Legal StudiesThe Legal Studies Program offers degree and certificate options for students interested in entering the paralegal field. Paralegals play a critical role in today's legal system.
The program provides students with the educational foundation to work with attorneys and build a successful paralegal career no matter what sector of the field they pursue—private sector law firms, state, federal and local government agencies, private corporations, or non-profit entities.
The Legal Studies degree and certificate programs are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). In addition to other program requirements, per ABA requirements students must complete at least 18 credits of legal specialty courses, of which 9 credits must be completed through synchronous instruction.
- Conduct information-gathering interviews with clients
- Draft pleadings and documents
- Prepare clients for hearings
- Monitor pending legislation
- Research law and develop research summaries
- Collect and review material relevant to a specific area of law
- Organize, assemble and analyze client and court records
- Index and summarize legal documents and transcripts
- Maintain filing systems and law libraries
- Correspond with and inform clients and counsel about the status of their case
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the paralegal profession is projected to grow much faster than other occupations, expanding by more than 12 percent by 2028.
One of the most exciting aspects of the paralegal profession is the fact that it is constantly evolving. For example, although paralegals in Maryland are prohibited from giving legal advice, representing clients, or otherwise engaging in the practice of law, some federal agencies allow paralegals to represent clients in agency hearings. In addition, non-profit organizations such as domestic violence clinics will often train paralegals to assist their clients.
Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.