Paralegal Studies

Program Description

If you are interested in the opportunity to learn substantive aspects of the law and to gain the practical skills necessary to successfully ender the exciting paralegal profession, then this degree is for you. The paralegal profession has grown tremendously since it first appeared in the mid-1960s. There are now more than 120,000 paralegals in the United States. Presently, paralegals are involved in sophisticated legal work in traditional law office settings and in the corporate, government, and public arenas. The occupation has achieved great recognition and has moved rapidly to professional stature.

Degree Programs

Paralegal Studies (Associate of Arts)

The Paralegal Studies Associate degree provides the first two years of study for students preparing for a career as a paralegal. The program provides a general education background while focusing on developing an understanding of the legal system. Students completing the degree will meet the requirements for admission to a Paralegal Certificate Program or to continue their studies toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies.

Required Courses & Learning Outcomes

See a list of required courses and learning outcomes for this program in the college catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a paralegal?

A paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, government agency, or other entity, who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals work under the supervision of an attorney and adhere to recognized ethical standards and rules of professional responsibility.

What duties does a paralegal perform?

A properly supervised paralegal participates in many substantive and procedural aspects of legal work. Responsibilities will vary depending upon the particular area of legal practice and may include:

  • interviewing clients
  • drafting pleadings and other legal documents
  • drafting correspondence
  • conducting factual and legal research
  • maintaining client files
  • locating and interviewing witnesses
  • assisting in discovery

What skills are required to be a good paralegal?

Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential. Correct grammar usage, sentence structure, and proper spelling are also essential. A good paralegal is highly organized, able to work well under pressure, and has critical thinking skills.

What will a degree in paralegal studies allow me to do?

The education acquired by the Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies from Cecil College allows the graduate to directly enter the workforce. The paralegal may work in areas such as litigation, real estate, banking, corporate practice, bankruptcy, probate, family law, or government agencies. In addition, the graduate can transfer credits earned in the Paralegal Studies Program to a four-year college and continue on to earn a bachelor's degree. With a bachelor's degree a graduate could choose to apply to law school.

Admissions & Advising

Cecil College is an open enrollment institution. Get more information, find out how to apply, or meet with an advisor.

Transfer

Whether transferring coursework to Cecil College or transferring your completed degree or certificate to a four-year institution, transfer is a viable option to help meet your educational goals.

Transfer information for Maryland colleges and universities is available through the Articulation System of Maryland (ARTSYS) website at www.artsys.usmd.edu. Additional transfer information can be found on the Transfer Agreements page.

Faculty

Full-time Faculty

Jack D. Cohen
Department Chair, Social Sciences
M.Div., Palmer Theological Seminary (Eastern Baptist)

Kelsey Bianca
Assistant Professor of Social Sciences
M.A., Washington College

Meredith Lutz Stehl
Professor of Sociology and Psychology
Ph.D., Drexel University
Residency, Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children
Fellowship, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Adjunct Faculty

Cecil College's adjunct paralegal studies faculty are highly credentialed in their discipline and have years of professional experience.

Coronavirus Update

Cecil College is actively monitoring the status of COVID-19 locally, regionally, and nationally. We are working with our local health department and county offices to stay up to date on the latest developments regarding the coronavirus. As of now, all classes and events on campus are taking place as scheduled.

The College is utilizing additional precautionary measures to maintain a healthful environment on all of our campuses. Our Facilities department has added additional cleaning protocols to their daily routine to help prevent the spread of germs, including the use of disinfectant wipes on high-traffic surfaces like door handles and light switches.

In addition, the College is routinely posting information regarding the prevention of germ transmission on all on-campus monitors, our student and employee newsletters, and our primary social media channels. We also have signage both on campus and on larger event promotions reminding the community that if someone isn’t feeling well or has recently traveled to any of the global, high-risk areas, the responsible thing to do is to stay home. The College continues to monitor updates from local, state and national public health officials and will update this message as necessary.