This program has been approved by the American Bar Association. Volunteer State is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education. The College offers the program to prepare students for work in a legal environment as a paralegal/legal assistant, as well as to provide a general understanding of substantive and procedural legal principles for those planning to transfer to a four-year institution and possibly prepare to attend law school. Note that the American Bar Association defines a legal assistant or a paralegal as "a person qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
All Paralegal Studies students completing the A.S. degree program are required to take an exit exam for Paralegal Studies to assist in ABA review. Graduation applicants must schedule the exam through the College Counseling and Testing Office located in Student Services.
Inasmuch as LAW courses are not universally transferable, a student who wishes to transfer from this program to a baccalaureate program is responsible for information about transferability of course work to a four year institution. Further, this program should be planned only with the assistance of the Paralegal Studies faculty.
Entry, retention, and graduation standards for this program include: completion of all Learning Support requirements (except Learning Support mathematics); completion of ENGL 1010, LAW 103, and LAW 101 with a final grade of "C" or better as requirement for enrollment in further law courses; completion of an interview with the Paralegal Studies Coordinator; and no grade below "C" in any LAW course.