Kye Haymore has been teaching paralegal studies courses at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) for 10 years. Seven years ago, she joined, and almost immediately became a rising star, in the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).
After only one year of membership, she was appointed AAfPE Southeast Director, and held the position for six years. This fall she was named national president-elect for the 2016-2017 academic year. As president-elect, her main duty is to review and make recommendations on membership applications. Next year, she will be the AAfPE’s national president. Then as past-president the following year, she will have the job of nominating members of the organization to serve as directors and officers.
“We are so tickled that Kye is moving up in the association,” said C.J. Virgil Costly, a retired judge and GPTC paralegal studies program coordinator. “It’s good for her and brings additional distinction to our paralegal program.”
Haymore grew up and now resides on family-owned land outside Mansfield. She is a long-time member and leader in the First United Methodist Church of Covington and married to Chris Haymore, principal at Mansfield Elementary School.
After graduating from Rutledge Academy, Kye Haymore attended the University of Georgia, studying political science and attending law school. She passed the bar in 1996 and worked as a corporate lawyer in a healthcare organization for 10 years. She started teaching in 2006.
Haymore first joined AAfPE for the support it provides paralegal instructors.
“Paralegal teachers have difficulty because we are all attorneys with no background in education,” Haymore said. “We need each other to improve our classroom skills. AAfPE supports teacher development and provides classroom tools. It helps teachers learn how to teach, how to run a paralegal studies program, and how to connect that program to the local community.”
The support from AAfPE along with Haymore’s abilities is working.
“From the time in I enrolled in her Introduction to Law and Ethics class in January 2014, I had a great instructor and mentor in Kye Haymore,” said Stephanie Jackson, the Technical College System of Georgia’s 2015 student of the year and a GPTC graduate. She is passionate about guiding a new generation of law-trained paralegals to enter this rapidly-expanding field. I am incredibly proud to have had Kye Haymore as an instructor, as a mentor, and as a friend.”
REGIONAL AND NATIONAL IMPACT
As AAfPE Southeast Director, Haymore supported paralegal educators in a region extending to include Mississippi to the west and Virginia to the north. She organized annual regional conferences and served as a link between paralegal educators in the southeast and the AAfPE Board of Directors.
She was nominated for the position of AAfPE president-elect by Julia Dunlap, current national president and director of legal education at the University of California San Diego.
“From the moment I met Kye, I was impressed by both her personality and her dedication to her career as a legal educator,” Dunlap said. “Given that the President and President-elect work so closely together for the benefit of AAfPE, I wanted someone in that role whom I could trust and, perhaps more importantly, enjoy working with.”
“As an AAfPE board member and regional director, she has been instrumental in leading paralegal education in Georgia and the South, and now she will have an opportunity to share her experience and expertise with paralegal educators nationwide,” Jackson said.
Haymore is excited about the three-year opportunity to serve as president-elect, president, and then past-president for AAfPE.
“It’s a way to make a contribution to the organization that helped me be a better educator,” she said. “I have made a commitment to share everything I have learned about teaching over the last ten years with new AAfPE members and new paralegal educators.”
Jibari Simama, president of GPTC, appreciates her commitment.
“Kye Haymore’s dedication to paralegal education is evidenced by her commitment to her students at Georgia Piedmont as well as to this important national organization,” Simama said.
Haymore also wants to help grow the organization as a national officer. AAfPE recently changed its bylaws so that legal studies programs can join. Before the change only paralegal studies programs could be members. Therefore, there is significant potential for membership growth as well as to serve more programs and teachers.
A DISTINCTIVE PROGRAM
GPTC’s paralegal studies program is distinctive in several ways. The program is one of only four programs in the Atlanta area to have received American Bar Association approval.
The program includes two academic pathways. One leads to an associate degree. The other is for individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree, perhaps in an unrelated field, but want training and eventual work as a paralegal.
The rigorous curriculum is designed to teach a balance of knowledge and practical skills. An internship is required. Haymore said that students benefit from some outstanding internship opportunities. Jackson, for example, interned with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia for nine months prior graduation.
Paralegal studies is offered on GPTC’s Newton as well as Clarkston campuses. It enrolls about 120 students with half of that number graduating each year.
“For, the last two years I am thrilled to say that 100 percent of the students I watched walk across the stage to receive a diploma already had a job,” Haymore said. “New paralegals can expect to earn $50-60,000 at a big firm in Atlanta and perhaps half that at a smaller firm outside the perimeter.”
According to Haymore, the paralegal profession is expanding and growing.
“Paralegals can do everything an attorney can do except give legal advice or appear in court,” she said. “Access to justice is an issue because many people do not qualify for legal aid. Paralegals are a way for attorneys to provide legal services at reduced rates.”
Many graduates, sooner or later, continue their education. Haymore mentioned graduates she knows who are currently attending Mercer University, John Marshall Law School, and Charleston School of Law.