Dr. Susan Woods Coffindaffer, Paralegal Studies Program Coordinator
Paralegals perform specifically delegated, substantive legal work for which a licensed attorney is responsible. Paralegals must possess a basic knowledge of substantive and procedural law and develop effective skills in interpersonal communication, organization, office management, interviewing and investigating, technology, and legal research, analysis, and writing. The Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies is designed to develop professional, entry-level competencies in each of these areas.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the A.A.S. in Paralegal Studies, graduates will be able to do the following:
- Describe the proper role of a paralegal in the delivery of legal services by an attorney, identify the ethical rules that govern the responsibilities of the legal profession to clients and the public in general, and recognize ethical dilemmas.
- Demonstrate effective critical thinking, reasoning, and analytical skills in applying knowledge of applicable law and procedural rules to facts in both civil and criminal cases.
- Identify legal issues, conduct factual research using proper interviewing and investigative techniques, and locate pertinent primary and secondary legal sources in print and electronic forms for legal analysis.
- Write clearly and concisely, utilizing appropriate legal terminology, correct citation and style, and proper grammar and format, in drafting intra-office memoranda, client correspondence, and other basic legal documents.
- Complete routine legal tasks proficiently and produce a draft of standard legal documents competently, using software applications and technology commonly used in legal employment.
- Consistently model effective personal, interpersonal, time management, and project management skills, as required of those working in the legal profession.
Graduates with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies qualify for an entry-level position in a law firm, corporate legal department, financial institution, government agency, insurance company, or other legal employer.