Paralegal, Associate in Applied Science

Overview

Narrative

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that this profession will continue to grow as fast as the average for all occupations. While paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law, the Labor Department's occupational outlook notes that employers are expected to hire more paralegals as they try to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of legal services. Northampton's student-centered learning approach to paralegal education will prepare you to enter this dynamic, high-demand profession.

Northampton's program has been approved by the American Bar Association. Paralegals may not practice law or provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. This prestigious approval places our program in a select group of programs nationwide that are designed and operated to meet the highest standards of paralegal education. For additional information on ABA approval, contact the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals, 321 N. Clark Street, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654 or at www.abaparalegals.org.

Features

The program offers numerous legal specialty courses and a required internship at a local legal office. You will learn how a paralegal working under the general supervision of an attorney contributes to the delivery of legal services. You will also learn how to master state-of-the-art computer software and hardware, and become a productive and efficient professional within the ever-changing legal profession. Most of the legal specialty courses are taught by attorneys and include pleadings, forms, and software used in local, state, or federal practice.

Graduates will be ready to accept positions such as paralegals, trust coordinators, title searchers, settlement clerks, or litigation specialists. If your quest for knowledge is not complete after two years of study, it is possible to transfer to four-year institutions to complete your baccalaureate degree.

Please note that classes that are offered only during the fall include: Contract Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Family Law, and Real Estate Law. Classes offered only during the spring include: Business Organizational Law, Estates and Trusts, Law Office Procedures, and Tort Law.

Contact the Admissions Office at 610.861.5500 for further information.

Career Potential: Paralegal, Legal Assistant, Trust Coordinator, Title Searcher, Settlement Clerk, Litigation Specialist

Outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  • Understand the substantive legal terminology and issues, ethical values, and general office skills needed to function effectively in a legal office environment.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior and necessary competencies under the supervision of an attorney in the completion of legal work on behalf of a client.
  • Exhibit interpersonal communication skills necessary to work effectively with people in the legal profession.
  • Understand the need for and participate in continuing education and professional development opportunities in order to enhance one's value to a legal office.

Courses

First Semester

COLS101College Success

1 credits

CMTH102Introduction to Communication

3 credits

ENGL101English I

3 credits

OFAD101Keyboarding & Formatting Essentials I

3 credits

PARL101Introduction to Paralegal Studies

3 credits

PARL153Real Estate Law

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:16

Second Semester

ENGL151LEnglish II

3 credits

OFAD163Law Office Procedures

3 credits

PARL187Litigation Practice & Procedure

3 credits

PARL205Legal Research

3 credits

PARLParalegal Elective +

3 credits

General Education Elective

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:18

Third Semester

ACCT101Financial Accounting I

3 credits

OFAD144Introduction to Outlook

1 credits

OFAD142Introduction to Excel

1 credits

OFAD130Introduction to WordPerfect

1 credits

PARL210GLegal Writing

3 credits

PARLParalegal Elective +

3 credits

Mathematics (QL) or Science (SCI) Elective

3/4 credits

Total Credit Hours:15-16

Fourth Semester

PARL250Internship

3 credits

PARLParalegal Elective +

3 credits

General Education Elective (SIT or SSHB)

3 credits

General Education Elective (SIT or SSHB)

3 credits

Elective

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:15

Total Credit Hours: 64-65

+ Paralegal Elective options: PARL151, PARL156, PARL161, PARL162, PARL163, PARL166.

  • For the General Education Elective and the Social Science Electives, students must select courses so that at least two of the following categories are represented: Arts & Humanities (AH); Social Science: Societies and Institutions over Time (SIT); Social Science: Scientific Study of Human Behavior (SSHB).
  • One course should be designated as Diversity and Global Awareness (D).
  • Completion of PARL210G satisfies the Writing Intensive (WI) requirement.
  • Computer competencies are included in various courses in this program. Thus, completing the program automatically satisfies the computing requirement for this program.