This certificate program is designed for students who already have an associate or bachelor's degree. The program educates students to serve as paralegal professionals and work independently in the legal field under the supervision of attorneys. Students receive a general legal education with course work in law office technology, law office administration, and computer assisted legal research. Graduates are prepared for careers in business, industry or in non-profit corporations that interface with the legal system. Typical employers include law firms, insurance companies, local, state and federal government, title companies, banks and corporations. Paralegals organize and manage work flow in law office settings, draft legal documents, research and draft legal memoranda, and prepare attorney billings. They conduct background checks, interview clients and pursue factual investigations for employers. Paralegals may prepare witnesses for depositions and for trial. They organize client files and generally maintain client relationships. Paralegals may serve as employer liaisons to business, the police, other attorneys, government officials and the courts. Paralegals cannot accept a case, set fees, give legal advice or represent a client in court. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. This is an American Bar Association approved program.
Program contact: Learn more
This certificate will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the certificate, please notify the Office of the Registrar at RegistrarOffice@tri-c.edu.
Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.
Program Admission Requirements
- High School Diploma/GED
- Associate, Bachelor, or Master's degree from an accredited institution
- Transcripts verifying degree must be submitted to the Registrar's Office
- Complete the following:
- PL-1001 Introduction to the Paralegal Profession with “B” or higher
- Program application form (distributed during PL-1001)
- Personal narrative
- Fall, Spring and Summer admission
- Paralegal course grades below a "C" will not be accepted and those courses will have to be re-taken
- Required GPA of 2.75 to graduate
Program Learning Outcomes
This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:
- Communicate appropriately and professionally, both verbally (including to prepare, conduct and summarize party, witness, and expert interviews to aid in case development) and in writing (including pleadings, contracts, discovery, briefs, motions, forms, etc.) to diverse audiences while maintaining confidentiality and data security.
- Act in accordance with the rules of professional conduct, attorney and paralegal ethical codes, and organizational policies which includes the adaptability and flexibility to work as an effective member of a legal team in a variety of roles, as well as the ability to organize, prioritize, schedule and track assignments and appointments to meet deadlines.
- Use the latest technology and software utilized by the legal community to ensure accurate billing and timekeeping, file and maintain case information, and prepare accurate legal documents and correspondence.
- Demonstrate research and investigative skills to analyze fact patterns; identify legal issues; locate, apply, and properly cite law with proficiency in both printed and online resources.
- Demonstrate effective legal knowledge and practical skills necessary to perform substantive legal work under the direction of an attorney, while maintaining a client service orientation.
Suggested Semester Sequence
|First Semester||Credit Hours|
|PL-1001||Introduction to the Paralegal Profession||3|
|PL-1401||Legal Research and Writing I||3|
|PL-1502||Law Office Technology||3|
|PL-2301||Torts and Evidence||4|
|PL-2401||Legal Research and Writing II||3|
|PL-xxxx||Any PL elective course||3|
|PL-2851||Paralegal Practicum 1||1|
|PL-xxxx||Any PL elective course||2-3|
|Total Credit Hours||29-30|
May be waived with documentation of comparable or equivalent experience.