Paralegal and Legal Studies

Degree offered

Associate in Science in Paralegal and Legal Studies

Credits required 61/62

Dean

Kathleen Pearle, Ed. D., kathleen.pearle@bristolcc.edu

Program contact

Elizabeth Nowakowski, J.D., Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Paralegal and Legal Studies,

Elizabeth.Nowakowski@bristolcc.edu

Program Code: PG

Program Goals Statement

The Associate of Science in Paralegal and Legal Studies (Career Concentration) combines a liberal arts foundation with 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

General Program Information

  • PLS students will gain work experience by participating in the Paralegal Internship, PLS 243, which places students in office positions related to their academic program. 
  • Some courses are offered online.
  • Courses are offered during the day and evening. 
  • At least nine (9) credit hours of legal specialty courses must be taken through in person or other synchronous instruction.   
  • PLS courses are taught primarily by licensed attorneys with J.D.s from ABA-accredited law schools.  

After Bristol

  • Employment in a variety of 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 Studies Transfer Policy

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.

 

 

 

Degree Requirements

General Courses

COM 101Fundamentals of Public Speaking

3 credits

CSS 101College Success Seminar

1 credit

ENG 101Composition I: College Writing

3 credits

ENG 102Composition II: Writing about Literature

3 credits

GVT 111U.S. Government

3 credits

HST 114United States History from 1877

3 credits

SOC 212The Sociology of Social Problems

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:19

Choose one of the following

BUS 111Business and Financial Mathematics

3 credits

Or

MTH 119Fundamental Statistics

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:6

Science Elective - choose one

Elective - Science

3-4 credits

Total Credit Hours:0-4

Program Requirements

PLS 105Law Office Management

3 credits

PLS 100Introduction to Legal Studies and Ethics

3 credits

PLS 101Civil Litigation and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 102Torts Law

3 credits

PLS 120Basic Legal Research

3 credits

PLS 121Family Law and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 230Criminal Law and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 232Advanced Legal Research and Writing

3 credits

PLS 240Real Estate Law

3 credits

PLS 241Wills, Estates, and Trusts

3 credits

PLS 243Paralegal Internship

3 credits

Program Electives - choose one

PLS 220Bankruptcy Law

3 credits

PLS 231Interviewing and Investigation

3 credits

PLS 234Legal Ethics

3 credits

PLS 235Immigration Law

3 credits

PLS 242Business Organization for Paralegals

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:15

Recommended Course Sequence - Fall Semester 1

CSS 101College Success Seminar

1 credit

ENG 101Composition I: College Writing

3 credits

BUS 111Business and Financial Mathematics

3 credits

Or

MTH 119Fundamental Statistics

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 - Spring Semester 2

ENG 102Composition II: Writing about Literature

3 credits

GVT 111U.S. Government

3 credits

HST 114United States History from 1877

3 credits

PLS 120Basic Legal Research

3 credits

PLS 121Family Law and Procedure

3 credits

Recommended Course Sequence - Fall Semester 3

SOC 212The Sociology of Social Problems

3 credits

PLS 230Criminal Law and Procedure

3 credits

PLS 232Advanced Legal Research and Writing

3 credits

PLS 102Torts Law

3 credits

PLS Elective

-3

Recommended Course Sequence - Spring Semester 4

Science Elective

3-4 credits

COM 101Fundamentals of Public Speaking

3 credits

PLS 240Real Estate Law

3 credits

PLS 241Wills, Estates, and Trusts

3 credits

PLS 243Paralegal Internship

3 credits

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