Paralegal

Business & Technology
Degree awarded: Associate in Applied Science

Program Narrative
The U.S. Department of Labor projects that this profession will continue to grow as fast as the average for all occupations. While paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law, the Labor Department's occupational outlook notes that employers are expected to hire more paralegals as they try to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of legal services. Northampton's student-centered learning approach to paralegal education will prepare you to enter this dynamic, high-demand profession.

Northampton's program has been approved by the American Bar Association. This prestigious approval places our program in a select group of programs nationwide that are designed and operated to meet the highest standards of paralegal education. For additional information on ABA approval, contact the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals, 321 N. Clark Street, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654 or at  www.abaparalegals.org.

Program Features
The program offers numerous legal specialty courses and a required internship at a local legal office. You will learn how a paralegal working under the general supervision of an attorney contributes to the delivery of legal services. You will also learn how to master state-of-the-art computer software and hardware, and become a productive and efficient professional within the ever-changing legal profession. Most of the legal specialty courses are taught by attorneys and include pleadings, forms, and software used in local, state, or federal practice.

Graduates will be ready to accept positions such as paralegals, trust coordinators, title searchers, settlement clerks, or litigation specialists. If your quest for knowledge is not complete after two years of study, it is possible to transfer to four-year institutions to complete your baccalaureate degree.

Please note that classes that are offered only during the fall include: Contract Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Family Law, and Real Estate Law. Classes offered only during the spring include: Business Organizational Law, Estates and Trusts, Law Office Procedures, and Tort Law.

Contact the Admissions Office at 610-861-5500 for further information.

Program Outcomes
Graduates of the program will:

  • Understand the substantive legal terminology and issues, ethical values, and general office skills needed to function effectively in a legal office environment.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior and necessary competencies under the supervision of an attorney in the completion of legal work on behalf of a client.
  • Exhibit interpersonal communication skills necessary to work effectively with people in the legal profession.
  • Understand the need for and participate in continuing education and professional development opportunities in order to enhance one's value to a legal office.

Paralegal,
Associate in Applied Science Degree

Course Code Course Title
Credits
First Semester
CMTH 102 Speech Communication
3
ENGL 101C English I
3
OFAD 101 Keyboarding I
3
PARL 101 Introduction to Paralegal Studies
3
PARL 153 Real Estate Law
3
15
Second Semester
ENGL 151L English II (Literature)
3
OFAD 125 Word Processing Applications
3
OFAD 163 Law Office Procedures
3
PARL 187 Litigation Practice and Procedure
3
PARL ____ Paralegal Elective +
3
------------- General Education Elective
3
18
Third Semester
ACCT 100 or Accounting For Non-Accountants or
ACCT 101 Financial Accounting I
3
OFAD 141 Introduction to Word
1
OFAD 142 Introduction to Excel
1
OFAD 144 Introduction to Outlook
1
PARL 215G Legal Research and Writing
3
PARL ____ Paralegal Elective +
3
------------- Mathematics (QL) or Science (SCI) Elective
3/4
15/16
Fourth Semester
PARL 250 Internship
3
PARL ___ Paralegal Elective +
3
------------- Social Science Elective (SIT or SSHB)
3
------------- Social Science Elective (SIT or SSHB)
3
------------- Elective
3
15
Total Credits
63/64


+ Paralegal Elective options: PARL 151, 156, 161, 162, 163, 166.

  • For the General Education Elective and the Social Science Electives, students must select courses so that at least two of the following categories are represented: Arts & Humanities (AH); Social Science: Societies and Institutions over Time (SIT); Social Science: Scientific Study of Human Behavior (SSHB).
  • One course should be designated as Diversity and Global Awareness (D).
  • Completion of PARL 215G satisfies the Writing Intensive (WI) requirement.
  • Computer competencies are included in various courses in this program. Thus, completing the program automatically satisfies the computing requirement for this program.

Career Potential: Paralegal, Legal Assistant, Trust Coordinator, Title Searcher, Settlement Clerk, Litigation specialist

© Northampton Community College 3835 Green Pond Rd Bethlehem, PA 18020 610-861-5300