Paralegal Studies, A.A.S.

Associate of Applied Science
Campuses: Alexandria

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 115 Practical Reasoning 3
SDV 100 College Success Skills 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
3 Approved Elective 3
ITE 115 Introduction to Computer Applications and Concepts 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 Principles of Sociology
Total 18
4th Semester
3 Approved Elective 2
CST 110 Introduction to Communication 3
LGL 225 Estate Planning and Probate 3
LGL 230 Legal Transactions 3
Social/Behavioral Science Elective 3
Total 14
Total credits for the Associate of Applied Science = 63
Two Years Credits
1st Semester
ENG
111
3
Introduction to Law and the Paralegal Assistant
LGL
110
3
LGL
117
3
LGL
125
3
1PHI
115
3
SDV
100
1
Total 16
2nd Semester
ENG
112
3
LGL
126
3
Torts
LGL
215
3
LGL
218
3
2MTH
154
3
Total 15
3rd Semester
Approved Elective
3
3
ITE
115
3
LGL
115
3
LGL
217
3
LGL
235
3
Choose One
PSY
200
3
SOC
200
Total 18
4th Semester
Approved Elective
3
2
CST
110
3
LGL
225
3
LGL
230
3
Social/Behavioral Science Elective
3
Total 14
Total credits for the Associate of Applied Science = 63

1 May substitute a humanities/fine arts elective selected from the humanities/fine arts courses listed under General Education Electives. Humanities/fine arts course may be substituted after consultation with an academic advisor and should be chosen to further a student's career and educational goals.

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

3 Elective courses should be selected after consultation with a counselor or academic advisor, and should be chosen to further a student's career and educational goals.

4 May substitute a social science elective selected from the social/behavioral science courses listed under General Education Electives.

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