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Why Columbus State Community College?
The Paralegal Studies program at CSCC offers an Associates Degree and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies. Our program is ABA-approved and costs a fraction of other ABA-approved programs in Columbus, OH. Additionally, CSCC recognizes the diversity and other responsibilities of students enrolled in the program. CSCC schedules classes during the days and evenings and limits prerequisites so that you can control when and how quickly you are able to finish your Paralegal Studies degree or certificate.
The Paralegal Studies faculty is comprised of some of the most recognized judges, attorneys, and paralegals in the Columbus area. With such a vast knowledge base and a faculty that has hundreds of years of combined experience, paralegal students at CSCC learn not only the theory of life as a paralegal, but also the "real-world" life as a paralegal.
NEW: Tiffin University has recently announced a Fast Track Degree Completion Program for students enrolled in the CSCC Paralegal Studies program. The Fast Track program allows a student to earn a B.S. in Criminal Science in less than two years to complement their Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies. For more information, click here.
What is a Paralegal?
As defined by the American Bar Association, "A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible."
Roles and Responsibilities of a Paralegal
A paralegal (also called a legal assistant) performs many of the same tasks as a lawyer, except for the actual practice of law (setting fees, giving legal advice, and presenting cases in court). The duties of a paralegal vary with his or her experience. A paralegal can choose to have a solid knowledge of all aspects of law or to specialize in a certain area. With the continual changing of laws and procedures, the paralegal’s work is both interesting and challenging. The following is just a sampling of the responsibilities assigned to a paralegal:
- Assist with preparing work in closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings.
- Conduct legal research and prepare a written report of research findings.
- Investigate and confirm facts of a case.
- Prepare legal arguments, draft pleadings, draft motions, and obtain affidavits.
- Assist attorneys during trials.
- Organize and track case files.
- Draft contracts, mortgages, separation agreements, and trust documents.
- Prepare tax returns and plan estates.
- Manage activities of other employees of the law office.
- Maintain financial records for the law office.
Employment Outlook for a Paralegal
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Department of Labor, states that growth in the paralegal field is projected to be faster than average through the year 2012. Click here to read the entire report.
Characteristics of a Successful Paralegal
The nature of the paralegal position in the legal community requires individuals with a well rounded educational background. Critical thinking, excellent communication skills, attention to detail and advanced organization skills are essential competencies of a paralegal.