Admission to this program is limited to students who have already earned an associate or a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Students without a prior degree who wish to pursue paralegal studies must matriculate under the AAS.
Degrees and certificates in paralegal studies are available for students wishing to pursue a professional career as a paralegal/legal assistant. The goal of the program is to prepare students to perform effectively in a variety of legal settings and to adapt readily to changes in the legal environment. The program offers a two-year associate of applied science degree and a one-year certificate in paralegal studies. Only students already possessing either an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree may enter the certificate program.
Exciting and fulfilling careers can be found in both the public and private sectors of legal practice for graduates holding paralegal degrees and certificates. Paralegals are trained to assist attorneys in such legal services as drafting legal documents, conducting legal research and factual investigations, and interviewing clients and witnesses.
Paralegals must work under the direct supervision of a lawyer. The program offers a faculty of experienced paralegal professionals and attorneys, and an extensive law library with Westlaw Computer Assisted Legal Research available on campus. Lexis/ Nexis computer research is also available online with computer access to the library website.
For students enrolled full-time the AAS degree may be earned in two years, and the certificate in one year. For those attending on a part-time basis, time for completion will be longer. The general education core will transfer to a variety of colleges and universities. Transferred legal specialty courses will be approved as course substitutions as appropriate by the program director only. All students must take at least 12 semester credits of legal specialty courses in the traditional classroom setting. Contact a counselor or paralegal studies faculty member at LSC-North Harris for more information.
For careers and median salaries, visit Career Star for more information.