Introduction To The Paralegal Studies Associate In Science Degree (AS) Program
A paralegal is 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. (American Bar Association (ABA) and National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) definition). Although the terms legal assistant and paralegals were used in the past interchangeably, today the term paralegal connotes one with specialized training such as graduation from Pensacola State’s Paralegal Studies program.
This program requires 16 hours of general education courses and 48 hours of Paralegal Studies (PLA) core courses. If you have general education courses because you have another college degree, the courses you have already taken may meet the general education requirement. Courses are offered each semester in day and night classes. Some are available online through Distant Learning, You may begin the program any semester.
Is This For You?
Persons who may enjoy the legal environment, and would rather work with people than things, may be interested in this program. If you are sociable, tactful, extroverted, efficient, and conscientious you have the personal characteristics needed to be successful in this career.
Beyond Graduation . . .
With additional coursework, graduates from the Paralegal Studies Associate of Science (A.S.) degree program at Pensacola State College can choose to transfer to a four-year institution. This degree prepares students to assume administrative responsibilities in the paralegal field. Paralegals do not need to be certified, but the National Association of Legal Assistants has established standards for voluntary certification as a Certified Legal Assistant. This designation is a sign of competence in the field and may enhance employment and advancement opportunities. Many students will continue their education and training by enrolling in Pensacola State College’s Baccalaureate Degree of Applied Science with an emphasis in Organizational Administration.
Related Career Opportunities
Graduates from the Paralegal Studies program support the legal services industry which may include attorneys, governmental systems, insurance, banks, and freelancing.
Work directly under the supervision of a lawyer, performing many of the same legal tasks as lawyers. They investigate the facts and research the law involved in a case. Specializations include litigation, corporate law, criminal law, real estate, probate, and family law. Legal assistants work for private law firms, corporations, government agencies, and in community legal service projects.
Assistant Deputy/Assistant Clerk of Courts
Human Resources Assistant
Legal Document Clerk
Legal Research Assistant
Real Estate Closing Specialist