Paralegal Studies

Degree offered

Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal Studies

Credits required 27

Dean

Kathleen Pearle, kathleen.pearle@bristolcc.edu

Program contact

Elizabeth Nowakowski, J.D., Program Coordinator of Paralegal Studies and Associate Professor of Paralegal Studies, Elizabeth.Nowakowski@bristolcc.edu

Program Code: PL

 

To gain admission intoBristol Community College Paralegal & Legal Certificate program, prospective students must have one of the following:

  • Associate in Arts or Science Degree from an accredited college or university or
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science Degree from an accredited college or university or
  • Successfully completed 60 semester credits at an accredited college or university, which include 18 semester credits from an approved general education courses

Program Goals Statement

The Paralegal Studies certificate provides a career concentration in one of the fastest growing professions in America. Students have an opportunity to explore the field of law and gain marketable skills to perform a wide range of supportive legal functions. Please note that a Certificate or Degree in Paralegal Studies does not enable a person to practice law, represent clients in court or give legal advice; only licensed attorneys can perform these functions.

Upon completion of the program our graduates will be able to:

1. Understand the legal process and fundamental concepts of substantive areas of law

2. Identify and manage resolution of practical ethical dilemmas commonly encountered by working paralegals. 

3. Manage modern law offices through the use of technology and robust time management skills

4. Develop the skills to perform effective research and to prepare draft legal documents, including various memoranda and court-related correspondence, pleadings and forms

Program Information

  • Students gain work experience by selecting PLS 243 Paralegal Internship, which places students in legal positions related to their academic program and career goal.
  • Courses are offered during day and evening.
  • At least nine (9) credit hours of legal specialty courses must be taken through in person or other synchronous instructions.
  • Some courses are offered online. 
  • PLS courses are primarily taught by licensed attorneys with J.D.s from ABA - accredited Law Schools.
  • All credits may be applied towards an associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies.

Related Programs

  • Paralegal & Legal Studies degree

After Bristol

  • Employment in a variety of legal settings including law firms, corporate law departments, financial institutions, government agencies, or courts.
  • Some graduates continue their education in advanced paralegal studies or pursue law degrees.

Paralegal & Legal Studies Transfer Policy

Transferring In

This policy is intended to govern the transfer of legal specialty courses taken at other colleges to earn credit for legal specialty courses required to earn an Associate Degree or Paralegal Certificate from Bristol Community College

Bristol Academic, Career and Transfer Office

  • The Admissions Office at Bristol must receive an official transcript from the college where the credits have been earned.
  • The Admissions Office at Bristol then determines whether the college is an accredited institution and whether the student earned a C or better in the legal specialty course. If so, the Admissions Office forwards a copy of the transcript to the Paralegal Program Coordinator for further review.

Paralegal Program Office

  • The Paralegal Program Coordinator requests that the student provide the Program with a copy of the course description from the college catalog as well as the syllabus for any legal specialty course desiring transfer credit.
  • Upon receipt of the requested material, the Paralegal Coordinator reviews the course description and the syllabus to ensure that the course is similar to that offered at Bristol and meets the American Bar Associations requirements for a legal specialty course.
  • To be considered a legal specialty course by the ABA, the course must:

1. Cover a specific area of law, procedure, or the legal process

2. Be developed for legal assistants

   3. Emphasize legal assistant skills, forms, documents, procedures, and legal principles and theories

4. Be pertinent to the legal assistant’s performance on the job

Restrictions

  • Advanced Legal Research & Writing (PLS 232) must be taken at Bristol Community College.
  • Transfer credit will not be accepted for the Paralegal Internship course (PLS 243). 
  • Transfer credit will not be given for more than two legal specialty courses to satisfy the paralegal major requirements.
  • No credit will be given for legal specialty courses taken more than six years prior to the student's completion of the program requirements.
  • Credits will only be given for paralegal internships taken through Bristol Community College.

Legal specialty courses will be reviewed by the Coordinator of the Paralegal & Legal Studies Program who will compare the content of the course to make sure that it meets ABA standards. Transfer credit will be given for no more than two legal specialty courses (6 credits) to satisfy requirements for and Associate Degree or a Certificate.

 

 

 

 

Program Requirements

Program Courses

ENG 101Composition I: College Writing

3 credits

PLS 105Law Office Management

3 credits

PLS 100Introduction to Legal Studies and Ethics

3 credits

PLS 101Civil Litigation and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 120Basic Legal Research

3 credits

PLS 121Family Law and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 230Criminal Law and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 241Wills, Estates, and Trusts

3 credits

PLS 243Paralegal Internship

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:27

Recommended Course Sequence - Semester 1

ENG 101Composition I: College Writing

3 credits

PLS 105Law Office Management

3 credits

PLS 100Introduction to Legal Studies and Ethics

3 credits

PLS 101Civil Litigation and Procedure

3 credits

Recommended Course Sequence - Semester 2

PLS 120Basic Legal Research

3 credits

PLS 121Family Law and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 230Criminal Law and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 241Wills, Estates, and Trusts

3 credits

PLS 243Paralegal Internship

3 credits

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

In accordance with Federal regulations published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010, Bristol Community College discloses information about student costs, tuitions, fees and employment statistics to various governing bodies to ensure certification and oversight.

See: Gainful Employment Information

Link to the main site.