This program prepares students for employment as paralegals/legal assistants in private law firms, courts and government agencies, corporations, and other business/organizations conducting legal related work. Students learn law and legal principles, legal research and writing, critical thinking, 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 techniques for evidence gathering by interviewing clients and witnesses and obtaining discovery.
- Explain the paralegal’s role in providing office support that maintains the legal field’s ethical and professional standards.
CORE REQUIREMENTS: (26 HRS.)
ENGL 111 Composition and Rhetoric (3)
LEGL 111 Introduction to Law (4)
LEGL 112 Introduction to the Paralegal
LEGL 115 Torts, Practice and Procedure (3)
LEGL 121 Legal Research and Writing I (3)
LEGL 231 Evidence Law (3)
LEGL 241 Legal Research Writing II/Westlaw (4)
LEGL 250 Civil Litigation (3)
*It’s highly recommended that students take LEGL 111 and 121 in their first semester.
RELATED REQUIREMENTS: (12 HRS.)
Choose from the following:
LEGL courses 200 and higher*
LEGL 114 Legal Secretarial Skills (3)**
CRJS 203 Criminal Law and Procedure (3)
* LEGL law courses are preferred related requirements. Students with no paralegal work experience should take three credit hours of LEGL 298 Internship.
** 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 38 CREDITS MIN.