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Paralegal Studies

What is Paralegal Studies?

As defined by the American Bar Association, "A paralegal is a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible."

The paralegal studies program at the University of Cincinnati is designed to prepare graduates for a variety of paralegal job opportunities. The utilization of paralegals improves the efficiency, economy and availability of legal services. A paralegal performs substantive legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney. Paralegals must have knowledge and understanding of various legal concepts. 

Responsibilities most often assigned to paralegals include maintaining client files, drafting correspondence, performing factual research and legal research, monitoring deadlines, maintaining conflicts-of-interest systems, drafting, investigating and analyzing documents and acting as liaison with clients and others. Experienced paralegals often accompany counsel during trial and help with document management and organization, witness preparation and research. These tasks may be performed in a variety of legal areas that include probate, real estate, family law, bankruptcy, corporate, litigation and intellectual property.

Prospective students should be aware that paralegal education is not the equivalent of a law school education. Graduates of paralegal programs are not qualified or eligible to take the bar examination. Academic credit for paralegal courses is not transferable for advanced standing in law school.

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Success Factors

Paralegals are expected to write clearly and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Paralegals must possess a high degree of motivation and analytical reasoning capability. They need to pay attention to detail. Candidates should also be responsible, well-organized, mature individuals who are sincerely interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal. They must be trustworthy and discreet. Paralegals, like attorneys, are required to hold a position of trust with their client. As a paralegal, you must respect attorney-client confidentiality. Paralegals must possess good "people skills" and be able to work as part of the legal team. Computer skills are essential.

Career Possibilities

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the paralegal profession to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012. Employment growth stems from law firms and other employers with legal staffs increasingly hiring paralegals to lower the cost and increase the availability and efficiency of legal services. The employment opportunities for program graduates are excellent. Graduates of UC's program are currently working as paralegals in large and small law firms, corporate legal departments, governmental agencies, banks, real estate companies and legal publishing companies.

Curriculum Guides

Advising

Student Services Center
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
360 Dyer Hall
PO Box 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221
513-556-2336

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

In choosing a paralegal program, there are many variables to consider. It is particularly important to consider the program's reputation, accreditation/approval, services provided by the program -- including career counseling and job placement -- the program's ties to the legal community, the curriculum and the program's administration and faculty.

UC’s paralegal studies program was established in 1980 and is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) -- the first program in the Tristate area to gain such approval. More than 1,000 paralegal programs exist in the United States alone, but only around 240 have met the requirements to be approved by the ABA. ABA approval has served as a benchmark for many employers who hire paralegals. The ABA requires thorough self-studies and periodic site visits to the program, which ensures quality in faculty, curriculum, advisory boards, student services, library holdings and resources.   

UC’s paralegal studies program enjoys an excellent reputation and has meaningful ties to the legal community. Its advisory board is made up of experienced attorneys, paralegals, paralegal managers, educators and other legal professionals who provide valuable insight into what is expected in the workforce. Graduates are highly sought after by law firms, corporations and government agencies in the Tristate area. Placement rates continue to be excellent. The program coordinator, along with UC’s Career Development Center, is available to assist students in resumé writing, interviewing skills and placement. In addition to the Career Development Center, assistance for paralegal students is offered in the following areas: orientation, tutoring, academic counseling and financial aid.

The paralegal studies program prepares graduates at two levels: bachelor's degree or post baccalaureate professional certificate. The certificate is available to those students who already hold a bachelor's degree OR students who are already matriculated in another bachelor's degree program. UC paralegal students benefit from an on-campus law library, faculty who are practicing attorneys and small size. Many of the paralegal es are offered in well-equipped computer labs.

UC’s paralegal program requires students to complete a internship as a part of the curriculum. The practicum enables a student to utilize skills acquired in the program and to gain practical on-the-job experience. Internships are available in a variety of settings, including private law firms, offices of a public defender or attorney general, banks, corporate legal departments, legal aid organizations and many government agencies. Students must attain at least a grade of "C" in all legal specialty coursework and the permission of the program coordinator to participate in the internship.

The faculty of paralegal es consists of experienced attorneys. Instructors of legal es are selected on the basis of their knowledge and expertise in the area of law taught, as well as their demonstrated commitment to the education and role of paralegal students.

For further information on UC’s paralegal program, please visit the program website: http://cech.uc.edu/programs/paralegal.

Special Programs

CECH Tribunal
The purpose of the CECH Tribunal is to ensure that the interests of the students of the college are voiced and to provide student representation on behalf of all undergraduate students in CECH where representation is warranted. Also, the Tribunal organizes programs and social events for students of the college.

Student Ambassador Program
The Student Ambassador program represents CECH at the University of Cincinnati by assisting with the recruitment and retention of students in the college. CECH student ambassadors provide a valuable service by representing the student perspective of university life to prospective and new students. Ambassadors also represent the college at numerous collegiate functions, professional events and key promotional events. Being selected as a CECH student ambassador is an honor that reflects academic rigor and a commitment to the fields of education, health promotion and education, and criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Society
The Criminal Justice Society is a student-sponsored organization designed to enhance the educational experience of those interested in criminal justice and criminal behavior. Criminal Justice Society promotes the study of crime and justice and sponsors activities for interested students. Activities include prison tours, speaker events and an annual career fair.

UC East
To better meet the needs of our students, the last two years of the bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies is available at the UC East location:

UC East
1981 James Sauls Senior Drive
Batavia, OH  45103
513-558-0008

Freshman Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to this program is generally available for students transferring to the University of Cincinnati if they were admissible directly from high school and have a 2.75 cumulative GPA (all prior institutions combined).

Students who were NOT admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA (all prior institutions combined)

 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI PARALEGAL STUDIES PROGRAM LEGAL SPECIALTY TRANFER POLICY

A student may obtain advanced standing for legal specialty courses through the transfer of credits from other academic institutions if that program is ABA-approved or insubstantial compliance, regionally accredited and otherwise meets the standards established by the University of Cincinnati. However, a minimum of fifteen semester credit hours of legal specialty courses must be completed in the University of Cincinnati Paralegal Studies program, before a bachelor degree will be issued. None of the 30 semester credit hours may be transferred for the post-baccalaureate certificate unless approval is received from the Paralegal Studies program coordinator. Students bear the burden of proving whether coursework completed at other institutions are online course or offered through traditional delivery methods. If the student is unable or unwilling to prove the method of delivery, it will be assumed that the course is offered in an online format. The University of Cincinnati’s Paralegal Program restricts the number of hours that may be completed in an online format.

UC CECH PARALEGAL STUDENTS ATTENDING OTHER INSTITUTIONS

Students may take legal specialty es at another ABA-approved program at an accredited college or university while simultaneously enrolled at UC, and the academic credits earned may be transferred. However, only those credits that conform to UC’s standards and requirements will be accepted. Official transcripts for such course work must be filed with UC’s Registrar at the completion of the teem of enrollment. Students are responsible for requesting these transcripts and for paying all related charges. Students planning to take courses at other institutions must secure in advance the approval of UC’s Paralegal Studies Program Director. Students bear the burden of proving whether coursework completed at other institutions are an online course or offered through traditional delivery methods. If the student is unable or unwilling to prove the method of delivery, it will be assumed that the course if offered in an online format. The University of Cincinnati’s Paralegal Program restricts the number of hours that may be completed in an online format.

Changing Majors within UC Requirements

Admission to this program is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges of the University of Cincinnati if they were admissible directly from high school and have a 2.75 cumulative GPA (UC and any prior institutions combined).

Students who were NOT admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA (UC and any prior institutions combined)

Current UC students wishing to transfer into the program should contact the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at 513-556-2336.

International Student Requirements

International students should contact the University of Cincinnati's Office of Admission for details. 513-556-1100

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, a student must:

  • Complete all required course work and program requirements.
  • Obtain at least a university 2.0 grade point average.
  • Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Meet the college's residency requirement of 30 semester credit hours.
  • File formal application for the degree by the posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester

Freshmen:

  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1*
  • Confirmation Deadline: May 1

* Your application must be complete by this date in order to be considered for scholarships and the Honors Program.

Transfers:

  • Application Deadline: July 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: Aug. 1

Spring Semester

Freshmen and Transfers: 

  • Application Deadline: Nov. 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: Dec. 1

Summer Semester

Freshmen and Transfers: 

  • Application Deadline: March 1
  • Confirmation Deadline: April 1

Accreditation

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

 

The paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Quick Facts

Bachelor of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies

Full-Time Program Duration

4 Years

Location

Uptown Campus West

Admission Criteria

Open

Contact

360
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0014
Phone: (513) 556-6308
Office of Recruitment
cechrecruit@uc.edu