Associate in Applied Science in Paralegal Studies

This program prepares students for employment as paralegals/legal assistants in private law firms, courts and government agencies, corporations, businesses, and organizations conducting legal-related work. Students learn law and legal principles, legal research and writing, case management, interviewing and investigating, preparation of legal documents, law office administration, and legal ethics.

NOTE: A.A.S. degrees are designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in specific occupations; they are not generally intended to transfer to four-year institutions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Explain the structure of the American legal system and how legal cases are processed
  • Analyze legal problems by conducting legal research, interpreting law, and composing persuasive written and oral legal arguments
  • Compose basic legal pleadings, legal memoranda, and correspondence related to case processing
  • Demonstrate evidence-gathering techniques for obtaining discovery and interviewing clients and witnesses
  • Explain the paralegal’s role in providing office support that maintains the legal field’s ethical and professional standards

Class Requirements


Communications (6 hrs.)

ENGL 111              Composition and Rhetoric (3) [and]

ENGL 112              Composition and Literature (3) [or]

ENGL 119              Professional Communications (3)

Mathematics (3 hrs.)

BSAD 112              Business Math (3) [or]

MATH 119             Applications of Mathematics for Non-Science majors (3) [or]

Any MATH higher than 119 (3)

Laboratory Science (4 hrs. min.)

CRJS 135                Forensic Science I (4) [or]

CRJS 236                Forensic Science II (4) [or]

Any Laboratory Science (4)

Social/Behavioral Sciences (6 hrs.)

PSYC 111               Psychology 1 (3) [or]

SOCI 111                Introduction to Sociology (3) [and]

Any Social/Behavioral Science course (3)

Humanities and Fine Arts (3-4 hrs.)

Recommended: Any foreign language (4)

The combined total of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Humanities and Fine Arts areas should equal 9 credit hours.

Health and Wellness (1 hr.)


LEGL 111                 Introduction to American Law for Paralegals (3)

LEGL 112                 Introduction to the Paralegal Profession (3)

LEGL 115                 Torts, Practice and Procedure (3)

LEGL 121                 Legal Research and Writing I (3)

LEGL 231                 Evidence Law (3)

LEGL 240                 Constitutional Law (3)

LEGL 241                 Legal Research Writing II/Westlaw (4)

LEGL 250                 Civil Litigation (3)

OFTC 111                Business Software Essentials I (4)

*It’s highly recommended that students take LEGL 111 and 121 in their first semester.


CRJS 203                Criminal Law and Procedure (3) [or]

CRJS 204                Law and the Professional Investigator (3) [and]

Any LEGL courses 200 and above, including LEGL 114*

Recommended in last semester: LEGL 298 Internship (3)

*LEGL 114 is primarily for students enrolled in the Legal Secretary or Law Office Administrative Assistant Certificates.

Six (6) credit hours of the A.A.A. and A.A.S. must come from an approved list of courses that satisfy the following requirements. These are not meant to be additional hours in the degree but are, instead, existing courses that satisfy the requirement and appear anywhere in the degree.

o Cultural Perspectives (3 credit hours)

o Sustainable Living (3 credit hours)

NOTE: See “First-Year Student Success Course Requirement” on Page 8.