The Legal program prepares motivated students for an exciting career in the Law. Graduates are prepared to immediately work as a legal assistant, in the many career areas where the Law plays a role. Students planning to pursue a law degree can get their start as a legal assistant to help prepare for their future studies and practice. Classes are taught by an elite faculty of experienced lawyers or judges. The program includes many classes for day students and evening classes for students who work full-time. Many courses are also available online. Students completing the Legal Assistant (paralegal) AAS Degree will be eligible to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants certification exam.
Legal assistants, also known as paralegals, are an essential group of persons who assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services.
Through formal education, training and experience, legal assistants gain knowledge and expertise in the law and the legal process. This qualifies them to do work of a legal nature under the supervision of an attorney. The terms legal assistant and paralegal are used interchangeably, much like the terms attorney and lawyer.
A legal assistant may perform any duty delegated by an attorney, including but not limited to the following:
Legal assistants have become an integral part of a team striving for better and more efficient delivery of legal services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 22 percent between 2006 and 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition to working in private law firms, legal assistant positions may be found in:
Experienced legal assistants may also establish their own businesses, working for attorneys on a contract basis. Based on a 2008 survey conducted by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), the average national salary of a Legal Assistant with an associate's degree is between $46,696 and $49,402, but the amount varies based on geographic region and years of experience. The report of the survey findings may be found on the web at www.nala.org. There is no charge for the survey report.