Paralegal

A paralegal performs specifically delegated legal work for which a lawyer is required. This exciting and challenging occupation is among the fastest growing, and the U.S. Department of Labor tells us the trend will continue. Our paralegal program, which is offered exclusively online, provides the course work and experience to prepare you for employment as a paralegal or legal assistant. You will get a basic orientation and academic exposure to a variety of subjects, including legal research and drafting, civil litigation, real estate law, wills and estate planning, family law, and legal ethics. You will complete an internship in a law office. There are also elective courses in criminal law, evidence, bankruptcy, and constitutional law.

A two semester, 32 credit Paralegal Studies certificate program has been developed for students with baccalaureate degrees who would like to pursue a paralegal credential to enhance their employment and professional opportunities.

The degree may be completed in two or three semesters if you have prior college credits or a prior degree. Contact the program chair for more information.

Online Program

The entire program can be completed online, and the paralegal courses are offered exclusively online. These courses are asynchronous so they do not require any specific meeting times. The program may be commenced in any semester.

Careers on Career Coach

Paralegals work for attorneys, corporations, federal, state, and local governments’ court systems, or community legal services. Specializations include real estate, criminal law, estate planning, family law, labor law, litigation, and corporate law. Related occupations include adjudicators, abstractors, patent agents, title examiners, escrow officers, government hearing officers, appeals referees, contract checkers, and legal investigators.

Select a career below to connect to Career Coach and find information about that career including median salary and job postings.

Explore more career options: A.A.S. | Paralegal Studies Certificate

Program Chair

faculty-robersarachan

Robert Sarachan

Professor, Paralegal

Read more

Transfer Options

Although the curriculum of this program is not designed primarily for transfer, many graduates have continued their education at four-year institutions. Graduates have successfully transferred to:

  • Binghamton University
  • SUNY College at Brockport
  • SUNY College at Canton
  • Cornell University
  • SUNY College at Cortland
  • Empire State College
  • Hilbert College
  • Syracuse University
  • Utica College
  • Wells College

Highlighted Courses

Not all of the highlighted courses are required in both the degree and certificate in this program area. Please be sure to check the degree requirements tab for details about the requirements for each or certificate.

Degree Requirements

A.A.S.
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 63 credits

Note: Alternative program requirement plans are available for students intending to transfer, Honors College students, and students with prior credits or degrees.

Note: Any student wishing to complete the program in three semesters must take PARA 101 and PARA 130 concurrently in the first semester.

Note: Unrestricted Electives: Students should select elective courses from subject areas in which they intend to seek employment. PARA 213 - Constitutional Law, PARA 216 - Legal Aspects of Evidence, or PARA 225 - Criminal Law and Procedure can be taken to satisfy these requirements.

Fall Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 16
ACCT101, Principles of Accounting I, 4 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ENGL100, Academic Writing I, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ENGL 100. A student exempted from ENGL 100 must substitute a 3-credit Liberal Arts Elective. The course should be selected in consultation with the student's advisor.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA101, Introduction to Paralegalism, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARA 101.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PSYC103, Introduction to Psychology, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ECON101, Introduction to Economics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ECON120, Principles of Microeconomics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ECON121, Principles of Macroeconomics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi

Spring Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15
BUAD201, Business Law I, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in BUAD 201.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ENGL101, Academic Writing II, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA130, Legal Research and Drafting, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARA 130.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
SOCI101, Introduction to Sociology, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
ASTR@
BIOL@
CHEM@
CSCI160, Computer Science I, 3 cr.
CSCI165, Computer Science II, 3 cr.
CSCI205, Computer Science III-Data Structures, 3 cr.
ENVS101, Introduction to Environmental Science, 3 cr.
ENVS102, Technology and the Environment, 3 cr.
ENVS116, Soil Science, 3 cr.
ENVS141, Agroecology, 3 cr.
ENVS202, Integrated Pest Management, 3 cr.
GEOL@
METR@
PHSC@
Use Schedule Search for electives

Fall Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15
PARA205, Litigation/Civil Procedure, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARA 205.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA215, Family Law/Domestic Relations, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARA 215.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ENGL102, Approaches to Literature Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENGL103, Report Writing Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
MATH@
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
Select from subject areas in which student intends to seek employment: PARA 213, PARA 216, or PARA 225.
@
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 17
ENGL204, Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA210, Real Estate/Property Law, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARA 210.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA220, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARA 220.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA230, Paralegal Internship, 2 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARA 230. A student with prior experience working under the supervision of a lawyer may apply to waive or obtain life experience credit for PARA 230. Information and forms are on the PAW (Paralegal Advising Webpage).
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA231, Paralegal Seminar, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARA 231.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
Select from subject areas in which student intends to seek employment: PARA 213, PARA 216, or PARA 225.
@
Use Schedule Search for electives


SUNY General Education & Tompkins Cortland Liberal Arts courses

Note: The @ symbol represents any course number or discipline. For example, BIOL @ means any course with a Biology course prefix. An @ alone means one course in any course discipline with any course number.

Degree Requirements

Certificate: Paralegal Studies
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 32 credits

Note: A minimum grade of C is required in all courses.

Note: For any credits waived, another course must be substituted, chosen with the approval of an advisor.

Note: PARC Electives: Students should select an elective course from a subject area in which they intend to seek employment or have a special interest. PARC 213 - Constitutional Law, PARC 216 - Legal Aspects of Evidence, PARC 225 - Criminal Law and Procedure, PARC 226 - Bankruptcy, or BUAD 202 - Business Law II can be taken to satisfy these requirements. With advisor permission, a student can choose a relevant non-PARC class in place of a PARC Elective.

Note: Since Paralegal Electives are offered once per year, with permission of an advisor, a student may defer PARC 205 and/or PARC 210 until the second semester and take one or two PARC electives in their place in the first semester.

Note: To be admitted to this program, a student must have already earned a baccalaureate degree.

Fall Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15
BUAD201, Business Law I, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required BUAD 201.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARC101, Introduction to Paralegalism, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARC 101.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARC130, Legal Research and Drafting, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARC 130.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARC205, Litigation/Civil Procedure, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARC 205.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARC215, Family Law/Domestic Relations, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARC 215.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 

Spring Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 17
PARC210, Real Estate/Property Law, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARC 210.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARC220, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARC 220.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARC230, Paralegal Internship, 2 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARC 230.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARC231, Paralegal Seminar, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in PARC 231.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
A minimum grade of C is required in the PARC Electives.
BUAD202, Business Law II, 3 cr.
PARC213, Constitutional Law, 3 cr.
PARC216, Legal Aspects of Evidence, 3 cr.
PARC225, Criminal Law and Procedure, 3 cr.
PARC226, Bankruptcy, Collections and Foreclosure, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
A minimum grade of C is required in the PARC Electives.
BUAD202, Business Law II, 3 cr.
PARC213, Constitutional Law, 3 cr.
PARC216, Legal Aspects of Evidence, 3 cr.
PARC225, Criminal Law and Procedure, 3 cr.
PARC226, Bankruptcy, Collections and Foreclosure, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives


SUNY General Education & Tompkins Cortland Liberal Arts courses

Note: The @ symbol represents any course number or discipline. For example, BIOL @ means any course with a Biology course prefix. An @ alone means one course in any course discipline with any course number.