Paralegal Associate Degree Program
Associate's Paralegal Studies:
After working as a paralegal, have you thought “maybe it’s time to get my associate’s degree”? Do you currently help your family when it comes to questions about the law? Do you binge watch Law and Order but don’t aspire to be the lawyer testifying at the front of the courtroom? Why not consider a profession as a paralegal?
Top ten reasons to become a paralegal:
Be proud of yourself.
You could participate in people's dreams to move to the USA lawfully, help a creative business owner start the business they have always aspired to build, or help people that have been seriously injured.
Complete it in just seven months.
The Paralegal Studies Associate’s degree (A.A.S.) provides students with an opportunity to continue their Paralegal / legal secretary studies beyond the diploma level. Our seven-month program will save you valuable time and allow you to jump into the law field at an accelerated pace, if prior coursework requirements are met.
Exceptional job outlook.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that paralegal positions are expected to increase by fifteen percent between 2016 and 2026.1
Improve your research skills.
As a paralegal, you'll have the opportunity to regularly conduct legal research.
Become prepared for different branches of law.
Our Paralegal Associate degree program covers human resources law, administrative law, intellectual property law, and criminal law.
If you work at a firm specializing in family law, you may have the chance to assist people suffering in dire domestic situations.
Put your organizational skills to good use.
Maintaining and organizing files is a critical part of being a paralegal. If you're good with paperwork, this is the perfect position for you!
Learning from lawyers.
If you are employed by a firm, your coworkers can teach you more about the legal field.
Become an invaluable asset to your employer.
Paralegals frequently complete the bulk of administrative duties that lawyers don't have time to complete. Your efforts are critical to the success of the firm and allow your employer to take on more cases.
Explore your unique interests.
The legal field is extremely diverse, ranging from property law to environmental law to personal injury law. Pick a specialty that excites you!
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor. (2017, October 24). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Paralegals and Legal Assistants. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm
Program length – 7 months
The paralegal curriculum focuses on the professional and ethical responsibilities associated with the position, while classes in computer software, office procedures and law office technology prepare students to be valuable members of a legal department. Specialty courses in legal terminology, legal research and writing, civil litigation and other areas of law such as probate, criminal and family law allow students to tailor their educational experience to their own interests.
Courses in oral communication, written communication and social sciences support interpersonal skills, customer focus and writing abilities. Students also complete general education courses in math, history and government to help fulfill the requirements for this associate degree program.
The Paralegal Studies Associate’s degree (A.A.S.) provides students with an opportunity to continue their Paralegal / legal secretary studies beyond the diploma level. Students entering this program will have successfully completed a diploma in a Paralegal Studies program or its equivalent. In this program, students will complete a foundational grouping of General Education courses in Oral and Written Communication, College Math, Critical Reading and Thinking, History of American Government, Introduction to Psychology, Ethics and Life Science. These general courses provide a helpful knowledge base for students either entering or progressing in the Paralegal profession. Additionally, students will complete core law courses in Human Resources Law, Administrative Law, Intellectual Property and Criminal Law. This combination of general and core subjects provides students with a broad scope of learning and helps prepare students well for success in the Paralegal / legal secretary profession. In addition to attending and participating in all courses, students will be required to complete out-of-class assignments. These assignments may include reading, learning activities, problem solving, research projects and presentations. Students should expect out-of-class homework that equals at least two (2) hours of work for every one (1) hour of class lecture. Upon successful completion of the program (see graduation requirements section of the catalog), students could seek or obtain entry-level employment in a paralegal, legal secretary or paralegal-related field(s).
A paralegal is an integral part of a legal team. Also known as legal assistants, they perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents. Attention to detail, communication, time management, and organizational skills are all essential to success.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts there will be 82,700 new job openings for paralegals between 2014 and 2024.1
1U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-2017 Edition, Paralegals, retrieved 4/26/16