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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

What is the job market for paralegals?

The placement rates for PSCC's paralegal graduates are: 2012 - 95%; 2013 - 92%; 2014 - 100%.

What is the starting salary?

Starting salary range for PSCC's paralegal graduates may be $24,000-$37,500. 

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.

What courses should I take my first semester?

The ideal first semester schedule is LEGL 1300, Introduction to Paralegal Studies & Ethics, ENGL 1010, English 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 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 so that you can graduate on schedule.

Must I take LEGL 1300 the first semester?

You will be very limited in what courses you can take your second semester as you must complete LEGL 1300 before you can take MOST other law classes.

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 LEGL courses, Accounting and computer courses. Some accommodations 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.

What is a "Special Topics"course?

LEGL 2300, 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.

What is the regular course rotation?

LEGL 1300, Introduction to Paraelgal Studies & Ethics, and LEGL 2390, Legal Internship, are offered every semester, excluding summers.

LEGL 2340, Property Law, LEGL 2380, Civil Litigation Skills I, and LEGL 2330, ,Contracts Law, 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 canceled because of underenrollment.

LEGL 1330, Legal Writing, LEGL 1320, Legal Research, LEGL 1350, Torts, and LEGL 2385, Civil  Litigation Skills II, are offered every spring semester with the same possible limitations mentioned above.

LEGL 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 LEGL 1310 Law in Society, LEGL 1315 Technology in the Law Office, LEGL 1340 Family Law, LEGL 1360 Criminal Law, LEGL 1370 Trusts & Estates, LEGL 2300 Special Topics, LEGL 2305 Law & Medicine, LEGL 2350 Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights. For more details, see Course Descriptions.

Are the law courses hard?

Yes. Hard, not impossible.