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
  • Gathering information electronically
  • Investigating cases
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Drafting pleadings
  • Managing trial preparation and litigation support
  • Drafting contracts and real estate documents
  • Managing estates and guardianships
  • Preparing intellectual property applications
  • Computing bankruptcy schedules
  • Preparing tax returns

The ultimate goal of the paralegal studies program is to prepare highly trained men and women who possess an understanding of the history, principles, and purposes of legal institutions and their operation. Students gain an extensive knowledge of several fields of law and knowledge to enable them to perform detailed work in specific 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. All students perform an internship, typically in the sophomore year, and complete a senior capstone course their final 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 degree 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 degree program and student eligibility requirements.