Apr 14, 2024  
2016-2017 VSCC Catalog 
2016-2017 VSCC Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Paralegal Studies Technical Certificate

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Degree &/or Program of Study Information:  Technical Certificate (post-degree certificate) - This certificate training provides mature students with the necessary paralegal skills to enter a legal field and perform legal research and writing, including legal document preparation. Admission to the technical certificate program requires the student to hold a bachelor’s degree granted from a college or university that holds Regional Accreditation from a Council for Higher Education (CHEA) approved Commission.

Accreditation &/or Associations:  This program has been approved by the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals (Approval Commission).  The program is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education.

Description:  The American Bar Association defines a legal assistant or 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.” Paralegal skills emphasized include: legal research, legal document preparation, and an understanding of basic substantive and procedural law. This program is rigorous and requires excellent communication skills.  Note:  Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. 

Program Entry, Retention & Graduation Standards, and Other Pertinent Information: 

  1. Meet admission and graduation requirements for the College based on the admission or readmission status the applicant is seeking.
  2. The student must hold a bachelor’s degree granted from a college or university that holds Regional Accreditation from a Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) approved Commission.
  3. All candidates must meet and interview with the program coordinator prior to registration for law classes concerning program entry and submit proof of their bachelor’s degree as set out above.
  4. Receive no grade below a “C” in any LEGL course.
  5. Take an exit exam for Paralegal Studies to assist in ABA review.  Contact the Social Science & Education Division to schedule a review session and then contact the Office of Testing or testing@volstate.edu to schedule the exam.
  6. Follow all requirements of the College, including the planned curriculum.

The LEGL courses are not universally transferable.  A student who wishes to transfer from this program to another program is responsible for information about transferability of course work to another institution.  Further, this program should be planned only with the assistance of this College’s, as well as the receiving institution’s faculty.

Students seeking a paralegal credential may only transfer a maximum of nine (9) hours to meet the requirement for legal specialty courses. Hours from external sources of credit used to meet the legal specialty requirement must be approved by the paralegal program director. A minimum of twelve (12) hours, including both external sources of credit and hours taken in-residence, used to meet the legal specialty requirement must be taken in an on-ground, face-to-face format. In conjunction with the above limitations, students seeking a paralegal credential must still meet the overall residency requirement for the conferral of the credential.

Students obtaining a technical certificate in Paralegal Studies are required to take a Paralegal Exit Exam before completing the program.

Total Certificate Requirements - Credits (21)

Career and Salary Information

The following is a list of some of the career choices that may be obtained upon completion of this certificate. Please visit the following website www.onetonline.org  or speak to an advisor for additional career opportunities, salary information and education requirements.  Salaries are not guaranteed. 

Career Beginning Salary Experienced Salary
Paralegal & Legal Assistant $27,990 $72,560
Legal Secretary $24,950 $57,880
Court Clerk $23,600 $47,040


Recommended Schedule

This is a recommended schedule. Learning Support, pre-requisites and other academic factors may impact this schedule.  See your advisor to create a degree plan.

DegreeWorks, along with the correct catalog, should be utilized by students for all of their educational planning.  Students can monitor their progress toward a degree or certificate and view missing requirements with the DegreeWorks audit, which is accessible through My Volstate.

First Year - Spring Semester - Credits (9)

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