Paralegal Studies Degree
MC's Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association. MC’s associate's degree will provide you with a general knowledge of the American legal system and concentrated knowledge on various aspects of law. You will gain basic skills in legal research, legal writing, interviewing, law office administration, and knowledge of legal ethics. Through coursework, you will learn to prepare and interpret legal documents and analyze procedures and processes. The curriculum offers options to focus on various areas of the law such as contract law, tort law, criminal law, immigration law, and family law. This curriculum will expose you to the new and growing fields within the legal system to include cyber law, health law, eDiscovery, and alternative dispute resolution. MC students also have the opportunity to participate in an internship to gain additional experience in a law related setting.
A paralegal is a trained specialist who can manage a law office operation under the supervision of an attorney, relieving a practicing attorney of those routine components of managing legal cases that require knowledge of the legal process and assisting the attorney with handling of complicated legal issues. The paralegal also assists the attorney in legal research and in preparing and interpreting legal documents. The paralegal will analyze procedural problems through the selection, compilation, and use of technical information from various legal references.
This curriculum is designed for those interested in careers as a paralegal professional. Such careers include: working in law offices and courts, corrections, government agencies and corporate settings. This curriculum is also designed for paralegals presently employed in private law offices and corporate and government legal divisions who wish to improve their skills for career advancement.
Note: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
Upon completion of this program, a student will be able to:
- Describe the ethical responsibilities of members of the legal profession.
- Explain the basic concepts and procedures of various areas of law within the U.S. legal system including the operation of the U.S. legal system.
- Perform effective legal research utilizing traditional and digital research methodologies.
- Communicate with attorneys and clients utilizing effective writing and oral communication skills.
- Draft and interpret various legal documents.
- Utilize technologies currently associated with the modern practice of law.
- Describe the functions related to the operation and management of a modern law office.
- Apply critical thinking skills to identify, analyze, and interpret legal and factual issues.
Meet with your academic advisor regularly to discuss your academic plans and make sure you are on track to graduate and/or transfer.
- Paralegal Studies AAS Degree Program Advising Guide (PDF, )
- Paralegal Studies AAS Degree Advising Guide for Part-Time Students (PDF, )
- Find a Program Advisor
For some positions listed, a bachelor's degree or higher may be required. Use the Career and Program Explorer to see a full report for this career field. See links below chart for further guidance and/or connect with a Program Advisor to discuss career goals.
In additional to law firms, the federal government, local governments, corporations, banks, insurance companies, title companies, and many other organizations seek to hire talented, formally-trained paralegals and legal assistants. According to BLSnew window, "Employment of legal occupations is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations, which will result in about 93,300 new jobs. As law firms try to increase the efficiency of legal services and reduce their costs, there is expected to be strong demand to hire many more paralegals and legal assistants. Additionally, the demand for lawyers is expected to continue as individuals, businesses, and governments require legal services in many areas."
- MC Student Employment Services: Speak with the Student Employment Specialist for help with resume writing, interviewing, setting up a College Central Network (CCN)new window account and other job search topics.
- Career Coach: Explore Career Coach to learn more about this career and/or discover related majors and in-demand careers based on your current interests! Take a Career Assessment and then browse careers and job opportunities in the area.
A suggested course sequence for students follows.
- All students should review the advising guide and consult an advisor.
- Find out about related programs and course in the Fields of Study section.
- Most courses have either assessment levels that must be met or prerequisites (courses that must be taken first). Part-time students and those who need to meet assessment levels or take prerequisite courses will take longer to complete a degree. An advisor will help make sure you are taking your courses in the right order.
- All degree-seeking students must take a central group of General Education courses in English, mathematics, arts, behavioral and social sciences, humanities, and science. These courses are included in the suggested course sequence below.
Suggested Course Sequence
Students should complete the required English and Math foundation courses within the first 24 credit hours. A suggested course sequence for full time students follows. All students should review the Program Advising Guide and consult an advisor.
- ENGL 101 - Introduction to College Writing 3 semester hours
- Mathematics Foundation 3 semester hours (MATF)
- CMAP 120 - Introduction to Computer Applications 3 semester hours
- LGST 101 - Introduction to the Legal System 3 semester hours
- POLI 101 - American Government 3 semester hours (BSSD)
- English Foundation 3 semester hours (ENGF)
- LGST 102 - Legal Research 3 semester hours
- LGST 103 - Legal Writing 3 semester hours
- LGST 104 - Interviewing, Investigating, and Communication Techniques 3 semester hours
- LGST 106 - Legal Ethics 3 semester hours
- BSAD 101 - Introduction to Business 3 semester hours
LGST Elective 3 semester hours
- COMM 108 - Foundations of Human Communication 3 semester hours (GEEL)
- COMM 112 - Business and Professional Speech Communication 3 semester hours (GEEL)
- LGST 122 - Law Office Administration 3 semester hours
- Arts or Humanities Distribution 3 semester hours (ARTD or HUMD)
- 200-Level LGST Elective 3 semeter hours
- Natural Sciences Distribution with Lab4 semester hours (NSLD)
- LGST Electives 11 semester hours
Related Programs and Courses
General Studies Degree
Students who major in general studies explore personal, professional, and academic areas of interest within a flexible framework supporting transfer.
Workforce Development and Continuing Education
MC offers a wide variety of noncredit classes. These courses are designed to help you upgrade your skills, pursue career training, or learn something new.