Student leaving an ‘indelible mark’ on WCC on her way to law school.
Matea Pejic was born in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the area that is now recognized as Croatia. In 1997, during the wars that came after the breakup of Yugoslavia, she immigrated with her mother to the United States as a refugee and settled in Grand Rapids with the assistance of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Today, Pejic is a Washtenaw Community College student and is the founder and president of the WCC UNICEF Campus Initiative and President of the college’s Pre-Law Club.
Pejic came to WCC to enroll in the college’s Paralegal Studies/ Pre-Law program with the intention of gaining a job in a law firm to increase her odds of being accepted to the University of Michigan Law School.
“I wanted to be a lawyer from a very young age, but I also had a passion for history,” said Pejic. “I wanted to study what happened during the break up of Yugoslavia, international law, and the trials that occurred after the breakup.”
Prior to coming to WCC, Pejic attended Northern Illinois University, where she graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in history and political science, with an emphasis on international politics.
While Pejic’s degrees and experience could get her into most law schools, she has her sights set on UM Law School for very specific reasons.
“The University of Michigan Law School is one for the best in the country and gives me the best chance of working in international law outside of the major Ivy League law schools,” said Pejic. After getting accepted to UM Law School, Pejic’s next goal is to gain internships at either the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court, or both.
But for now, Pejic is gaining valuable leadership experience as the president of two clubs on campus, as a democracy fellow for the Campus Vote Project, and as a Student Life Officer for WCC Student Activities.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can start your paralegal classes right away—no need to take general education courses.
PARALEGAL CAREER STATS
2017 MEDIAN PAY
$50,410 per year / $24.24 per hour
TYPICAL ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION
NUMBER OF JOBS, 2016
JOB OUTLOOK, 2016–26
15% (Much faster than average)
EMPLOYMENT CHANGE, 2016–26