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Paralegal Studies

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Paralegal Studies Program is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in law offices. The curriculum is designed to provide students with practical legal skills enabling them to draft legal documents with minimum supervision, and to familiarize them with fundamental concepts of substantive areas such as torts and business law. In addition, emphasis is placed on the development of effective written and oral communication skills, team work, critical thinking skills, computer proficiency, and legal research techniques. Legal theory and related practical applications are integrated throughout the program, as are how to manage practical ethical dilemmas commonly encountered as working paralegals, and how to avoid the unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers. A paralegal is qualified by education, training, or work experience to work for a law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity, performing specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals are also referred to as Legal Assistants in some legal settings. Except as specifically authorized by the Supreme Court of Arizona, persons not admitted to the State Bar of Arizona are prohibited from practicing law. A Certificate of Completion (CCL) is also available.

The Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), Standing Committee on Paralegals, (321 N. Clark Street, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654-7598).

Details

Field of Interest
Behavioral Science and Human Services
Degree Type
Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
Academic Plan
Paralegal Studies (DEG)
Academic Plan Code
3384
Total credits required
63-74
Catalog Year
2024-2025
Effective Term
Fall 2023
Admissions criteria

Formal application and admission to the program is required.
In addition, students wishing to enroll in the Paralegal Studies Program must complete a Verification of Eligibility form to be officially accepted in the program. Contact a Paralegal Studies advisor.

High school diploma or GED equivalency.

Completion of First-Year Composition

Eligibility for enrollment in:
+ CRE101 College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking (3) OR
Equivalent as indicated by assessment.

Notes

Students who already possess an Associate's degree, or higher, from an accredited institution, must pursue the Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Paralegal Studies. Students who do not yet have a college degree, cannot pursue the Certificate option, and instead, must pursue the Associate's degree option. The Certificate of Completion (CCL) will not be awarded until an official college transcript verifying attainment of an Associate's degree or higher from an accredited institution is on file with the mini传媒入口 Admissions Office.

Students who have not yet earned their first college degree are not eligible for the Certificate option, and must pursue the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies. The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) will not be awarded until a record of the high school diploma or GED is on file with the mini传媒入口 Admissions Office.

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses within the program.

Equivalent paralegal courses, as determined by the Paralegal Studies Program Director, taken at other institutions, will be considered for transfer credit if taken at a regionally accredited institution, within a Paralegal Program that was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) at the time the courses were completed, and that were completed with a grade of B or better within six (6) years of the date of admission or readmission to the Paralegal Studies Program; a maximum of six (6) semester hours of qualifying coursework can be transferred and applied to LAS101 and/or a paralegal (LAS) Restricted Elective course at mini传媒入口.
Students must complete a minimum of 18 credits in legal specialty courses as defined by the ABA. Paralegal Studies Courses required by this program are not applicable if taken more than six (6) years prior to admission or readmission to the Paralegal Studies Program. Students must take at least nine semester credits of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction (i.e., either in-person or "Live Online"). Consult with the Paralegal Studies Program Advisor for complete information.

Students interested in transferring to an Arizona public university can satisfy the relevant Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC-A) and transfer requirements by completing the following:
1. An additional course with the Humanities, Arts and Design [HU] general studies designation 3
2. An additional course with the Natural Sciences ([SQ] or [SG]) designation as needed 4
3. Additional courses that meet the [C] and [G] or [H] designations (may be shared with other core requirements)
4. If exempt from CRE101, an additional course in Literacy and Critical Inquiry [L] (may be shared with other core requirements)

What You'll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  1. Acquire and apply relevant knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to seek career opportunities in the field.
  2. Analyze ethical challenges confronting paralegals and orally present a recommended course of action.
  3. Draft a civil complaint, an answer, and a motion for summary judgment pursuant to the controlling Rules of Civil Procedure for filing with the court having jurisdiction over the matter.
  4. As part of a team, draft discovery documents pursuant to the controlling Rules of Civil Procedure for service on the opposing party; organize discovery items for use at trial.
  5. Draft memorandums of law and legal correspondence that are consistent with the adopted English style manual and usage guide.
  6. Review and draft contracts suitable for client review that incorporate the legally-required clauses necessary to execute the contract.
  7. Conduct legal research and summarize results in memoranda and legal correspondence that is free of error; cite authority pursuant to the adopted legal citation manual.
  8. Analyze causes of actions, defenses, and potential damages in tort cases under Arizona law and present the findings in writing free of error following the adopted analytical format.
  9. Evaluate the utility, form, and function of legally-recognized forms of business organizations and draft documents suitable for filing with the appropriate government entity to create the business organization.
  10. Use industry-standard technology to perform pre-trial and in-trial litigation support tasks within the time frame and at an accuracy level commonly encountered in a law office.

Successful completion of this degree may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Arizona-based annual median wages* for this program. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information.

* Wage information sourced from the . Updated May 2022.

Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by term. Please keep in mind:

  • Students should meet with an academic advisor to develop an individual education plan that meets their academic and career goals. Use the Pathway Planner tool in your to manage your plan.
  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Initial course placement is determined by current district placement measures and/or completion of 100-200 level course and/or program requirements.
  • Degree and transfer seeking students may be required to successfully complete a MCCCD First Year Experience Course (FYE) within the first two semesters at a MCCCD College. Courses include FYE101 and FYE103. Course offerings will vary by college. See an academic, program, or faculty advisor for details.
  • Consult with your faculty mentor or academic advisor to determine educational requirements, including possible university transfer options, for your chosen career field.

Full-time Sequence

Full-time status is 12 credits to 18 credits per semester.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or
or Or Permission of Program Director CS or CS 0鈥3
or
or Critical course FYC or FYC 3
3
or
or
or
or
or
or
or or or or or or SB or SB or H, SB or SB or G, SB or SB or SB 3
or
or
or
or
or or or or HU or H, HU, SB or H, HU, SB or HU or HU, L 3
or
or 1鈥3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or
or
or
or
or or or or OR higher level Mathematics course MA or MA or MA or None or MA 3鈥6
OR Equivalent as indicated by assessment. L 0鈥3
3
Critical course Gateway course 3
Critical course 3
3

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or
or
or or SB or L or SB 3
or
or FYC or FYC 3
Critical course 3
3

Term 4

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 4
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or
or
or
( and
)
or
( and
)
or or or ( and ) or ( and ) SQ or SQ or SQ or SQ in combo w/ CHM107LL and SQ in combo w/ CHM107 or SG in combo w/ FON241LL and SG in combo w/ FON241 4
3
3
3

Term 5

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 5
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
Restricted Elective LAS+++ Any LAS Paralegal Studies course(s) not used in the Required Courses area 3
3
3
1

Part-time Sequence

Part-time status is 11 credit hours or less.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or
or Or Permission of Program Director CS or CS 0鈥3
or
or Critical course FYC or FYC 3
or
or 1鈥3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
3
or
or
or
or
or or or or OR higher level Mathematics course MA or MA or MA or None or MA 3鈥6
3

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
OR Equivalent as indicated by assessment. L 0鈥3
Critical course Gateway course 3
or
or FYC or FYC 3

Term 4

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 4
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
Critical course 3
Critical course 3
3

Term 5

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 5
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or
or
or
or
or
or
or or or or or or SB or SB or H, SB or SB or G, SB or SB or SB 3
or
or
or
or
or or or or HU or H, HU, SB or H, HU, SB or HU or HU, L 3
3

Term 6

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 6
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or
or
or or SB or L or SB 3
3
3

Term 7

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 7
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or
or
or
( and
)
or
( and
)
or or or ( and ) or ( and ) SQ or SQ or SQ or SQ in combo w/ CHM107LL and SQ in combo w/ CHM107 or SG in combo w/ FON241LL and SG in combo w/ FON241 4
3

Term 8

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 8
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
Restricted Elective LAS+++ Any LAS Paralegal Studies course(s) not used in the Required Courses area
3
3

Term 9

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 9
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
1
Course Area Key

Gateway Course = Generally the first major-specific course in a pathway.

Critical Course = A course that is highly predictive of future success in a pathway.

Disclaimer

Students must earn a grade of C or better for all courses required within the program.

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

View MCCCD鈥檚 for additional details regarding the requirements of this award .

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.