Students in an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program will be taught how to assist licensed attorneys with daily activities. Those who graduate from these 2 year programs can look for entry-level work or engage in a bachelor’s (B.S.) degree in fields, such as business.
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Programs in Paralegal Studies
Students enrolled in an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies program can expect to become adept at performing legal research, interviewing clients, assisting with investigations and drafting legal documents as a legal assistant or paralegal. Methods of devising evidence for presentation in court by an attorney, or criminal procedure and litigation may be included in the program coursework. Critical thinking and communication skills of students are also developed in the program whose admission criteria may typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.
Coursework is devised to develop research and legal writing skills and may also cover legal office procedures and computer software applications. Students may also be imparted hands-on experience through one-semester or two-semester internships. Typically, coursework in a paralegal associate degree program may include topic areas such as:
•Wills, trusts and estates
•Real estate law
Paralegals (legal assistants) can seek entry-level jobs with law firms focused on areas of specialization such as contract law, bankruptcy, family law or criminal law. Those who successfully complete the program may also seek employment with local and state government agencies, insurance firms and banks. Paralegal training will equip graduates for various other career options such as:
•Real estate broker
Continuing Education Choices
Graduates of an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies program can opt for continued education by earning a four-year bachelor’s degree. Transfer agreements entered into with local universities and colleges allow some schools to allow graduates to seek admission to psychology, computer information systems, marketing, organizational leadership or business programs. Graduates of a paralegal studies program may also choose to continue their education beyond a bachelor’s degree by earning a law degree.