The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is designed for those students who have already obtained, or are in the process of obtaining, an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree in a field of study other than paralegal studies. For those students in the process of obtaining their degree, the Paralegal Studies Certificate will not be awarded until completion of the Associate or Baccalaureate degree. This Certificate allows students to obtain a paralegal education in a timely and cost-effective manner and will help students meet the requirements of potential employers, a large number of whom require both a college degree and a paralegal certificate as hiring standards.
The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is approved by the American Bar Association and prepares students for a career as a paraprofessional in private law offices, corporate legal departments or public sector settings. The program provides the student with a varied and balanced background in legal fundamentals as well as the skills and practical field experience necessary to work as a paralegal.
Graduates, who must work under the supervision of an attorney and may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law, will be able to:
- understand the proper role of the paralegal in the context of the larger legal profession, including application of the ethical rules that govern the conduct of the paralegal and the legal profession
- analyze and assess legal problems, identify legal issues and conduct both standard and computerized legal research
- draft and interpret legal documents, such as deeds, mortgages, wills, pleadings, probate forms and discovery documents
- acquire necessary computer skills in various legal software applications specific to the law office
- demonstrate substantive knowledge and practical skills in areas such as litigation, torts, family law, real estate, dispute resolution, wills and estates, law office management and intellectual property
This certificate is offered through the Business and Public Service Department, whose mission is to provide challenging career-oriented undergraduate programs to business and public service students, educating them to the level of competency needed for successful transfer to four-year institutions or immediate career path entry into the global market.
|Admission requirement(s): Associate Degree or Baccalaureate Degree in a field of study other than Paralegal Studies, or evidence of enrollment in an Associate or Baccalaureate degree program. The completed Associate or Baccalaureate Degree must document successful completion of 18 credits in General Education courses in at least three of the following areas: English Composition and Literature; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Foreign Language; Mathematics; Humanities; Natural Science; Fine Arts (not performing). All students admitted to this program must demonstrate basic skills in English and Mathematics. They may do so by providing documentation of associate or baccalaureate degree completion, by prior satisfaction of basic skills requirements or through successful completion of required basic skills testing. For those students in the process of obtaining their degree, the Paralegal Studies Certificate will not be awarded until completion of the Associate or Baccalaureate degree.
NOTE: Students in this program may not be eligible for Financial Aid; students should meet with an Academic Advisor or Financial Aid staff to discuss options for Financial Aid eligibility.