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CUNY Bronx Community College

Become a paralegal specialist at CUNY Bronx Community College

The curriculum for Paralegal Studies was formulated to the guidelines of the Standing Committee on Paralegals of the American Bar Association. The program offers students the skills and practical experience, and also the background to fundamental legal principles, required to allow them to take up professional employment as a paralegal.

A paralegal, or legal assistants as they are alternatively known as, cannot represent clients in court, provide legal advice or set fees, but can carry out work that would otherwise be carried out by an attorney. Paralegals work in law offices, legal centers, the legal departments of accounting offices, insurance companies, banks and hospitals, in government agencies at all levels of government, brokerage houses, welfare centers, schools, and legal aid offices. Paralegals are also employed in New York State, New York civil and Federal services. The Paralegal course provides students with a broad education allowing them to seek employment in a wide range of paralegal situations.

Career options

An education in paralegal subjects is also a good background, not only for non-legal employment but also as a stepping stone to the licensed legal profession itself. Credits earned can be applied to a law bachelor's degree, that could ultimately lead to the student becoming a qualified lawyer. There is also a liberal arts content in the program that enables students to continue their education after receiving the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.

The program includes elements of law and business courses, including legal research techniques, writing and other work that would normally be assigned by an attorney to a paralegal. The 201 hour internship that is involved in the curriculum requires students to work in a real law setting, and provides experience in the legal profession, and an awareness of the professional and ethical responsibilities.

There is also a Lay advocate Option, in which students are prepared for service to institutions and individuals that are related to family law, the criminal system, the elderly, physically and mentally handicapped and the poor.

The Paralegal certificate has been designed as suitable for advanced students already with a minimum of 60 college credits, or a 2-year degree. There is also an optional noncredit or credit internship available.

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