Paralegal Studies Program Description

Stevenson University's paralegal studies program was the first in the state, and one of the first in the nation, to be approved by the American Bar Association. Paralegals must be intelligent, have logical and analytical minds, possess organizational skills, and pay attention to detail. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. However, working under the supervision of an attorney, paralegals are vital members of the legal team. They perform such functions as:

  • Legal research and writing
  • Conduct factual investigations
  • Interview clients and witnesses
  • Draft pleadings and motions
  • Manage trial preparation and litigation support
  • Draft contracts and real estate documents
  • Administer estates and guardianships
  • Apply for intellectual property registrations
  • Prepare bankruptcy schedules and tax forms

The ultimate goal of the paralegal studies program is to fully prepare students for employment by law firms, corporate law departments, government agencies, legal aid providers, and other employers in the legal profession. Students gain an extensive knowledge of numerous areas of law and practical experience to enable them to perform tasks in specific legal specialty areas. By taking a combination of law and liberal arts courses each semester, students are able to pursue their legal interests immediately and develop skills gradually.

Courses are offered weekdays and evenings. Students earn a bachelor's degree in paralegal studies. Students may select a sequence of courses that permits them to focus on a specific area within the paralegal studies curriculum, such as corporate law, estate administration, real estate law, or litigation. Students perform an internship, typically in the sophomore or junior year, and complete a paralegal capstone course in their senior year. Students may participate in a law clinic, as an elective course in their major, and gain experience by providing pro bono paralegal services in the community.

The paralegal studies degree may be completed in an accelerated format by qualifying adult learners. This accelerated delivery option is offered through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. See the School of Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog for more information about the accelerated delivery option and student eligibility requirements.