Paralegal Diploma Program
The Paralegal Studies Diploma program provides students with an opportunity to gain knowledge in the Paralegal / legal secretary profession and to seek entry-level employment as paralegals in law offices and government agencies. The course work addresses the broad scope of current legal areas as well as principles of U.S. law, legal terminology and documentation, legal software, reasoning, research, writing skill development and professional standard and ethics.. In addition to attending and participating in all courses, students will be required to complete out-of-class assignments. These assignments may include reading, learning activities, problem solving, research projects and presentations. Students should expect out-of-class homework that equals at least two (2) hours of work for every one (1) hour of class lecture. Upon successful completion of the program (see graduation requirements section of the catalog), students could seek or obtain entry-level employment in a paralegal or paralegal-related field(s).
Program length – 10 months
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Curriculum focuses on law offices proceedings, as well as professional and ethical responsibilities. Students complete courses in computer software, office procedures, law office technology, legal terminology, legal research and writing. Civil litigation, torts, probate, contract, real estate, bankruptcy, criminal and family law are taught, as well. Students also take classes in oral communication, written communication and social sciences to develop their interpersonal skills, customer focus and writing skills. Students participate in a mock deposition to utilize and sharpen their skills in a setting similar to what they might experience as legal professionals. Program includes an externship in a law office to provide relevant, real world experience.
Also known as legal assistants, paralegals perform a variety of tasks to support lawyers, including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research and drafting documents. The largest employers of legal assistants are law firms, but paralegals also work for in-house legal departments in the finance, insurance, consulting and healthcare sectors.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there will be 82,700 new job openings for paralegals between 2014 and 2024.1
1U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-2015 Edition, Paralegals, retrieved 4/26/16