with the program.

Maya Hambrick, manager of the Paralegal Program, looks forward to ushering in another successful cohort of the program.

“This year we received the highest number of applications in the history of this program and I am confident that each fellow is uniquely qualified and ready to embark on this journey. Each fellow brings their own experience and story to the classroom, which will inspire others, and propel them to succeed in the Paralegal Program and beyond,” Hambrick said while discussing this year’s cohort.

“I am looking forward to another successful year for the MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program,” Hambrick said.

Nicole Johnson, one of Cohort 5’s fellows, is equally as excited to begin her journey with the program. 

“When I found out I was accepted into the program, I was elated,” Johnson said. “I felt so much gratitude and I was proud of myself.”

Johnson and the 15 other fellows were selected among 150+ applicants, making 2024 the most competitive admissions cycle in the program’s history. 

While she feels that being admitted was an accomplishment within itself, Johnson is prepared to tackle the hard work that is to come.

“I’m nervous about the intensity of the program, but this will be something new for me to explore,” she said. “I want to work on my time management skills and my study habits.” Like many other fellows, Johnson is excited to learn about citations, to ensure that all of her research is done properly. 

The MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program provides returning citizens with the opportunity to earn a certificate, while also becoming members of the Georgetown community. Students work closely with Georgetown faculty to learn about paralegal studies while receiving resources that enable them to focus on their work. 

“During the program, fellows receive adequate reentry support through our extensive network of resources and grant funding that allows us to provide emergency support. In combination with the academically rigorous program, fellows are supported throughout this life-changing process,” said Hambrick. 

The fellows, Hambrick, and the rest of the Paralegal team look forward to another year full of success and hard work, to ensure that these returning citizens can continue to thrive as they reenter their communities.

Paralegal Program