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Jefferson Community College

Enrol at Jefferson Community College Paralegal Program

Paralegals assist qualified attorneys by carrying out work that the attorney would otherwise have to attend to personally. The paralegal therefore frees up the attorney's time to be used on these matters that require the qualifications of a licensed lawyer. They find employment in law firms, government offices and financial institutions, although many start up their own paralegal businesses. Students seeking admission to law school find that employment as a paralegal is regarded as an excellent background, and their remuneration as a legal assistant can be used to fund their law school costs. Not only that, but they can make useful contacts with a number of law firms. Although paralegals are not permitted to practice law, it is one of the fastest growing areas of employment in the USA, and a steadily increasing component of the legal system. Their tasks commonly include:

  • Preparing for legal cases and taking depositions
  • Processing legal records and forms
  • Preparing legal documents for review by an attorney
  • Carrying out legal research using traditional and electronic techniques
  • Interviewing clients, and among other administration functions, managing the law office's financial and marketing areas
Program goals and opportunities

The degree is an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.), and the program has been designed to enable graduates to take employment as paralegals in a law office or other legal environment. It is also designed as grounding for further study with the view to future entry into law school. Graduates are taught a wide range of legal topics, such as property and family law, business law and civil law, with a strong leaning to general business management and legal research skills. The faculty is composed of practicing attorneys, which offers the advantage of students being well placed to seek paralegal employment in a large number of possible legal sectors.

Furthermore, students with the ambition to carry on to law school will be introduced to the case method approach, where case study is taken as a teaching paradigm and is the method of teaching that is preferred by many law schools. The majority of topics or aspects of law within a course are much the same as those used in law school.

Included in the Paralegal program is internship experience that provides qualified students with practical experience of a law office, and although this is optional it is recommended, and provides students with valuable contacts for their future careers.

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