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Paralegal

Degree: Associate in Applied Science, AAS

Overview

Paralegals are found in all types of organizations, but most are employed by law firms, corporate legal departments, and various government offices. In these organizations, they can work in many different areas of the law, including litigation, personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, labor law, bankruptcy, immigration, family law, and real estate.

In the Real World

Paralegals assist lawyers in their professional responsibilities. For example, they help lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegals interview clients, investigate the facts of cases, and identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, and other materials that are relevant to assigned cases. They draft written reports that help prepare the legal arguments, draft pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits, and assist attorneys during trials. A paralegal operates under the direct supervision of the attorney; paralegals must be mindful of prohibitions against lay persons practicing law.

Career Placement

At FDTC, we believe that education deserves results - that’s why we want to watch our students succeed in the real world. Florence-Darlington Technical College works diligently to match students with relevant jobs in our community so that they can put their hard-earned education to work. We partner with successful alumni and local businesses to ensure our students get the best possible career upon graduation. Our Career Services Office offers a variety of services to help students succeed including: resume coaching, on-campus recruiting & career fairs, online job postings, professional development workshops, personality evaluations, internship placement assistance, and other online career building resources. We encourage all students to schedule a meeting with a Career Services Coach at (843) 661-8075 to explore their post-graduation opportunities. Find out about what Career Services can do for you. What does your future look like?

Learning Goals/Objectives

Graduates will:
• Demonstrate an understanding of what a paralegal is, what a paralegal does, where paralegals work, what is expected of a professional paralegal, and the fields where paralegals are utilized.
• Locate and analyze relevant primary and secondary legal sources in electronic and print media- computer assisted legal research (Westlaw or Lexis), and legal writing.
• Utilize the critical thinking abilities necessary to operate in the legal profession.
• Use oral and written skills to communicate with participants throughout the legal process-differences between legal writing and other forms of writing
• Demonstrate an understanding of the significant similarities and differences among areas of civil, criminal, and administrative law.
• Demonstrate an ability to work in a legal environment.
• Be familiar with the common software programs used in law offices, criminal justice agencies. 

ACCREDITATIONS, APPROVALS, AND CERTIFICATIONS

This program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) (http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/paralegals).

American Bar Association – Standing Committee on Legal Assistants 321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 988-5618

Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) Statement: Paralegals must work under the supervision of a licensed attorney and are not authorized to practice law in South Carolina (S.C. Code § 40-5-310). 

Transfer credits may be accepted from Legal Assistant/Paralegal programs that are ABA (American Bar Association) approved.  No more than 50% of the transferring student’s legal specialty courses may be transferred from another institution.  The courses must be substantially similar in substance to that of the course description contained within the College’s catalog.  However, no legal specialty courses will be transferable into FDTC, regardless of American Bar Association approval status, if the courses were completed by the student more than 5 years from the date of transfer.

 

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