Paralegals are involved in substantial legal work that requires specific knowledge of law and the legal system. They will assist lawyers by researching law, helping in case preparation, and by analyzing facts and legal questions. Paralegals make use of law libraries and computers in performing their legal research and in preparing legal documents. They are most frequently employed in private law firms. They will also find employment in government agencies, legal aid offices, legal departments of corporations, offices of special interest groups, criminal law offices, service companies, and consulting firms. The paralegal career is best suited for someone who likes working in a formal and organized atmosphere, enjoys working with detail and accuracy, takes pleasure in searching for answers, and has good organizational skills.
The paralegal student is introduced to the major areas of law. These include tort law, legal research, litigation, probate, family law, and criminal law. Real estate transactions and debtor-creditor relations are also studied. In addition, a course in law office practices and an internship prepare the graduate for immediate entry into the position of a paralegal.
Individuals with a felony conviction may experience difficulty gaining employment in the paralegal field. Students with felony convictions should seek advice from the Paralegal Program Director. The Associate of Applied Business degree is awarded for the completion of this program.
UPL Statement (Unauthorized Practice of Law)
Paralegals and other non-lawyers may not practice law or provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation to a consumer about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms, or strategies. Furthermore, paralegals and other non-lawyers shall not hold themselves out to the public to be a lawyer, expert, or give the impression in any way that they are authorized to practice law. Paralegals and non-lawyers may work under the direction of a lawyer in the preparation, research, and writings of a case including, but not limited to, interviewing clients.
Program Learning Outcomes