Mark Schreier is no stranger to the legal field. Since 1999, he’s held various legal assistant positions, primarily focused on intellectual property:
- At Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk and Rabkin
- At Sun Microsystems as a Patent Docket Specialist
- And currently at Oracle as Senior Legal Assistant, where he monitors infringement of the firm’s assets
While Mark has substantial experience coordinating with attorneys and outside counsel, he felt that his role as a legal assistant needed a boost—a way to refine his knowledge of legal concepts and applications.
Drawn to UC Berkeley’s reputation as a top-tier university and seeing many potential employers requiring certification for employment, Mark turned to our Certificate Program in Paralegal Studies to move his career forward.
Great Experience, Two Highlights
High caliber of academic experience. Small class sizes. Fellow students already working in the legal profession and seeking certification or career growth. Discussion and individualized support.
That is how Mark describes his experience going through the certificate program. There were two moments that really stood out for him:
We had to observe an actual trial case proceeding as part of our Tort class.
Instructor Tod Zuckerman
His presentations were structured to ensure success in the initial and fundamental concepts. He shared experiences that brought ideas to life. Although he is a very busy attorney, he made himself available to answer any questions. He scheduled weekend sessions to ensure important concepts were fully understood, and that we were prepared for the final exam. He made learning a personal journey for any student who reached out.
We had to observe an actual trial case proceeding as part of our Tort class. I was so fascinated by every aspect of trial court practice that I almost considered a career change to litigation. I was surprised by and appreciative of the responsiveness of both plaintiff and defense counsel to my interest in the courtroom proceedings. Plaintiff’s counsel suggested that I take a role in the proceedings by reading deposition excerpts into the record. This drew objections from Defense counsel, as well as the court. However, Defense counsel later gave me the opportunity to discuss her position and goals and encouraged my further involvement. It was enlightening and exhilarating to experience the complexity of the litigation process.
The certificate took me from just having a job in the legal field to having a professional identity as a paralegal.
Prepared and Involved
After receiving his certificate in 2016, Mark feels better prepared to succeed in his Senior Legal Assistant role at Oracle.
And that means having the quality knowledge to guide him in his various responsibilities:
- managing ongoing trademark and copyright communications
- monitoring incoming notifications from in-house and third parties regarding intellectual property issues
- responding to entertainment industry allegations of misuse of their copyrights within Oracle’s cloud service
- And so much more.
Mark is also expanding his network by becoming more involved with the Paralegal Association of Santa Clara County. He had the honor of being asked to become a member of the governing board but had to decline due to other commitments.
Mark emphasizes, “Participating in this program has given me more confidence in my identity as a legal assistant. It took me from just having a job in the legal field to having a professional identity as a paralegal. I can interact more fully with the attorneys, co-workers and related professionals. I have a clearer understanding of how my work relates to the broader work of the legal department and to the company as a whole. I believe it has given me greater credibility as a knowledgeable member of the team—it has given me a greater voice.”