Award Type: AAS
The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Paralegal Studies Program is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in law offices. The curriculum is designed to provide students with practical legal skills enabling them to draft legal documents with minimum supervision, and to familiarize them with fundamental concepts of substantive areas such as torts and business law. In addition, emphasis is placed on the development of effective written and oral communication skills, team work, critical thinking skills, computer proficiency, and legal research techniques. Legal theory and related practical applications are integrated throughout the program, as are how to manage practical ethical dilemmas commonly encountered as working paralegals, and how to avoid the unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers. A paralegal is qualified by education, training, or work experience to work for a law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity, performing specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals are also referred to as Legal Assistants in some legal settings. Except as specifically authorized by the Supreme Court of Arizona, persons not admitted to the State Bar of Arizona are prohibited from practicing law. A Certificate of Completion (CCL) is also available.
The Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), Standing Committee on Paralegals, (321 N. Clark Street, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654-7598).
Students who already possess an Associate's degree, or higher, from an accredited institution, must pursue the Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Paralegal Studies. Students who do not yet have a college degree, cannot pursue the Certificate option, and instead, must pursue the Associate's degree option. The Certificate of Completion (CCL) will not be awarded until an official college transcript verifying attainment of an Associate's degree or higher from an accredited institution is on file with the Phoenix College Admissions Office.
Students who have not yet earned their first college degree are not eligible for the Certificate option, and must pursue the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies. The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) will not be awarded until a record of the high school diploma or GED is on file with the Phoenix College Admissions Office.
Students must earn a grade of C or better for all courses within the program.
Equivalent paralegal courses, as determined by the Paralegal Studies Program Director, taken at other institutions, will be considered for transfer credit if taken at a regionally accredited institution, within a Paralegal Program that was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) at the time the courses were completed, and that were completed with a grade of B or higher within six (6) years of the date of admission or readmission to the Paralegal Studies Program; a maximum of six (6) semester hours of qualifying coursework can be transferred and applied to LAS101 and/or a paralegal (LAS) Restricted Elective course at Phoenix College. Students must complete a minimum of 18 credits in legal specialty courses as defined by the ABA. Paralegal Studies Courses required by this program are not applicable if taken more than six (6) years prior to admission or readmission to the Paralegal Studies Program. Consult with the Paralegal Studies Program Advisor for complete information.
Students interested in transferring to an Arizona public university can satisfy the relevant Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC-A) and transfer requirements by completing the following: 1. An additional course with the Humanities, Arts and Design [HU] general studies designation 3 2. An additional course with the Natural Sciences ([SQ] or [SG]) designation as needed 4 3. Additional courses that meet the [C] and [G] or [H] designations (may be shared with other core requirements) 4. If exempt from CRE101, an additional course in Literacy and Critical Inquiry [L] (may be shared with other core requirements)
Formal application and admission to the program is required. In addition, students wishing to enroll in the Paralegal Studies Program must complete a Verification of Eligibility form to be officially accepted in the program. Contact a Paralegal Studies advisor.
High school diploma or GED equivalency.
Completion of First-Year Composition
Eligibility for enrollment in: + CRE101 College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking (3) OR Equivalent as indicated by assessment.