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The Program (HEGIS Code 5099)
The Paralegal program at JCC is an Associate in Applied Science Degree designed to prepare graduates as paraprofessionals in law related occupations, and as a foundation for future law school study. Graduates are prepared in a broad section of legal work, including family law, business law, property law and civil litigation. A strong emphasis is placed on legal research skills and general business management skills. All classes are taught by practicing attorneys, which enables students to be well positioned to seek a variety of paralegal positions in various sectors. In addition, students wishing to go on to law school will experience the “case method” approach, which is the preferred teaching method in many law schools. Most law courses or topics within a course are similar to those taught in law school.
The program includes an optional internship experience to allow qualified students to gain real-world experience and make contacts in the field for future career networking.
Students graduating from the Paralegal program with an A.A.S. degree will:
- Demonstrate an understanding of, and be able to effectively utilize, the technology essential for legal applications.
- Demonstrate the ability to effectively conduct legal research in order to locate, evaluate, analyze, and apply legal information.
- Demonstrate the skills necessary to effectively pursue employment opportunities.
Paralegals act as assistants to attorneys or provide routine services that would otherwise require an attorney. They may work inside law offices, financial institutions, or government offices, or may operate businesses of their own. Paralegal employment is an excellent place for students who wish to pursue law school admission. Future law students can use their legal employment to defray the high cost of law school and network with numerous law firms. While paralegals may not practice law, they are a key and growing part of the legal industry. Common tasks include:
- Preparing legal documents for attorneys’ review
- Taking depositions and preparing legal case materials
- Processing legal forms and records
- Conducting legal research
- Speaking with clients and managing the marketing, financial, or other aspects of legal practice
Paralegal is one of the top ten fastest-growing occupations in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the demand for legal services in the US continues to grow, Paralegals are in demand in government, business, banking/finance, real estate, and other fields. Large law firms are increasingly turning to paralegals to extend their attorney staff and keep legal rates affordable yet widely available.
Although the program is designed to prepare graduates to enter the workforce after completing the Associate degree, many of our graduates choose to pursue a baccalaureate degree. Jefferson has partnered with some select academic institutions and developed agreements that help students transfer smoothly to specific baccalaureate programs. Currently, formal agreements exist with:
SUNY Canton, Legal Studies, B.T.
California University of Pennsylvania, Science and Technology with a concentration in Legal Studies, B.S.
Larry Covell, Professor of Business, Esq.
Application and Admissions Information
Office of Admissions
315-786-2277 or Toll Free 1-888-435-6522