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. Students seeking this certificate will be most successful in finding employment if they already have significant work experience in an office environment or prior college credits. Students without such background should consider completing the A.A.S. in Paralegal Studies instead of the Certificate program.
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.
CORE REQUIREMENTS: (35 HRS.)
ENGL 111 Composition and Rhetoric (3) [and]
ENGL 112 Composition and Literature (3) [or]
ENGL 119 Professional Communications (3)
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 (4)
*It’s highly recommended that students take LEGL 111 and 121 in their first semester.
RELATED REQUIREMENTS: (9 HRS.)
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.
NOTE: See “First-Year Student Success Course Requirement” on Page 8.
TOTAL 44 CREDITS MIN.