A paralegal or legal assistant is a person qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity to perform specifically-designated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals may not provide legal services to the public, except as permitted by law.
The two year associate degree Paralegal program will prepare students for highly responsible entry-level positions as paralegals or legal assistants. Students take courses that provide them with the basic competencies to begin a career as a paralegal or legal assistant. Paralegal Program students must take at least ten semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction. The subjects covered in the program core course work are: ethics, substantive and procedural law, the American Legal system, delivery of legal services, law offices and related environments, the paralegal profession, legal research and writing, law-related computer skills, legal interviewing and investigation, and substantive areas of legal practice. The program will assist students in acquiring these essential related competencies: critical thinking skills (analysis, judgment, research and problem-solving), communication skills (oral, written, non-verbal and interpersonal), computer skills, computational skills, understanding of ethics and organizational skills.