Getting Started

There are two program tracks for COD's Paralegal Studies program. The right program track for you depends upon whether you are seeking your first college degree or already have a college degree. The Associate in Applied Studies (A.A.S.) degree track is for students who do not have a college degree and are seeking a two-year college degree in Paralegal Studies. The certificate program track is for those who already have an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university and are seeking to add the certificate credential to their degree.

The A.A.S. degree requires 67 to 70 credit hours of coursework, including general education classes and other classes designed to provide technical and professional competence. Students who do not  have a college degree must enroll in this program.

The certificate program requires 36 credit hours of coursework, limited to courses focusing on paralegal skills and education. Note that the certificate option is only available to students who have already earned a college degree.

Both program tracks require a student to be accepted into the program after taking prerequisite coursework and completing a program application. Please note: Students may continue to enroll in paralegal classes each semester prior to being admitted into the program, except that students seeking admission into PLGL 2600 must have been accepted into the program in order to enroll in these classes.

In either case, the student's first step would be to enroll in Introduction to Paralegal Studies, PLGL 1100, which is a prerequisite for program admission.  Paralegal 1150 is also a program prerequisite, which can either be taken in the same semester as PLGL 1100, or in a separate semester.  In addition, A.A.S. degree students must also take ENGLI 1101 as a program prerequisite.

After the prerequisites listed above have been taken, the student is ready to apply for official admission into the program by completing the applicable program application.  The application forms can be accessed below.  Also attached is the Reference Form, which must be completed and mailed directly to the program coordinator by the three individuals who will be providing  references.

If you have any questions, please contact Sally N. Fairbank, program coordinator, at

Related Links

Transfer Credit Policy

Contact Information

Sally N. Fairbank, Coordinator
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 1816A, (630) 942-2955

Bev Carlson, Program Support Specialist
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 1738, (630) 942-2140

Business and Technology Division
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1034, 630) 942-2592

ABA Approved

College of DuPage
Paralegal Studies Program
ABA-approved since 2010
Re-approved in 2013


  • Sarmistha Banerjee

    Sarmistha BanerjeeParalegal Studies

    “The program did a great job of supporting me and when I finished, I had a general sense of the law that I think prepared me for what was a major life decision. I really feel College of DuPage faculty was supportive and friendly and COD gave me the direction I needed to accomplish all this.”

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  • Atoosa Nowrouzi

    Atoosa NowrouziParalegal Studies

    “The certificate program’s curriculum was well-designed. It included both required and elective courses. I also thought that the required courses had appropriate emphasis on the essential legal concepts. I was particularly impressed that the Paralegal Practicum is a required course. I researched other paralegal studies programs in the Chicago area and noticed that not many require a practicum course. At COD, the Paralegal Practicum course (120 hours of internship) is the final capstone for completing the program. The inclusion of required internship, in my opinion, demonstrated the quality of the program and the commitment of Professor Sally N. Fairbank.”

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  • Jackie Freeman

    Jackie FreemanParalegal Studies

    “A Paralegal Certificate was on my ‘bucket list’ since my 40s. When the opportunity for a grant came up, I researched many professions, and the legal profession was the only one I found that would value my prior management experience and my education. So the practical coincided with the passion. After a 30-year corporate career and more degrees than I probably need, my goal is to find a job doing work I enjoy, that challenges me, stimulates my brain and keeps me active.”

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  • Todd Holes

    Todd HolesParalegal Studies

    "If I were a few years younger, I might contemplate law school. But the glut of unemployed attorneys on the market makes that less attractive as an option. I do have an interest in technology and feel I may find my niche in litigation support. Eventually, if that area of the law feels like a good fit, I would like to further my education so that I qualify to manage an e-discovery department for a mid-size to large law firm.”

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  • Jessica Mitchell

    Jessica MitchellParalegal Studies

    "You get a lot of opportunities to learn how to network and connect to a variety of people through the Paralegal Club. I am lucky enough to be the secretary of our club, and I have learned so much about making connections and networking with people. We really do have the best students and teachers in the school! They care about our success, both in the program and after we graduate.”

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  • Terry Mohring

    Terry MohringParalegal Studies

    "COD helped me achieve my goal of having a new career by providing me opportunities to learn new skills, expand upon ones I already had and, most of all, grow as a person. I had the great pleasure of learning from some of the best lawyers, judges, business entrepreneurs and teachers in general. I am able to use their example of inspirational teaching and positive interactions with students in my position as a manager.”

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  • Ernesto Cruz

    Ernesto CruzParalegal Studies

    "COD is providing me with an amazing education. The instructors are not just teachers, they've worked in the field and have plenty of experience and knowledge to share with us. For any students considering the Paralegal program at COD, I would quote Nike by saying 'Just Do It!' " 

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  • Rob Schwarz

    Rob Schwarz, Jr.Paralegal Studies

    "Over my long educational career, I have come to the realization we receive back what we put into our education. I have never experienced anything in my educational experiences like the Paralegal Studies program at College of DuPage and what it has to offer."

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  • Stephanie Weiser

    Stephanie WeiserParalegal Studies

    "The Paralegal Studies professors are phenomenal. I cannot compliment them enough; they are experienced, intelligent and, most importantly, they care about their students."

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  • Victoria Wadowski

    Victoria WadowskiParalegal Studies

    "I have received the best opportunities while going through the Paralegal program. Since the program is ABA approved, it will stand out on any application. This program built and strengthened my legal knowledge. I honestly cannot imagine getting a better education and experience anywhere else."

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  • Peggy Wojkowski

    Peggy WojkowskiParalegal Studies

    "The greatest lesson I took away from the program is the importance of the ethical rules that we discussed in every class. I also would advise that current students act like every day is a job interview and conduct themselves in a professional manner."

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  • Deanna Radtke

    Deanna RadtkeParalegal Studies

    "When I initially learned I needed to come up with 120 hours of practicum hours, I was terrified because I was already working full-time, but I am so thankful that it was mandatory because it led me to such great accomplishments." 

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