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Associate in Applied Science Paralegal Studies

Expected Certificate/Degree

Associate in Applied Science

Program Description

The Paralegal program prepares its graduates to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney. Although paralegals cannot provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law, paralegals assist attorneys in a variety of legal environments by performing tasks such as drafting legal documents, performing legal research, maintaining corporate records and minutes books, interviewing witnesses and clients, and assisting in trial preparation. There is a separate admission process requiring students to be accepted into the program after completing initial prerequisites. To apply for admission, students complete a program application and submit it to the Program Coordinator. The Paralegal Studies degree requires a minimum of 64 credits in program requirements and program elective courses.

Program Requirements

Please note: A student’s readiness to perform college-level coursework is based on the student's placement test and/or ACT scores. Below 1000-level coursework may be required prior to the student taking courses in the suggested sequences below.

This is a typical Program Map; please meet with a Faculty or Program Advisor to discuss the details. 

Consider joining or visiting with a professional, cultural or interest-based Student Club.

Code Course Name Credits
ENGLI 1101 English Composition I 3
Gen Ed-*MATH 1218 or MATH 1100 and PSYCH 1100 or SOCIO 1100 General Education Mathematics or Business Mathematics and General Psychology or Introduction to Sociology 3-6
PLGL 1100 Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3
OFTI 1200 MS Office for Staff 3

Total Credits: 12-15


  • *If the student takes Math 1100, they must pair either Psych 1100 or Socio 1100 with Math 1100 to meet the American Bar Association requirement. Math 1218 alone will satisfy this requirement.

If you have not done so yet this semester, it is important to make an appointment with a Faculty or Program Advisor to discuss your future academic progress.

Code Course Name Credits
POLS 1101

American Politics

PLGL 1150

Drafting Legal Documents


Program Elective


Physical and Life Science


Fundamentals of Speech Communication


Total Credits: 16

Code Course Name Credits
PLGL 1200

Civil Litigation

PLGL 1250

Legal Ethics and Law Office Organizations

PLGL 1500 Introduction to Legal Research and Writing 3
PLGL 2500 Personal Injury, Tort and Insurance Law 3
PHILO 1110
or 1114
Ethics or Business Ethics 3
ELECTIVE Program Elective 3

Total Credits: 18

Code Course Name Credits
PLGL 2100 Advanced Legal Research and Writing 3
PLGL 2425 Law Office Technology 3
PLGL 2600 Paralegal Practicum 3
OFTI 2600 Professional Development 3
ELECTIVE Program Elective 3
ELECTIVE Program Elective 3

Total Credits: 18

For the Paralegal Studies degree, some General Education courses are already listed in the program sequence above. The following summarizes the minimum credits required in each of the specified General Education areas:

Communication: 6 credits

  • Written: (3 credits) English 1101 or 1105
    (English 1101 in the program sequence above fulfills this requirement)
  • Oral: (3 credits) Speech 1100, 1120 or 1150
    (Speech 1100 in the program sequence above fulfills this requirement)

Physical and Life Sciences: 3 to 5 credits

Mathematics: 3 to 5 credits

  • Select a minimum of 3 credits (1000-level or above).
  • Select Mathematics 1102, 1104 or 1120 only where required in the degree program. Only one from the following three courses may count toward overall degree requirement credit: Mathematics 1635, Psychology 2280 or Sociology 2205. Only one of the following courses may count toward overall degree credit: Mathematics 1428 or Mathematics 1431.

Humanities and Fine Arts: 3 credits
(Philosophy 1110 or Philosophy 1114 in program requirements fulfills this requirement)

Social and Behavioral Sciences: 3 credits

Global/Multicultural Studies or Contemporary Life Skills: 2 credits

  • Complete at least 2 credits from the list of courses in the Global/Multicultural Studies or Contemporary Life Skills Category.

Select 12 credits from any 1000- and 2000-level Paralegal Studies courses; the Criminal Justice courses listed below can also be used.


  • Explain the role of the paralegal in the effective delivery of legal services in various settings in which paralegals work, including large and small law firms, corporations and businesses, governmental agencies, and legal aid offices.
  • Describe the ethical responsibilities of paralegals, the rules of professional conduct governing lawyers, and the application of these rules to paralegals.
  • Apply practical methods to complete assigned legal tasks.
  • Demonstrate competency in a legal setting by completing a paralegal practicum under the supervision of a practicing attorney and a faculty member.
  • Analyze, implement, and complete a legal research project using both print and electronic resources.
  • Produce legal documents that meet professional standards, reflect accurate legal research, and are in correct format.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in use of technology applications common in the workplace.

Contact Information

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

Kris Fay, Dean, Business and Applied Technology Division

Peter Deeman, Program Advisor
(630) 942-2548

Anika Collins, Program Advisor
(630) 942-3961

Nazia Naqvi, Program Advisor
(630) 942-2081