Paralegal Studies Program Policies

Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in the major, and the lowest acceptable grade is a "C" in all major and Stevenson Educational Experience (SEE) courses. No student, regardless of major, will be permitted to advance to the next course without earning a grade of "C" or better in the prerequisite course(s). When a grade below "C" is earned in a major course, the student must repeat that course.

Paralegal studies majors who do not successfully complete a LAW course with a grade of “C" or better after a third attempt will not be allowed to continue in the paralegal studies program.

Students must take a minimum of 18 credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses at Stevenson University to earn a degree in paralegal studies. A legal specialty course is a LAW course that covers substantive law or legal procedures or process, has been developed for paralegals, emphasizes practical paralegal skills, and meets the American Bar Association's (ABA) instructional methodology requirements. The paralegal studies program offers traditional, hybrid, and online delivery of legal specialty courses approved by the ABA, as well as other LAW courses. Students must take a minimum of ten semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses, and may take all legal specialty and other LAW courses, through traditional classroom instruction at Stevenson University.

Credit for equivalent law courses considered legal specialty courses under the ABA Guidelines is accepted for students transferring from paralegal programs, whether ABA-approved or not. If a student has earned credit from an institution that is not ABA-approved, the program director for traditional students or the Associate Dean of Business Programs for GPS for accelerated students reviews the description of the course content, the course syllabus (if necessary), and information about the institution before credit is transferred for equivalent law courses. A maximum of 24 credits will be accepted for equivalent law courses.

Although Stevenson University policy is that internships performed at other institutions do not transfer, there is an exception for students who perform paralegal internships with ABA-approved paralegal programs at other institutions. If a student successfully completes a three-credit internship class through another ABA-approved paralegal program, the internship requirement can be waived, and the student will take another three-credit legal specialty course in its place.

Some students work as paralegals while completing the paralegal studies program. These students may apply for a waiver of the internship requirement. Paperwork from the student and the employer is required to verify that the student performed paralegal tasks and worked a minimum of 135 hours. If approved, the student will take another three credit legal specialty course in place of the internship class. Accelerated (GPS) students working full-time, not as paralegals, satisfy the internship requirement by completing a virtual internship as a paralegal, supervised by the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. This three credit virtual internship class is considered non-legal specialty.

The award of legal specialty credits through examination or portfolio is monitored by the paralegal program director to ensure that the quality and integrity of the paralegal program are maintained. A maximum of six legal specialty credits can be earned through examination or portfolio. To receive credit for prior learning for a legal specialty course through examination or portfolio, the examination or portfolio must be evaluated by a faculty evaluator, under the supervision of the program director. In conducting this evaluation, the faculty evaluator will ensure that the credit sought can be classified as legal specialty, the student meets the course objectives and practical skills to be developed for the course for which credit is sought, the student meets the needs of the legal community the program serves, and the student’s work is comparable to course work offered within the paralegal studies program.