Paralegal Studies, A.A.S.

Associate of Applied Science

The curriculum is designed to provide an individual with a sufficient level of knowledge, understanding, and proficiency to perform the tasks associated with meeting a client's needs. These tasks can be performed by a trained, non-lawyer assistant working under the direction and supervision of a lawyer. A paralegal or legal assistant will have a basic understanding of the general processes of American law, along with the knowledge and proficiency required to perform specific tasks under the supervision of a lawyer in the fields of civil and criminal law. Occupational objectives include employment in corporate law firms, government agencies, and any of the varied law-related fields. Paralegals or legal assistants are prohibited by law from offering legal services directly to members of the public.

Advising Note: It is strongly recommended that students meet with an advisor before enrolling in classes or as early as possible in their first semester of enrollment.

Completion Requirements: To remain in the program, students must complete each of the legal specialty (LGL) courses in the program with a 'C' or higher. Students must complete LGL 110 Introduction to Law and the Paralegal Assistant during their first semester of enrollment and complete the other legal specialty (LGL) courses in the order outlined. Course substitutions are made on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, the grade for substituted courses must be a 'C' or higher.

Special Approval Status: The Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Transfer from Other Institutions: Students must complete 25 percent (17 credits) of their coursework at NOVA. Program guidelines require that at least 50 percent of legal specialty (LGL) credits be completed at NOVA. In addition, ABA guidelines require that at least 10 of those credits be taken in traditional (face-to-face) format. The Paralegal Studies Program accepts the transfer of legal specialty courses completed at other institutions as long as those institutions are regionally accredited and the program director determines that the course objectives and practical skills are comparable to the courses offered in NOVA's Paralegal Studies Program. In all cases, the grade for transfer courses must be a 'C' or higher.

Course Curriculum

Below is a table that shows the courses needed to satisfy this program. Please speak with an advisor to ensure you meet your program requirements.

Two Years Credits
1st Semester
ENG 111 College Composition I 3
LGL 110 Introduction to Law and the Paralegal Assistant 3
LGL 117 Family Law 3
LGL 125 Legal Research 3
1PHI 111 Logic I 3
SDV 101 Orientation to (a Specific Discipline) 1
Total 16
2nd Semester
ENG 112 College Composition II 3
LGL 126 Legal Writing 3
LGL 215 Torts 3
LGL 218 Criminal Law 3
2MTH 154 Quantitative Reasoning 3
Total 15
3rd Semester
ITE 152 Introduction to Digital and Information Literacy and Computer Applications 3
LGL 115 Real Estate Law 3
LGL 217 Trial Practice and the Law of Evidence 3
LGL 235 Legal Aspects of Business Organizations 3
Choose One
PSY 200 Principles of Psychology 3
SOC 200 Introduction to Sociology 3
Total 15
4th Semester
3 Approved Elective 3
CST 110 Introduction to Human Communication 3
LGL 225 Estate Planning and Probate 3
LGL 230 Legal Transactions 3
4 Social/Behavioral Sciences Elective 3
Total 15
Total credits for the Associate of Applied Science = 61
Two Years Credits
1st Semester
ENG
111
3
LGL
110
3
LGL
117
3
LGL
125
3
1PHI
111
3
SDV
101
1
Total 16
2nd Semester
ENG
112
3
LGL
126
3
LGL
215
3
LGL
218
3
2MTH
154
3
Total 15
3rd Semester
Introduction to Digital and Information Literacy and Computer Applications
ITE
152
3
LGL
115
3
LGL
217
3
LGL
235
3
Choose One
PSY
200
3
Introduction to Sociology
SOC
200
3
Total 15
4th Semester
Approved Elective
3
3
Introduction to Human Communication
CST
110
3
LGL
225
3
LGL
230
3
Social/Behavioral Sciences Elective
4
3
Total 15
Total credits for the Associate of Applied Science = 61

See humanities/fine arts courses listed under General Education Electives. Elective should be selected with advice of a counselor or faculty advisor.

May substitute any higher-level mathematics course or a science course (BIO, CHM, ENV, GOL, NAS, PHY).

3 Students may choose from the following approved electives: LGL 200, LGL 250, LGL 295 Constitutional Law, Seminar & Project Capstone in Paralegal Studies LGL 298, and LGL 290 Coordinated Internship. Students may also consider the following non-program electives:  ADJ 105 or ITN 267. 

4 See social/behavioral science courses listed under General Education Electives. Elective should be selected with advice of a counselor or faculty advisor.

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