A paralegal is a highly skilled paraprofessional with specialized training who works under the direct supervision of an attorney. Job responsibilities require knowledge of law and legal procedures in rendering direct assistance to lawyers and clients. Tasks may include interviewing, case investigation, the preparation of pleadings, and legal research. The increasing complexities of the legal assistant’s work environment have also created the need for individuals who possess skills including interpersonal, communication, analytical, decision-making, customer service, and computer skills. Paralegals cannot provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
This program is approved by the American Bar Association.
What You’ll Learn
Upon completion of the Paralegal A.A.S. program, the graduate will be able to (1) exhibit knowledge of legal terminology to communicate with attorneys, peers, managers, and other professionals; (2) develop specific skills in those areas of law practice in which legal assistants customarily function; (3) assist attorneys with client interviews, legal research, preparation of documents and pleadings for trial and other professional activities normally undertaken by paraprofessionals to assist with the practice of law; and (4) exhibit knowledge of appropriate ethical behavior for legal assistants.
See the current advising sheet for more details.
Learn about our one-year certificate in Legal Support.
Credits Required: 61 hours
Credential Earned: Associate of Applied Science
Graduates with an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies will have the skills to obtain employment as legal assistants or paralegals for law firms, corporations, and governmental agencies. Other opportunities exist as administrators for nonprofit legal services, trust administrative assistants, and criminal justice occupations.