Paralegal Studies Department

Paralegal and Legal Studies

What's New in the Paralegal Studies Program

Fall 2022 paralegal classes now enrolling!

 

Fall 2022 Paralegal classes include face-to-face options, fully online (web) and synchronous/remote/scheduled (Web-Time) classes that meet all online at the same time

Build a schedule that works for you!

Fall 2022 is now Open!

SAVE THE DATE!
Fall Orientation on Zoom

Monday, Sept. 12 6:30 pm

 

The legal profession is hiring! 

Contact Halye Sugarman for an advising appointment todayThe legal profession is hiring!

Welcome! We are delighted that you are thinking about becoming a paralegal and are
considering MCC to help you reach your goal. Our Advising Guide has details about all three of our program options, and about the profession in general.

Thinking about becoming a paralegal? Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted
by law. Paralegals, sometimes called Legal Assistants, work in law firms, government
agencies, business corporations, and nonprofits – anywhere that a lawyer may need
assistance. A paralegal’s duties vary widely; you may find yourself in a library researching
legal precedent, in an office meeting with the president of a corporation, or at the
courthouse recording legal documents. You may be helping to prepare for a criminal
trial or calling clients to set up their real estate closing.

MCC's Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association. We are also a member of the Massachusetts Paralegal Association, the Paralegal Association of New Hampshire, and the American Association for Paralegal Education.

For more information please contact the program coordinator, Halye Sugarman.

Mission Statement:

The Paralegal Studies Program provides certificate and A.S. Degree opportunities for
students entering the job market or transferring to a four year college for the baccalaureate
program. The Program prepares students to assist either public or private sector attorneys
in the economical and efficient delivery of legal services. Courses provide the legal
knowledge, practical skills, and ethical values necessary to create a well-qualified
professional.

Programs
The paralegal program is offered for paralegal education and consists of these three
distinct paths:

Paralegal Studies – Certificate

The post-graduate Paralegal Certificate is perfect for someone with a prior degree who is either looking for a career change,
or who wants to compliment their existing knowledge. It consists of 27 credits (9
courses) and is focused only on legal courses. Although it is not required for certificate
students, you are encouraged to take either the paralegal internship or the law office
management simulation course as one of your courses in order to increase your chances
of finding employment in the field. It is possible to take up to 5 of the 9 courses
entirely online, though not all courses are offered in every semester.

You must already have either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in any subject area
in order to enter the paralegal certificate program. Students who have started or
completed an advanced degree of any kind are also welcome. We have had students from
the fields such as music, business, education, and the health professions join us,
as well as prospective law students.

Paralegal Studies – Career, Associate in Science

The Associate in Science, Liberal Studies – Paralegal Career track is appropriate for a student who does not have a prior degree and who wants
to move into a paralegal career right after graduating from MCC. It is a two year
program of 60 credits (20 courses) that includes both paralegal and liberal arts courses.
There is an internship requirement for this program option that requires students
to work in a paralegal placement during daytime hours in the fall or spring as well
as attend a weekly seminar. For those students who are not available during daytime
hours to take an internship we also offer an alternative law office management simulation
course online.

Paralegal Studies – Transfer, Associate in Science

The Associate in Science, Liberal Studies – Paralegal Transfer track is appropriate for a student who plans to transfer and continue his or her
education after graduating from MCC, rather than entering the paralegal workforce.
The program also meets the new Mass Transfer requirements which facilitates transferring
to a state school. You can transfer to any 4-year college from either of our A.S.
degree options, but the Mass Transfer program has tuition benefits attached. See www.mass.edu/masstransfer
for more information on this option. It is a two year program of 60 credits (20 courses)
that includes both paralegal and liberal arts courses.

Courses
All paralegal program options include courses listed as both PAR (Paralegal) and LGL
(Legal Studies) in the college catalog. The distinction is important. PAR courses
are more appropriate for paralegal students, while LGL courses are appropriate for
students regardless of their program.

Synchronous instruction requirement: All students in Paralegal programs must take at least nine (9) semester credits or
the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction, such as
a face-to-face class meeting or a remote-synchronous class like Zoom. 

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Paralegal Studies Program, you will be able to:

  1. Identify sources of law in the American government system as implemented by the States
    and explain how law is made.
  2. Work effectively as part of a team or individually, as appropriate.
  3. Construct logical legal arguments in support or against specific positions and present
    their arguments in written and oral communications.
  4. Develop, execute and implement an effective research plan to draft legal documents,
    including legal memoranda, court documents and forms.
  5. Identify the legal and ethical principles that guide paralegal conduct and propose
    resolution of those ethical issues.
  6. Prepare, create, and produce legal documents, to demonstrate proficiency in computer
    programs used in the legal profession, including spreadsheets, legal databases, and
    e-mail functions.


PAR (Paralegal) Courses – Practical Paralegal Skills
Courses listed as PAR are paralegal courses that have been specifically developed
for students in the paralegal program in order to "emphasize practical paralegal skills,"
as required by the American Bar Association's Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs. Students who do not plan to be in the paralegal program should contact the program
coordinator before registering for a PAR course. Most PAR courses are not appropriate
for students in other programs.

LGL (Legal Studies) Courses – General Education
Courses listed as LGL are legal studies courses that have been specifically developed
to meet the college's general education requirements. Introduction to Law (LGL 101)
and Business Law (LGL 102) are approved by the College as general education courses,
satisfying the social science requirements. Other LGL courses are appropriate students
from any program, and are a great way for students to explore an interest in the law.
Most LGL courses include a mix of paralegal students and students from other programs.

Scholarships Available

Apply now! Every academic year, three scholarships in amounts up to $2,000 each are
available from the Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship fund for selected Paralegal
students who have completed at least three paralegal courses. The MCC Foundation web site will have details when they become available. Other scholarships may also be available
that you should look into, both inside and outside of the college, such as a scholarship
from the Paralegal Association of New Hampshire.

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