Major Code: 3517
The expanding role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services has created increased opportunities with private law firms, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, real estate and title firms, banks, and government agencies. Graduates are prepared for careers in business, industry, or non-profit corporations that interface with the legal system.
Paralegals organize and manage work flow in law office settings, draft legal documents, research and draft legal memoranda, and file documents with the appropriate court. They conduct background checks, interview clients, and pursue factual investigations for employers. Paralegals may prepare witnesses for depositions, develop materials for trial, organize client files, and assist with title searches. Paralegals may serve as employer liaisons to business, the police, other attorneys, government officials, and the courts. Paralegals cannot accept a case, set fees, give legal advice, or represent a client in court.
Program Goals and Objectives
Through participating in this program, students will learn:
- How to conduct legal research.
- How to prepare legal documents.
- How to apply critical thinking skills to legal issues.
- How to communicate clearly and effectively.
- Information about various substantive areas of the law.
Students take the Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE) prior to graduating. The PCCE serves as one assessment tool for the Paralegal Studies program and also allows students, upon successful passage, to become Registered Paralegals through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Other methods of assessment include exams, homework assignments, surveys, class presentations, and various assigned projects.
Transfer Baccalaureate Options
Once a student completes all of the requirements for a Paralegal Studies degree, he/she may transfer into the University of Charleston’s Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science program through a 2+2 agreement that the Paralegal Studies program has with the University of Charleston’s Political Science department.
The Paralegal Studies program
- Has a challenging curriculum
- Requires that students possess or develop excellent written and oral communication skills, analytical ability, and a high level of motivation
- Utilizes Westlaw
- Utilizes PACER
- Incorporates the expectations of employers into a curriculum that teaches practical job-related paralegal skills in conjunction with underlying theory
- Provides an internship opportunity
- Allows students to become Registered Paralegals upon their successful completion of the PCCE Exam
- Features faculty who are professionals in the field
The program does not have admission requirements that differ from BridgeValley’s admission requirements.
- Paralegal for Private Sector Attorneys
- Paralegal for Public Sector Attorneys
- Paralegal for a Court system
- Bar Association Administrative Assistant
- Billing Professional
- Conflicts Analyst or Specialist
- Contracts Administrator
- Court Clerk
- Court Interpreter (with additional training in the applicable language)
- Designer Designer / Developer of Trial Visual Aids
- Editor for a legal or business publisher
- Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist
- Evidence technician
- Grant Writer
- Insurance Claims Adjuster and Investigator
- Judicial Assistant
- Jury Consultant
- Law Librarian
- Legal analyst
- Legal Compliance and Enforcement Inspector
- Legal computer software representative
- Legislative Analyst
- Loan Closing Coordinator
- Loan Interviewer and Clerk
- Mortgage Processor
- Municipal Clerk
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist and Technician
- Parole Officer
- Patent Database Administrator
- Probation Officer
- Property Manager
- Technical Writer
- Title Examiner, abstractor, and researcher
- Title Insurance Administrative Assistant
- Trial Court coordinator
- Victim or Witness Advocate for Domestic Violence office, County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, or US Attorney’s Office