Certificate of Proficiency
Paralegal Studies AAS
After students complete their AAS program of study they can continue to work on their Baccularate degree. Click here to view our bachelor degrees.
The Legal Studies program offers a Certificate of Proficiency, and a Associate of Applied Science degrees in Paralegal Studies. The Program is designed with the assistance of a legal advisory committee comprised of various legal professionals from the community who are well aware of the job potential in today’s market. The goals for the program are:
- Prepare students for entry-level position in the legal field through the Legal Office Specialist Certificate program.
- Ready students for paralegal positions and law office management through the Associates of Applied Science degree.
- Offer students interested in attending law school a preparation course to ready them for admission to law school through the Filemon B. Vela Pre-Law Academy.
- Provide instruction using the most current technology available in the legal community.
- Allow for an external volunteer learning experience through a service learning program.
- Provide assistance in placing students through cooperative education.
This degree is designed for those students who are interested in working in an attorney office or at the courthouse.
Nature of Work: While lawyers assume ultimate responsibility for legal work, they often delegate many of their tasks to paralegals. In fact, paralegals—also called legal assistants—are continuing to assume a growing range of tasks in legal offices and perform many of the same tasks as lawyers. Nevertheless, they are explicitly prohibited from carrying out duties considered to be the practice of law, such as setting legal fees, giving legal advice, and presenting cases in court.
Work Environment for Paralegals: handle many routine assignments, particularly when they are inexperienced. As they gain experience, paralegals usually assume more varied tasks with additional responsibility. Paralegals do most of their work in offices and law libraries. Occasionally, they travel to gather information and perform other duties.
Paralegals employed by corporations and government usually work a standard 40-hour week. Although most paralegals work year round, some are temporarily employed during busy times of the year and then released. Paralegals who work for law firms sometimes work very long hours when under pressure to meet deadlines.
For students interested in this or any other program contact Ms. Emilia Taylor at (956) 882-8211 or visit her at EDBC 1.534.
Consideration of Ethical Obligations
A legal office specialist, legal office administrator or paralegal is prohibited from engaging in the practice of law, providing legal advice, signing pleadings, negotiating settlement agreements, soliciting legal business on behalf of an attorney, setting a legal fee, accepting a case, or advertising or contracting with members of the general public for the performance of legal functions.
Faculty mentor for this program is Joe Krippel. He can be reached at (956) 882-7325, and his office is located at EDBC 1.512.