Paralegal

Associate in Applied Science

Credits: 100  |   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. 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.

 

print icon
PRINT
PROGRAM
print icon
PRINT
ED PLAN
info icon
ALL PROGRAM
REQUIREMENTS
search icon
CLASS
SCHEDULE

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 Government, Public & Nonprofit Administration » 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

In addition, students who complete the program will demonstrate the following skills standards:

  • 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
Entry Requirements

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

 

A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required in order to earn a degree and a “C” or better is required in all LEGL courses.

A “C” or better must also be earned in all prerequisite LEGL courses.

 

Students are required to participate in the Paralegal Skills Application course which places them in the Paralegal Community Justice Clinic. With approval of the Paralegal Program Lead, this requirement may be waived in lieu of a relevant substantive internship or current relevant substantive work experience.  

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
BUS104 Business Math 5 Credits Search Schedule
Emphasizes solving practical problems in business, including percentages, payroll, simple and compound interest, annuities, discounts, and markups using a calculator. Prerequisite: MATH 092.
Distribution: AAS, AAS-COMPUTATION

OR
Any math listed on the AA Quantitative List
5 Credits in QUANTITATIVE

Human Relations
Choose one of the following
CMST&210 Interpersonal Communication: Diversity 5 Credits Search Schedule
Focuses on understanding and developing interpersonal communication skills needed to build and maintain healthy one-on-one relationships in both personal and professional contexts. Examines how diverse communication styles can impact relationships. 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
Introduces students to the psychology of human relationships. Examines how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impact communication in a multicultural world. Prerequisite: Eligible for ENGL 098 or ENGL& 101.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, DIVERSITY, SOCIAL SCIENCE, NURSING SOCIAL SCIENCE, AAS-HUMAN RELATIONS, AA-AAS-T-SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Diversity Requirement 
Diversity-designated courses at South Puget Sound Community College provide opportunities for students to develop awareness of their own social and cultural identities, seek understanding of others, and cultivate skills to communicate across cultures and differences. All programs require the completion of a diversity course.

 

Effective Catalog Year 2019-2020

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.

Apply Now

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 16, 2019