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One of Only 277 ABA Approved Paralegal Programs in the U.S.

Associate of Arts Degree in Paralegal Studies

With our two-year associate of arts degree program, you will be prepared to jump right in to the field under the supervision of an attorney in drafting and editing legal documents, researching legal precedent, preparing for trial and coordinating law office activity.

Required Courses in Your Major

Introduction to Paralegal Studies

This survey course discusses the legal environment, law office procedures, legal ethics and confidentiality, avoiding unauthorized practice of law, professional responsibilities of the paralegal, interpreting statutes, employment opportunities, salary surveys, regulations and other sources of law.

The Legal Environment

This survey course considers the different substantive areas of the law: the history of the American legal system; a general overview of the type of law applicable to the legal assistant; an introduction to basic legal principles including the judicial system and more.

Legal Research and Writing

This course emphasizes the basics of legal research methods and good written communication, with an emphasis on precise writing. The course uses a case-study approach for developing organizational, legal style and analytical skills.

Legal Research and Writing II

A continuation of Legal Research and Writing (LAW 200).

Law Office Administration and Technology

This course includes a study of administrative systems, file management, docket control, retrieval, time keeping, billing, accounting dictation, word processing, types of legal fees and their handling and the role of the attorney, paralegal, legal administrator and legal secretary in a law office.

Litigation I

This course is an introduction to the civil litigation process, with emphasis on the practice associated with a civil action. Topics covered include: civil procedure, preparation and use of pleadings, discovery, evidence, client interviewing and investigative techniques.

Litigation II

This course is a continuation of Litigation I (LAW 230) with an emphasis on the functions of a paralegal in trial preparation and pretrial and trial procedures including the gathering and organizing of materials, investigating, interviewing, appellate procedures, preparation of the trial notebook, and assisting during and after a trial.

Paralegal Internship

Law 470 is a 3 credit class and consists of the following: mock interview, orientation, work experience and online discussion board and assignments.

Plus any two of the following:

  • Torts

  • Advanced Business Law

  • Estates, Trust, Tax Law and Probate

  • Real Estate Law Contract

  • Contracts

  • Family Law

 

And any two of the following:

  • Bankruptcy Law

  • Federal Practice and Constitutional Law

  • Medical Terminology and Malpractice

  • Special Topics in the Law

Requirements for Graduation from College of Saint Mary

The associate degree in paralegal studies requires 64 credit hours with:

  • 26 hours of general education courses
  • 29 hours in the major
  • 15 hours in supporting courses

 

Full Plan of Study

The Assurance of Accreditation

The assurance of regional accreditation means that our degrees have been evaluated for their outcomes — including how well they prepare you to meet the needs of your employers, yourself and our global society.  College of Saint Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

College of Saint Mary’s paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals, 312-988-5618.

Requirements for Admission to College of Saint Mary

  • High school transcript with GPA and class rank. Unofficial transcripts may be reviewed for admissions purposes, but official transcripts are required before you start classes.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0
  • ACT of 18 or higher or SAT score of 860 – 890 (verbal + math) or higher
  • Transcripts from any post high school institutions for transfer students. Students who have earned 12 or more credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 from other institutions qualify as transfer students.
  • $30 application fee

Academic Description

One of Only 277 ABA Approved Paralegal Programs in the U.S.

Associate of Arts Degree in Paralegal Studies

With our two-year associate of arts degree program, you will be prepared to jump right in to the field under the supervision of an attorney in drafting and editing legal documents, researching legal precedent, preparing for trial and coordinating law office activity.

Accreditation

The Assurance of Accreditation

The assurance of regional accreditation means that our degrees have been evaluated for their outcomes — including how well they prepare you to meet the needs of your employers, yourself and our global society.  College of Saint Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

College of Saint Mary’s paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals, 312-988-5618.

Admissions Requirements

Requirements for Admission to College of Saint Mary

  • High school transcript with GPA and class rank. Unofficial transcripts may be reviewed for admissions purposes, but official transcripts are required before you start classes.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0
  • ACT of 18 or higher or SAT score of 860 – 890 (verbal + math) or higher
  • Transcripts from any post high school institutions for transfer students. Students who have earned 12 or more credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 from other institutions qualify as transfer students.
  • $30 application fee

Curriculum

Required Courses in Your Major

Introduction to Paralegal Studies

This survey course discusses the legal environment, law office procedures, legal ethics and confidentiality, avoiding unauthorized practice of law, professional responsibilities of the paralegal, interpreting statutes, employment opportunities, salary surveys, regulations and other sources of law.

The Legal Environment

This survey course considers the different substantive areas of the law: the history of the American legal system; a general overview of the type of law applicable to the legal assistant; an introduction to basic legal principles including the judicial system and more.

Legal Research and Writing

This course emphasizes the basics of legal research methods and good written communication, with an emphasis on precise writing. The course uses a case-study approach for developing organizational, legal style and analytical skills.

Legal Research and Writing II

A continuation of Legal Research and Writing (LAW 200).

Law Office Administration and Technology

This course includes a study of administrative systems, file management, docket control, retrieval, time keeping, billing, accounting dictation, word processing, types of legal fees and their handling and the role of the attorney, paralegal, legal administrator and legal secretary in a law office.

Litigation I

This course is an introduction to the civil litigation process, with emphasis on the practice associated with a civil action. Topics covered include: civil procedure, preparation and use of pleadings, discovery, evidence, client interviewing and investigative techniques.

Litigation II

This course is a continuation of Litigation I (LAW 230) with an emphasis on the functions of a paralegal in trial preparation and pretrial and trial procedures including the gathering and organizing of materials, investigating, interviewing, appellate procedures, preparation of the trial notebook, and assisting during and after a trial.

Paralegal Internship

Law 470 is a 3 credit class and consists of the following: mock interview, orientation, work experience and online discussion board and assignments.

Plus any two of the following:

  • Torts

  • Advanced Business Law

  • Estates, Trust, Tax Law and Probate

  • Real Estate Law Contract

  • Contracts

  • Family Law

 

And any two of the following:

  • Bankruptcy Law

  • Federal Practice and Constitutional Law

  • Medical Terminology and Malpractice

  • Special Topics in the Law

Degree Requirements

Requirements for Graduation from College of Saint Mary

The associate degree in paralegal studies requires 64 credit hours with:

  • 26 hours of general education courses
  • 29 hours in the major
  • 15 hours in supporting courses

 

Full Plan of Study