The Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies is an interdisciplinary program that combines a liberal arts/general education background with law-related specialty courses that provide students with communication, critical thinking and analytical skills. The Paralegal Studies Program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1976, and offers courses which 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 through hands-on experience both in their traditional classes and through the required internship course. 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 301, Ethics & Professionalism. 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.
Grades of C or higher are required in all paralegal (PARA) courses.
Transfer of Paralegal Courses
For students who have completed an associate degree from another ABA-Approved paralegal program, 12 hours of the paralegal courses from that program my transfer towards the 30 hours of paralegal courses required for the BA so long as they were taken no more than six years prior to the date on which the students enroll in our paralegal program. Additional paralegal courses from the other program may transfer to the BA program as General Electives, but cannot transfer towards the requirements of the Functional Area.
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