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Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

The exiting world of paralegal studies awaits you

As defined by the American Bar Associate, a paralegal or legal assistant is one who is qualified, either by education, training or work experience, and who is employed by a lawyer, law office, corporation, government agency, or other entity, and who is responsible for performing specific legal tasks, delegated to them, under the supervision of a responsible lawyer.

Paralegals work for lawyers assisting them in providing legal services. Lawyers will supervise paralegals as they provide legal services. They have more duties compared to legal secretaries and can do practically any kind of legal task except provide legal advice or represent clients in court. Paralegals may schedule probate reserves of a tenure and complete inheritance tax forms, or appropriate depositions, or accompany legislative arraignments and department gatherings. Increasingly, they are involved in developing computer systems that meet the needs of the legal profession. Paralegal professionals must possess a general and technical knowledge with problem solving, people, organizational, planning, and management skills. They must be aware of the role of law in society and of trends in legal proactive, as well as an informed concern for the actual quality of legal services.

SIU-Carbondale's paralegal studies program is Illinois' only ABA-approved four year program. Practicing lawyers instruct all of the group.

Internships are offered and recommended to prepare graduates for professional success.
  • The paralegal program at SIU offers employment marketable skills such as, but not limited to, computer based legal research, drafting of legal documents, and basic legal concepts.
  • Students will gain a working knowledge into the intricacies of legal research, writing, and legal theory, making SIU's Paralegal Studies Program an excellent preparation for law schools.
  • A large number of paralegal students go on to law school, including SIU's School of law. (A 1997 graduate of the Paralegal Studies program, Angie Scott, was the #2 ranked graduate of SIUC Law School's class of 2000).
  • Those holding an ABA approved Paralegal degree are not just limited to becoming a paralegal. Positions held by out alumnus include Trust Officer, Legal Arbitrator, and Grants Administrator for Illinois.

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