Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Will I earn a degree when I finish the program's requirements?

    Yes. Upon successful completion of the program's requirements, an Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) degree in Paralegal Studies will be awarded.

  2. Do you offer a certificate in paralegal studies?

    No. We strongly believe that a short-term course that awards a certificate does not adequately prepare a student to go to work as a paralegal. A typical certificate program requires 126 classroom hours, while we require over 500 classroom hours of LAW courses. Our students are prepared to go to work upon graduation and our fees are lower than certificate courses. We believe this is more beneficial to the student and a more reliable standard for employers.

  3. Is your program ABA approved?

    Yes. The Paralegal Studies program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1988, longer than any paralegal program in the Knoxville area.

  4. What will I learn to do?

    You will learn to read, think, research, investigate facts, interview clients and witnesses, and draft pleadings and documents under the supervision of a lawyer.

  5. What is the job market for paralegals?

    The placement rates for PSTCC's paralegal graduates are: 2008 - 100%; 2009 - 94%; 2010 - 100%.

  6. What is the starting salary?

    Starting salary range for PSTCC's paralegal graduates is $24,000-$35,000.

  7. Will I have a chance to work in the field while I am in school?

    Yes. Two courses, Legal Clinic and Legal Internship, provide students the opportunity to work in legal environments while in school.

  8. What courses should I take my first semester?

    The ideal first semester schedule is LAW 1000, Introduction to Law & Ethics, ENGL 1010, Engligh Composition I, INFS 1010, Computer Applications, and a Social/Behavioral Sciences elective. However, some students have already completed one or more of the non-law classes. If so, this would be a good time to begin the math sequence, beginning with the required college-level math course or with the developmental math course you tested into. It is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended, that you start your math sequence the first semester. Just be sure to begin far enough in advance (if you must take several semesters of developmental math) so that you can graduate on schedule.

  9. Must I take LAW 1000 the first semester?

    You will be very limited in what courses you can take your second semester as you must complete LAW 1000 before you can take MOST other LAW classes.

  10. I already have a Bachelor's degree and want to finish quickly. Can't I get around some of these prerequisites?

    If you already have a Bachelor's degree, you need to take the LAW courses, Accounting and computer courses. Some accomodations can be made. HOWEVER, we do not offer every class every semester. It is nearly impossible to finish in less than 3 full semesters (excluding summers), regardless of how many transfer credits you have, simply because of the natural rotation of classes.

  11. What is a "Special Topics"course?

    LAW 2600, Special Topics, is a "shell course." This gives us the flexibility to offer a variety of classes without having them be a regular part of the curriculum.

  12. Do I have to be finished all my developmental work before I can start taking LAW classes?

    You must be finished all developmental work in reading, writing, and English before you can begin taking LAW classes. However, you do not need to be finished your developmental work in math before taking LAW classes.

  13. What IS the regular course rotation?

    LAW 1000, Introduction to Law & Ethics, and LAW 2800, Legal Internship, are offered every semester, excluding summers.

    LAW 2030, Property, LAW 2210, Litigation Skills I, and LAW 2300, Contracts & U.C.C., are offered every fall semester. However, depending on enrollment numbers, these classes might be offered only once each fall, during the day or at night, not both. Also, classes might be cancelled because of underenrollment.

    LAW 1050, Legal Writing & Analysis, LAW 1060, Legal Research, LAW 2100, Torts, and LAW 2220, Litigation Skills II, are offered every spring semester with the same possible limitations mentioned above.

    LAW electives are offered on an "as needed" basis. We offer at least one elective every semester during the day, and at least one elective every semester at night. Electives include LAW 1020, Law in Society, LAW 2040, Estates & Trusts, LAW 2110, Family Law, LAW 2120, Criminal Law & Procedure, LAW 2600 (Bankruptcy Law, Business Organizations, Technology in the Law Office, Law & Medicine), and LAW 2620, Legal Clinic. For more details, see Course Descriptions.

  14. Are the LAW courses hard?

    Yes. Hard, not impossible.