About this course
The Paralegal Studies Associate in Applied Science degree is recommended for those students intending to go directly into the workforce on graduation.
The Paralegal Studies program is a course of study for those interested in becoming non-lawyer legal professionals. A paralegal (sometimes called a legal assistant) is, in the words of the American Bar Association, a person “who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work, for which a lawyer is responsible.” Paralegal employers prefer applicants who have completed a formal paralegal training program.
Lawyers employ paralegals in a variety of settings. In addition to traditional law firm positions, paralegals assist attorneys in businesses and corporations, financial institutions, title and escrow companies, and government institutions. Paralegals may also qualify for positions as trust officers, title examiners, contract clerks, legal investigators, and law firm administrators. Typical paralegal job duties include:
- Conducting legal investigations
- Performing legal research
- Drafting legal documents
- Conducting interviews of clients and witnesses
- Collecting, retrieving, analyzing, and summarizing data
- Managing and organizing cases and other complex legal tasks. While specific assignments depend on the training, education, and experience of the paralegal, a paralegal may not give legal advice or otherwise engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
Successful paralegals share many characteristics: they are knowledgeable in their field of law; they are well-organized and attentive to detail; they have excellent computer skills and are adept in the use of most common office applications; they are able to communicate in a clear, grammatically correct manner, both orally and in writing; and they have superior analytical skills