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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 for those who wish to pursue careers in the legal profession. The program offers a challenging course of study that prepares students for a variety of paralegal job opportunities. A paralegal performs substantive legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney. The utilization of paralegals improves the efficiency, economy and availability of legal services.

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 conflict-of-interest systems, drafting, investigating and analyzing documents, and acting as liaison with clients and others. Some paralegals have extensive client contact, and some do not. 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.  Persons with felony convictions may not be eligible for some positions as Paralegals.

Career Possibilities

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the paralegal profession to grow by 18% through 2020. 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.   The U.S. Department of Labor also states "formally trained Paralegals should have the best job prospects".  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.

Minoring in Paralegal Studies

A minor in paralegal studies is also available for current students.  This minor option is NOT approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).  Completion of the minor does not qualify an individual to work as a paralegal.

Curriculum Guides

Advising

Academic advising is available through:

CECH Student Services Center
361 Dyer Hall
Cincinnati OH 45221
513-556-2336

Freshman Admission Requirements

This program is open to students that have completed a Bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 and the desire to succeed.  Students accepted into the program must meet the academic standards of the program to advance to upper levels of study. Interested students should meet with a College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services Student Services staff member for appropriate advising. Please note: In order to obtain this certificate, all of the required coursework must be taken from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.    Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance by the Paralegal Program Coordinator. 

Application materials for the certificate program are ONLY available through the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.  The application can be located at: 

http://cech.uc.edu/student_services_center/undergraduate-students/majorminorcertificate-applications/certificate-or-minor-application.html

Computer skills are important for this profession and as a result, applicants must prove proficiency prior to admission.  This can be accomplished in several ways:

1.  An undergraduate course in computers

2.  Completion of a computer course offered by Microsoft or an approved vender

3.  Verification letter from an employer documenting proficiency

**Applications for the paralegal certificate program submitted incorrectly to the University of Cincinnati Office of Admission will not be processed.**

Transferring to UC Requirements

This program is open to students that have completed a Bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 and the desire to succeed.  Students accepted into the program must meet the academic standards of the program to advance to upper levels of study. Interested students should meet with a College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services Student Services staff member for appropriate advising. Please note: In order to obtain this certificate, all of the required coursework must be taken from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.    Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance by the Paralegal Program Coordinator.

Application materials for the certificate program are ONLY available through the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.  The application can be located at: 

http://www.cech.uc.edu/student_services_center/majorminorcertificate-applications/

**Applications for the paralegal certificate program submitted incorrectly to the University of Cincinnati Office of Admission will not be processed.**

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 classes 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.

Graduation Requirements

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

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines are as follows: fall semester - July 1; spring semester - November 1; summer semester - March 1.

Accreditation

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

 

UC’s Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

 

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Effective July 1, 2011, federal regulations published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010 [75 FR 66665 and FR 66832] by the U.S. Department of Education require postsecondary institutions that participate in the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended, to disclose to prospective students certain information about the institution's GE Programs.

Generally, GE Programs include:

  • At public and private not-for-profit institutions: Title IV-eligible non-degree programs (e.g., certificate and diploma programs).
  • At for-profit institutions: All Title-IV eligible instructional programs, degree and non-degree.

http://cech.uc.edu/content/dam/cech/student_services_center/docs/Gainful_Employment_Disclosure/paralegal.html

Quick Facts

Undergraduate Certificate Degree in Paralegal Studies

Full-Time Program Duration

1 Years

Location

Uptown Campus West

Admission Criteria

Open

Contact

PO Box 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Phone: (513) 556-2336
CECH Student Services Center
cechssc@ucmail.uc.edu