This Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is a two-year program that prepares students for the workforce. However, there are some senior institutions where all or part of this degree is accepted as the first two years of a four-year program. Students interested in pursuing a four-year degree should consult an advisor.
The Paralegal Technology curriculum prepares individuals to work under the supervision of attorneys by performing routine legal tasks and assisting with substantive legal work. A paralegal/legal assistant may not practice law, give legal advice, or represent clients in a court of law.
Course work includes substantive and procedural legal knowledge in the areas of civil litigation, legal research and writing, real estate, family law, wills, estates, trusts, and commercial law. Required courses also include subjects such as English, mathematics, and computer utilization.
Graduates are trained to assist attorneys in probate work, investigations, public records search, drafting and filing legal documents, research, and office management. Employment opportunities are available in private law firms, governmental agencies, banks, insurance agencies, and other business organizations.
This program is recognized as a North Carolina Qualified Paralegal Studies Program by the NC State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification. This designation qualifies graduates of the Paralegal degree program to sit for the North Carolina Certified Paralegal (NCCP) exam, provided they have completed at least ten semester hours of legal education, or the equivalent, with classroom instruction (live, real-time, simultaneous broadcast via satellite or webinar). Students should be aware of this requirement when scheduling classes.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Define basic civil, civil injuries, criminal, domestic, and business law concepts, as well as an understanding of the role of the paralegal in our legal system.
- Perform basic research of defined legal questions by traditional and electronic means and properly cite legal authorities.
- Describe legal ethics and use of the NC rules of Professional Conduct.
- Describe the court system and the litigation process and assist an attorney in the preparation and filing of legal documents.