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CUNY LaGuardia Community College

Find a job as a paralegal professional

The Paralegal Studies program is administered by the Accounting and Managerial Studies Dept., and on successful completion of the curriculum students will be awarded the A.A.S Degree. The American Bar Association has approved the program, which has the following objectives:

  • To provide students with the practical skills and substantive knowledge to enable them to seek employment in entry-level vacancies as paralegals
  • To prepare undergraduates for transfer to a 4-year college for further legal studies
  • To provide students with a foundation that will enable them to secure a lifelong career and develop personal growth

Paralegals are also known as legal assistants, and their function is primarily to provide assistance to attorneys with tasks that do not have the legal requirement for a qualified layer, allowing the latter to provide a more cost effective service to a larger number of clients. Although the lawyer will remain responsible for the work carried out by the paralegal, legal assistants can carry out research interview clients and witnesses, assist attorneys during trials and prepare documents for the court, but may not charge fees for legal services, represent clients in court or provide legal advice.

Paralegals opportunities

With respect to corporate clients, paralegals can maintain records, prepare contracts and ensure that the corporate client is complying with the necessary legal statutes and regulations. With real estate, a legal assistant can prepare mortgage agreements, assist during closings and deal with other documents necessary during real estate transfer and purchases. The majority of paralegal are employed by law firms, although there are many more employment opportunities in government agencies and the legal departments of institutions such as banks, real estate and insurance companies. District Attorney offices also employ legal assistance, as do many more employers with the need for a legal department.

The curriculum is not just suitable for potential paralegals, however, but also for students with ambitions in law enforcement or simply desiring to improve their knowledge of the law. The course includes an element of the arts in order to provide a general education, but with an emphasis on the law. Internships are provided to provide practical experience, and the courses are taught by working attorneys.

Students with credits from other accredited universities or colleges can transfer up to thirty of these, which can include up to 9 for paralegal specialty programs. It is necessary for transferred credits to have been gained from courses that have been part of a degree program, and they must be courses comparable to those provided in the La Guardia program.

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