Paralegal Degree Program

This program is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for entry-level employment as paralegals. Students enrolled in the program complete a combination of legal specialty, business, liberal arts, and elective courses which will prepare them to work in law offices, banks, insurance companies, government agencies, corporations, and other types of organizations that deal with legal matters.

Such work normally is done under the supervision of an attorney. Legal specialty courses emphasize the role of the paralegal in dealing with clients, documents, and procedures.

The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is awarded upon completion of the requirements for this program.

Students who successfully complete the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Paralegal (PAL) will be able to:

  • Articulate the role of paralegals in the legal system and develop an awareness of potential ethical issues that may arise and ethical duties that exist in the legal work environment;
  • Use critical thinking skills to apply substantive legal principles in order to analyze and resolve legal problems;
  • Apply the basic principles of legal research in an accurate, effective, and efficient manner;
  • Articulate an understanding of the techniques of legal analysis and writing and develop written communication skills to communicate the results of research and analysis in an appropriate format and tone;
  • Demonstrate an ability to use a variety of print and electronic legal research resources.

Courses should be selected in consultation with an advisor.

First Semester

Course No. Descriptive Title Credit Hours
ENG 101 Composition I 3
GOV 151 Introduction To Law 3
PAL 110 Fundamentals of Paralegalism 3
PAL 120 Legal Research 3
BUS 103 Keyboarding for Information Processing 1
BUS 112 Introduction to Microsoft Word 2
TOTAL   15

Second Semester

Course No. Descriptive Title Credit Hours
ENG 102 Composition II 3
American History (Appendix D) 3
CIS 111 Computer Systems and Applications 3
BUS 215 Business Law I 3
PAL 210 Family Law 3
WFE 101 Lifetime Wellness and Fitness 3
TOTAL   18

Third Semester

Course No. Descriptive Title Credit Hours
BHS 103 Social Problems in Today's World 3
Math (a)   3-4
PAL 230 Law of Business Organizations 3
PAL 240 Civil Litigation 3
Paralegal Elective (b)   3-4
TOTAL   15-17

Fourth Semester

Course No. Descriptive Title Credit Hours
PAL 220 Wills, Trusts, and Estates 3
PAL 250 Real Property Law 3
Paralegal Elective (b)  3-4
Science (c)   4
Free Elective (d)   3-4
TOTAL   16-18
a. MAT 109 or above; BUS 101 Business Mathematics may be substituted.
b. Paralegal Electives: ACC 104, BUS 210, CRJ 265, GOV 222, PAL 290, PHI 107, and SPE 101.

c. Science courses: Applicable four-credit courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, physical sciences, physics.

Recommended: BIO 103 Human Biology.

d. Read a full discussion of the free elective requirement. Students must choose a course from one of the SUNY General Education Appendices from which they have not taken another course.