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Paralegal Studies

Paralegal Studies

The Paralegal Studies program at Pellissippi State is a two-year Associate of Applied Sciences degree ABA-approved program. Paralegals work in a law office under the direct supervision of an attorney doing legal work such as drafting legal documents, organizing files, conducting legal research and investigations, and managing the office.

The Paralegal Studies program offers a core of general education and a core of legal specialty courses designed for paralegals. Although paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law, they can, while working under the supervision of an attorney, perform many law office tasks once done solely by an attorney. 

Paraleagal students in court room setting.

Approval

American Bar Association
ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL  60654
1-800-285-2221

American Bar Association logo

Paralegal Resources

Curriculum

Degree: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

Accreditation. The Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Program description. A paralegal works in a law office under the direct supervision of an attorney doing legal work such as drafting legal documents, organizing files, conducting legal research and investigation, and managing the office. The Paralegal Studies program offers a core of general education and a core of legal specialty courses designed for paralegals. Although paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law, they can, while working under the supervision of an attorney, perform many law office tasks once done solely by an attorney.

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Typical job opportunities: Law firms, legal aid services, corporate law departments, insurance and accounting firms, real estate and title companies, government legal departments

Program outcomes. Upon completion of the Paralegal Studies program, the graduate will have developed the skills, knowledge and abilities to accomplish the following:

  1. Apply ethical rules of attorneys and paralegals to given legal work environment situations.
  2. Produce examples of legal communication.
  3. Apply legal concepts to factual situations necessary to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney.
  4. Demonstrate legal and factual research using traditional and computerized legal research methods.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the technology necessary to meet employer needs in the legal community.

Courses and Course Sequence

Special note: Only students with college-level English skills (i.e., those eligible to enroll in ENGL 1010) may enroll in LEGL courses.

This sequence can be followed by students who begin college-level work in the fall semester. Prerequisites may apply to specific courses; it is the student’s responsibility to determine if prerequisites have been met. An academic advisor is provided for each student. Prior to registering each semester, the student is expected to consult with his/her assigned advisor.

All students must take at least nine (9) semester credits of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction. The maximum number of credit hours of legal specialty courses a student may transfer to the Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies is nine (9) semester credit hours. The legal specialty credit hours to be transferred must have been earned from an ABA approved paralegal program and must have been earned through synchronous instruction. When a request for credit by transfer is made by a student, the transcript of the institution where those credits were awarded must be presented to Pellissippi State’s student records office. The program director will then review the transcript, course description, and syllabus from the institution which awarded the credits and determine whether the credit appears to cover substantially the same material as the course at Pellissippi State. The Paralegal Studies program does not award legal specialty by examination.

Semester I (Fall)
COLL 1000 – First Year Seminar
COMM 2025 – Fundamentals of Communication
or COMM 2045 – Public Speaking
ENGL 1010 – English Composition I
INFS 1010 – Computer Applications
LEGL 1300 – Introduction to Paralegal Studies & Ethics
MATH/NS* – Mathematics/Natural Sciences Elective 3-5 Credit(s)

Semester II (Spring)
ENGL 1020 – English Composition II
LEGL**- Paralegal Studies Elective 3 Credit(s)
LEGL 1320 – Legal Research
LEGL 1330 – Legal Writing
LEGL 1350 – Torts

Semester III (Fall)
ACCT 1010 – Principles of Accounting I
LEGL 1315 – Technology in the Law Office
LEGL 2330 – Contract Law
LEGL 2340 – Property Law
LEGL 2380 – Civil Litigation Skills I

Semester IV (Spring)
HUM/FA* – Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3 Credit(s)
LEGL** – Paralegal Studies Elective 3 Credit(s)
LEGL 2385 – Civil Litigation Skills II
LEGL 2390*** – Legal Internship
SBS* – Social/Behavioral Sciences Elective 3 Credit(s)

Total Credit Hours Needed for Graduation: 60-61

*HUM/FA / MATH/NS / SBS
See the General Education section of this Catalog for electives.

**LEGL
Electives to be chosen from LEGL 1310, LEGL 1340, LEGL 1360, LEGL 1370, LEGL 2300, LEGL 2305, LEGL 2350.

***LEGL 2390
To enroll in this Internship course, students must be in pursuit of an A.A.S. degree in Paralegal Studies; have completed 15 hours of LEGL courses with a minimum 2.5 GPA in LEGL courses and an overall minimum 2.0 GPA; be enrolled in the semester in which the student will graduate.