Paralegal - AAS

Associate in Applied Science

Credits: 99  |   Length of Program: 9 quarters

Subject: Paralegal


Paralegal - Associate in Applied Science

The overall program goal of the Paralegal Associate in Applied Science Degree is to prepare students for careers as paralegals or legal assistants working under the supervision of lawyers.  In addition, it is the aim of the program to provide students with knowledge of legal concepts, procedures and essential skills required to serve the needs of a complex legal and business community by assessing existing courses and updating and/or developing new courses that meet the future needs of the profession. The Program emphasizes organizational, interpersonal, analytical and technological skills that support students in their professional pursuits and provides a broad range of skills for positions in a variety of legal settings such as private law firms, government agencies, community action agencies, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, estate and trust departments of large banks, or real estate and title companies. The curriculum consists of a combination of legal practice concentration, law-related, and general education courses.  Students seeking a career as a paralegal must be able to write clearly, communicate effectively, be proficient with office computer systems, and possess a high degree of motivation and analytical reasoning capability.  

The Paralegal Program promotes ethical awareness and professional responsibility, and encourages development of the Paralegal and LLLT occupations. 

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Career Opportunities

The paralegal field continues as one of the fastest growing professions.  The American Bar Association and Washington State Bar Association recognize the benefit of two-year paralegal and Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) programs.  Job opportunities are continuing to increase and expand into new areas.  Paralegal positions open in private law firms, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, estate and trust departments of large banks, real estate and title insurance companies, nonprofit private and public organizations and professional trade associations.  Job opportunities in the public sector are available in community legal services programs, offices of public defenders, prosecutors, and attorney generals, government agencies and the court system.  Earnings vary depending on the size of the community, geographic location, size, and business of the employing agency, and the paralegal’s education, background, and work experience. See Business » Business Administration for more career and employment information.

 
Program Outcomes

At the completion of the Paralegal Program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Exhibit critical thinking skills in analyzing legal processes and problems
  • Analyze, synthesize and communicate information about legal issues and processes in writing and in oral presentations
  • Use technological applications to efficiently produce, manage, and submit accurate legal documents
  • Recognize and apply reason to ethical issues in business, including the legal implications of business practices
  • Develop and practice appropriate and relevant interaction skills across personal, academic and professional settings
  • Engaging in legal and factual investigation and research using traditional and technology-based tools
  • Briefing and analyzing legal issues in writing
  • Understanding the court system and the process of civil litigation from case inception through trial and post-trial matters
  • Using a variety of current computer applications to efficiently produce, manage, and analyze legal documents 
  • Demonstrating effective communication with attorneys, clients, court personnel, and co-workers, orally and in writing.
  • Effectively interviewing clients or witnesses
Ed Plan / Class List
General Education Requirements

Communication: 

ENGL&101 English Composition I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Develops writing skills by focusing on strategies and techniques writers use to convey ideas, evaluate information, make a point, and participate in multiple discourse communities. Emphasizes both the process and the product of writing. This course was formerly known as WRIT 101, College Writing I. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement test scores OR appropriate completion of ENGL 095, ENGL 095X, or ENGL 098 OR concurrent enrollment in ENGL 110 with instructor's permission.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, GER-CIS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION, AAS-COMMUNICATION: Reading/Writing, AAS-READING-WRITING

Computation
Any math listed on the AA Quantitative List
OR
BUS104 Business Math 5 Credits Search Schedule
Emphasis on solving practical problems in business, including percentages, payroll, simple and compound interest, annuities, discounts, markups, using a calculator. Prerequisite: MATH 094 or higher with a grade of "C" or better and eligible for ENGL& 101.
Distribution: AAS, AAS-COMPUTATION

Human Relations
Choose one of the following
CMST&210 Interpersonal Communication: Diversity 5 Credits Search Schedule
Investigation into the theory and practice of interpersonal communication. An experiential approach is used as students participate in a variety of class activities designed to apply and build skills through the speech communication process. Examines how a diversity of communication styles can affect formation and maintenance of school, co-worker, family, friendship and romantic relationships. This course was formerly known as SPCH 103. Prerequisite: None.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, DIVERSITY, AAS-SPEAKING-LISTENING, AAS-HUMAN RELATIONS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION
-OR-
PSYC116 Psychology of Human Relations: Diversity 5 Credits Search Schedule
An introduction to the study of human relations, self-concept and the internal influences on one's thoughts, feelings and behaviors. An examination of the external and sociocultural influences on our personal and professional relationships. Prerequisite: Eligible for ENGL& 101.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, DIVERSITY, SOCIAL SCIENCE, NURSING SOCIAL SCIENCE, AAS-HUMAN RELATIONS, AA-AAS-T-SOCIAL SCIENCE

Effective Catalog Year 2018-2019

Entry Requirements

An Associate in Applied Sciences degree will be awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 99 credits in courses numbered 100 or above.  All core and general education requirements must be met. This degree includes a minimum of 15 general education credits.   Additional credits are selected as electives. 

Length of Program

Because legal courses are offered only in the evening, program completion may require nine quarters.

Admission Requirements

The program begins each Fall quarter.

Legal core courses are offered in the evening.  It is recommended that ENGL& 101 and a computer course be taken prior to Fall quarter.

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Additional Information

Special Program Note: Only an attorney or Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) pursuant to Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 28, can counsel others as to their legal rights or responsibilities.  Non-lawyer assistants act under the supervision of a lawyer in compliance with Washington State Court Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) 5.3, General Rule (GR) 24.  See also, APR 28 and LLLT RPC.

Revision Date: 
April 17, 2018