Faculty Spotlight: AnnMarie Profili

AnnMarie Profili, Assistant Professor of Paralegal Studies in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Division, was born and raised in Harford County, graduated from Edgewood High School, and proudly calls Harford County her home. She graduated from University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and then pursued her Juris Doctor degree at Delaware Law School. After serving as a clerk on the Harford County Circuit Court, working for John Kelly, PA as an associate lawyer, and then opening her own law practice in the 1990’s, AnnMarie became an adjunct professor of legal studies at Harford. The rest is history, as she is now approaching 10 years with the College and four years as the Paralegal Studies program coordinator.

The College's Paralegal Studies program is one of only four in Maryland that is accredited by the American Bar Association, thanks, in no small part, to AnnMarie's efforts and diligence as the program coordinator. The rigorous reporting process requires detailed administrative attention, but the process is worth the effort to give notoriety to the program, which in turn greatly benefits our paralegal students with its commendable reputation.

An important part of the Paralegal Studies program is a 130-hour internship which places students in local law firms, government agencies, public defenders' offices, the state attorney's office, and corporate legal offices. AnnMarie diligently provides personalized attention to each student in placing them to meet their particular interests. This is a capstone course for students where they can demonstrate their skills and learn in a real-life work environment. AnnMarie's many local contacts and connections, including the Harford County Bar Association, have enabled her to place 15-18 interns per year in a variety of workplaces and have resulted in excellent career opportunities for the students upon their graduation. To ease students' anxieties prior to beginning their internship, AnnMarie facilitates a meeting with students who have completed their internship to meet and mentor new interns.

She is also getting her newly formed "Travel Study" program up and running in collaboration with Dr. Stephanie Hallock, having developed a curriculum for Criminal Law to be studied in London and Intro to Law to be studied in Italy. For the London Study Abroad program in May of 2020, AnnMarie has formed a collaborative partnership with CCBC to ensure that the trip has adequate participation to make it economically feasible. This culturally rich backdrop allows students to develop confidence, independence, and gain a deeper appreciation for others' traditions. Students will learn the history of our own legal system, including common law, the judicial system, and the recording of cases.

AnnMarie also takes pride in her advisory roles. As a Paralegal Student Association advisor, she facilitates annual trips to Washington, DC for her students to visit the U.S. Supreme Court where they tour the court house, view a presentation from a historian, get an official library card from the Library of Congress, and appreciate all of the resources available to them as paralegal students in such close proximity to Bel Air. As advisor to Lambda Epsilon Chi Honor Society, AnnMarie recognizes her students with academic achievements who are thus eligible for this prestigious honor. A dinner and induction takes place each spring, to include those community members of the Paralegal Advisory Committee who serve as mentors.

She is also involved in and passionate about the College's Choose Civility campaign. For the past 10 years, the theme of ‘civility’ was incorporated into her Law Practice and Professional Conduct class. The book Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P. M. Forni is the basis for a curriculum AnnMarie developed that connects students to community action and serves as the basis for an important student project each semester. This is typically a reflective paper where the student chooses one of the ‘rules’ in the book and applies it to a current event. Students have responded very positively to the book and go so far as to pass it along to others. AnnMarie is also HCC’s rep for the Harford County Human Relations Commission and is actively involved with the countywide Choose Civility Project in partnership with the Harford County Public Library.

AnnMarie wants her students to come away from her program with the mindset that relates to one of her favorite Lao Tzu quotes, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” She wants them to appreciate the legal process, to let it happen, not to rush to judgment, and to stop and think about each situation and apply the rule of law. This aspiration is perfectly illustrated at the U.S. Supreme Court, where the pillars of the building’s structure rest on the shoulders of turtles. Says AnnMarie, “Justice moves slowly intentionally, because we have due process. With the fast-paced nature of society today, what with social media and the like, everyone wants to be the judge, the jury, and the executioner. It’s important to not be in such a hurry, but to take the time to let the process happen.” She also reminds her students they do have choices; a paralegal education will help them in any career path. They don’t have to work in a law firm. The opportunities are endless.

AnnMarie also takes pride in being a 10-year member of the Faculty Council. She believes it is important to take our time to think things through and address issues with the same set of standards that pertain to the law.

She is a motivated and firm believer in continuing one’s education. She wants her students to realize the importance of furthering their education through membership in professional associations and courses and seminars, as the study of law continuously evolves, particularly with technology. "It’s truly a lifelong process," she says.

AnnMarie's distinctive dedication and exhaustive contributions to students, to the College, and to the greater community is commendable. In what free time she does have, AnnMarie is a bird watcher, an avid reader of historical fiction, she loves traveling to Italy, biking and hiking, and is a lifelong Harford County resident. While proud and happy to be working here at the College, if a long-shot of being offered a position on the Supreme Court were to present itself, she just may be willing to consider it!

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