Paralegal Studies

Paralegal Studies at Harper College

Our American Bar Association approved Paralegal Studies program can prepare you for an exhilarating career in the paralegal profession. While lawyers assume the ultimate responsibility for legal work, and paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law, many of the significant tasks that help lawyers prepare for real estate closings, trials and meetings are delegated to paralegals.

The more you learn, the more you earn.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary nationwide for a paralegal is $46,680 and
  • employment of paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020,

Prepare for immediate entry into this career field.

This 24 credit-hour certificate program is designed for those individuals who are currently employed or employable in the legal field. The various choices available allow the student to develop special interests and skills. To receive a certificate in Paralegal Studies, you must already have an Associate in Applied Science degree, an Associate in Arts degree, or a Bachelor's degree which included general education courses equivalent to those required in Harper College's A.A.S. degree in paralegal studies.

For a complete description of the curriculum for the Paralegal Studies Certificate, please review the information in the College Catalog. Typical curriculum will include:

Required:

  • PLS 101 Introduction to Paralegal Studies
  • PLS 102 Fundamentals of Legal Research
  • PLS 103 Litigation
  • PLS 223 Computer-Assisted Legal Research

Electives:

Select at least 12 credit hours from the following courses:

  • LEJ 201 Criminal Law or LEJ 202 Criminal Procedures
  • PLS 105 Family Law
  • PLS 123 Real Property Law
  • PLS 200 Probate
  • PLS 201 Tort and Insurance Law
  • PLS 202 Estate Planning
  • PLS 205 Contract Law
  • PLS 206 Environmental Law
  • PLS 208 Internship in Paralegal Studies
  • PLS 210 Corporate and Securities Law
  • PLS 212 Law Office Systems
  • PLS 220 Community Law
  • PLS 221 Bankruptcy Law
  • PLS 222 Intellectual Property
  • PLS 224 Commercial Real Estate Law
  • PLS 230 Topics in Paralegal Studies

Download Program Overview PDF

This 63 credit-hour program will prepare you to be assistant to a lawyer. Under the supervision of a lawyer you may perform such functions as legal research, investigation, detail work with regard to probate matters, preparation of tax forms and returns, searching public and court records, office management, library service, bookkeeping, serving and filing legal documents and preparing legal forms.

For a complete description of the curriculum for an AAS degree in Paralegal Studies, please review the information in the College Catalog.Typical curriculum will include:

FIRST YEAR

First Semester

  • ENG 101  Composition
  • Humanities elective
  • PLS  101  Introduction to Paralegal Studies
  • PSY  101  Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC 101  Introduction to Sociology

Second Semester

  • ENG 103 Technical and Report Writing
  • PLS 102 Fundamentals of Legal Research
  • PLS 103 Litigation
  • PLS 105 Family Law
  • PLS 123 Real Property Law

SECOND YEAR

First Semester

  • Mathematics elective
  • PLS 201 Tort and Insurance Law
  • PLS 205 Contract Law
  • PLS 210 Corporate and Securities Law
  • PSC 101 American Politics and Government

Second Semester

  • CAS 160 Introduction to Business Software Packages
  • 3 Electives (9 hours)
  • PLS 208 Internship in Paralegal Studies
  • PLS 223 Computer-Assisted Legal Research

Attend a free Information Session

Information Sessions are held at 5 p.m.in the Avante Center, Building Z, Room Z119 (Parking Lot 3 or 4). The session lasts approximately 60 minutes. You do not need a reservation to attend. Sessions will be held:

  • Thursday, December 12, 2013;  5 - 6:15 p.m., Room Z123
  • Wednesday, January 8, 2014; 5-6:15 p.m., Room Z123
  • Thursday, March 13, 2014; 5-6:15 p.m., Room Z123
  • Tuesday, May 6, 2014; 5-6:15 p.m., Room Z123

Admissions Requirements

The Paralegal Studies program has specific admissions requirements. Please review important admission information.  Admission requirements are also covered at the Information Session.

Career opportunities available to graduates of this program may include positions as a paralegal, legal assistant, administrative assistant or law office manager.

For a complete overview to all related positions and job market and salary trends, consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook

What Can I Do With This Major?

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