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Programs and Degrees
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 minor program at the University of Cincinnati is designed to expose students to the field of paralegal studies. This program does NOT prepare students to work as a Paralegal. 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.
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.
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.
This minor program option does not prepare a student to work as a paralegal
Any matriculated undergraduate student with a 2.0 GPA can apply for the Minor in Paralegal Studies.
AccreditationThe University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
This program option is NOT approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Completion of Academic Minor Degree in Paralegal Studies
Full-Time Program Duration
Uptown Campus West
PO BOX 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221