The Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies degree combines a liberal arts background with law-related specialty courses to provide students with the foundations for working in the legal field, as well as communication, critical thinking and analytical skills. Upon successful completion of their degree requirements, students earn both their Bachelor of Arts degree and an ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate.
The Paralegal Studies program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1976, and offers courses that provide an excellent background in legal terminology, procedures and a variety of legal practice areas giving students a solid background with which to begin their career. The program focuses on the practical aspects of the law and students learn the latest legal technology being utilized in the profession. This program is designed for students who wish to pursue a career as a paralegal or other related positions in the legal field and is also an excellent choice for students interested in attending law school.
Paralegals perform substantive legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney. Paralegals must have a solid understanding of legal concepts, and they perform a wide range of tasks including conducting interviews with clients and witnesses, gathering facts, researching the law, managing databases, assembling records, analyzing documents, drafting legal pleadings, drafting discovery items such as complaints and interrogatories, and maintaining conflict-of-interest systems. Experienced paralegals often accompany counsel during trial and help with document organization, witness preparation, and research. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
Lambda Epsilon Chi, National Paralegal Honor Society
Students may begin taking Paralegal Studies courses after completing 60 hours of coursework, with the exception of PARA 101 Introduction to Law and PARA 301 Ethics & Professionalism. Students may take PARA 101 in their freshman year. Students may take PARA 301 in their sophomore year if they have completed the University Writing Requirement and have a 2.5 or higher grade point average. During the semester in which students will be completing the first 60 hours of their degree or prior to taking PARA 301, they must submit an application to the Paralegal Studies program. At this time, it is recommended that students have at least a 2.5 grade point average. The application form is available on the program’s website.
Core PARA Requirements
Paralegal elective courses run on a rotating basis throughout the academic year determined by market demand and student interest. Not all elective courses are offered every semester.
Transfer of Paralegal courses
Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies who have completed 15 or more hours of Paralegal Studies courses from an ABA-approved paralegal program (with a grade of C or better) that are no more than 6 years old, will be required to take only 18 hours of upper-division (300-level) paralegal courses. The 18 hours of Paralegal courses will be selected in consultation with an academic advisor in the Paralegal Studies program. Credit hours earned for the Paralegal Studies courses at the previous program may transfer as general elective requirements.
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