dcsimg
Table of Contents

Students in associate degree programs in paralegal studies learn the fundamentals of the paralegal profession and different areas of the law. They can apply this knowledge toward potential careers or further paralegal coursework. Over a period of two years, students typically seek either an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in paralegal studies.

Online Associate Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies: Coursework and Overview

Paralegal studies programs generally include a combination of required and elective legal courses and relevant courses outside of the discipline. Although requirements differ by school, there are many courses that are common across degree programs. Examples of these courses are outlined below:

Paralegal Degree Courses

  • Introduction to Paralegal Studies: Courses provide an overview of the U.S. legal system and the role of a paralegal. Specific topics commonly covered include paralegal ethics, legal research, and legal terminology.
  • Legal Research and Writing: Students learn skills and techniques used in performing and analyzing legal research and also gain experience drafting legal documents, such as memoranda and briefs.
  • Tort Law: Courses cover the elements of a number of civil wrongs, such as malpractice and defamation. Concepts often examined in class include intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, and product liability.
  • Family Law: Courses explain the paralegal's role in a variety of family law situations. Examples of concepts discussed include marriage, divorce, custody, and support.
  • Real Estate Law: Students explore property law concepts and review legal documents commonly used in real estate, such as deeds and leases. Mortgages, property ownership, and real estate transactions are potential topics studied in these classes.

Courses Related to Paralegal Studies

  • Business Law: Business law courses review laws and procedures relevant to business matters such as contracts and employment. Law courses like these may be required for some paralegal degree programs.
  • Criminal Law: Students gain an introduction to criminal law and procedures and examine topics such as legal defense, the elements of different types of crimes, and the pre- through post-trial procedures.
  • English Composition: Students read and analyze literary works through in-class discussions and essays. Courses also provide students with an opportunity to improve their writing and critical thinking skills.

In addition to completing required coursework, many paralegal students pursue relevant internships, which, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), may help them enhance their technical skills and chances of employment.

Potential Careers for Individuals with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies

While a degree cannot guarantee job placement, it can help students gain a foundation in the laws and procedures relevant to potential careers. Below are a few careers that graduates of paralegal associate degree programs may pursue:

  • Corporate paralegals assist lawyers in preparing shareholder agreements, financial reports, employee contracts, and stock-option plans. Some of these professionals stay abreast of government regulations so that a corporation finds out when there are new legal requirements. Business law courses can help students acquire an understanding of laws and legal documents important to corporations.
  • Litigation paralegals perform legal research, preserve client documents, and collect and organize evidence for trials and depositions. Through legal research and writing classes, students can learn effective research techniques that they can employ as a litigation paralegal.
  • Legal secretaries work under the supervision of a lawyer or paralegal. They prepare messages and legal papers, such as summonses and subpoenas, and sometimes assist in legal research or examine legal journals. Since these professionals need an understanding of legal procedures and vocabulary, courses in legal research and writing and introductory paralegal studies can help prepare students for this career.

Bls.gov reveals that having an associate degree in paralegal studies is common among paralegals and legal assistants. Pursuing a career, however, is not the only option available to associate degree holders. Many schools offer a bachelor's degree in the subject, and, as bls.gov states, some employers may see a bachelor's degree as a substitute for professional legal experience. Students interested in continuing their education in paralegal studies should contact an admissions counselor to assess their qualifications.

 

Sources

"Paralegals and Legal Assistants," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm

"Secretaries and Administrative Assistants," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm

Pursue your Major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor’s programs options include Law & National Security, Paralegal Studies, and Government.
  • Regent University School of Law’s faculty was recognized among the Top 10 Faculty in the nation by The Princeton Review in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • Law & legal studies programs are fully approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Criminal Justice degree programs include BA in Social and Criminal Justice, BA in Law Enforcement Administration, and more.
  • Coursework covers areas such as forensics, criminal psychology, crime prevention, and terrorism.
  • Degree programs are 100% online, and can fit with any schedule.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Online BS, MS, PhD, and DEM programs to help you make a difference in your field and the lives of others.
  • Specializations in criminal justice and emergency management.
  • Learn from Capella faculty members, who offer extensive networks and real-world experience in both private and public sectors.
  • Save on your criminal justice degree based on learning gained from previous coursework, such as Peace Officer Standards and Training.
  • Capella has over 500 business alliances with highly recognized organizations, including the FBI National Academy, United States Secret Service, and National Sheriffs’ Association.
  • Capella Education Company was named one of Forbes magazine’s “100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America” for 2014 (Forbes, 2014).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
  • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104