Paralegal Studies

Purpose

The Paralegal Studies program is designed to prepare individuals to work in a legal office environment. The program provides training in the general processes of American law and the knowledge and skills to perform specific legal tasks under the supervision of an attorney. In addition, the program helps prepare individuals for paralegal certification exams.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate effective communication skills through interaction, in person, by telephone, in written and electronic correspondence, with lawyers, clients, witnesses, court personnel, co-workers, and other business professionals, using appropriate legal terminology and formatting.
  2. Perform basic legal research and analysis necessary to identify legal issues and potential solutions to legal problems.
  3. Utilize strong organizational skills necessary to sort through and manage information, manually and electronically.
  4. Apply principles of writing and rules of English grammar to all writing tasks, to be able to prepare legal documents commonly used in the profession.
  5. Demonstrate competent understanding of computer literacy and proficiency required in the typical legal office environment.
  6. Apply ethical and professional principles that guide paralegal conduct, including but not limited to: unauthorized practice of law and lawyer supervision of non-lawyers; confidentiality and attorney-client privilege; conflicts of interests; competency; handling of client funds; office decorum and dress.
  7. Integrate appropriate skills to work effectively and positively with others beginning on the first day of a new job.

Program Requirements

Students are required to take English and mathematics placement tests. Deficiencies in these areas may be corrected by completing the appropriate developmental studies courses. Students may receive college credit for verified on-the-job experience. Chances of success in this field are increased if the student has good organizational, analytical, and academic skills and enjoys working with people in a complex, fast-paced work environment. Classes are offered both on campus and online. Most students will require more than two full years of study to complete the Associates Degree in Paralegal Study.

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