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    Florida State College
   
 
  Dec 15, 2018
 
2010-2011 Catalog [Aug. 2010-Aug. 2011] 
    
2010-2011 Catalog [Aug. 2010-Aug. 2011] [Archived Catalog]

Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) (2299) (A.S.)


Associate in Science

Mission Statement

The Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) program is for students who wish to seek employment in the legal or criminal justice field as paralegals or for individuals presently employed who wish to advance in their careers. Florida State College’s program is structured to meet the needs of the legal profession in the state of Florida, as developed in response to a survey of local attorneys, which showed a great need for trained paraprofessional specialists in the field. Courses are taught by practicing attorneys or other legal professionals. An advisory committee composed of attorneys and other professionals meets regularly to make suggestions and recommendations for the program. The program culminates in a professional internship (PLA 1943 Internship). All other professional core courses must be completed prior to enrollment in the internship. In this course, students will work not less than 180 hours in a law or law-related office. In addition, students will meet to share work experiences and receive final preparation for paraprofessional practice.

Note

Students who want to pursue a baccalaureate degree should consult the program director.

The final responsibility for meeting graduation requirements stated in your Degree Audit Report rests with the student.

Transfer of Legal Specialty Courses from other institutions must be approved by the program director.

Educational Goals of the Legal Assisting Program

An A.S. degree prepares graduates to assist attorneys as legal assistants in administrative agencies, insurance companies, private law firms, state agencies, corporations, government, and other legal environments. The technical curriculum has been designed to provide students with knowledge and skills in the areas of the role of a legal assistant, ethical requirements, legal research, analysis, the preparation of legal documents, litigation practice and procedure, real estate transactions, family law, administrative law, tort law, criminal law and probate law and practice. Emphasis is on training students in both civil and criminal matters.

Accreditation

This program is approved by the American Bar Association. In fact, Florida State College has the only paralegal program in North Florida approved by the ABA. In accordance with stringent guidelines, all Florida State College legal program faculty members are ABA approved and the program has an active advisory committee of 24 area lawyers, judges, court administrators and business leaders.

Internship

The program culminates in a professional internship program. All other professional core courses must be completed prior to enrollment in the internship. In this course, students will work not less than 180 hours in a law-related office. In addition, students will meet weekly to share work experiences and receive final preparation for paraprofessional practice.

Career Opportunities, Rapid Placement

Florida State College’s Career Development Centers handle job placement for the majority of paralegals in Jacksonville and the surrounding five-county area. Lawyers benefit by shifting certain responsibilities to certified legal assistants and paralegals whose hours are billable.

Annual Salaries

Salaries and bonuses for paralegals average about $39,000 and range as high as $61,400 with advancement and experience.

Certification

The Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal credential is recognized in the legal community as representing the highest standard of excellence and professionalism, especially for those who have taken the additional step to attain the Specialty designation in one or more fields of practice. Florida State College and the Northeast Florida Paralegal Association cosponsor a five-week review course to help you prepare for the rigorous two-day certification exam.

Application Procedure

Students desiring to enter the Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) program must attend an informational orientation prior to enrollment.

Need More Information?

View Program Information and Contacts

Curriculum


Total Credit Hours: 64

General Education (Credit Hours: 18)


*Refer to A.S./A.A.S. General Education Requirements .

*Mathematics Credit Hours: 3
*Social and Behavioral Science Credit Hours: 6
*Humanities Credit Hours: 3

Professional Courses (Credit Hours: 9)


**Transfer students may use speech equivalents SPC 2068 or SPC 2017, or an acceptable SPC prefix elective.

Paralegal Studies Courses (Credit Hours: 31)


Students must request permission from program director to enroll in the internship. An approved elective may be substituted for this course if students have verifiable, related work experience of not less than 12 consecutive months.

Professional Electives (Minimum Credit Hours: 3)


Any course with the following prefix: ACG, ASL, CCJ, CJL, FRE, GER, MAN, MAR, OST or SPN

Note


While legal assistants/paralegals are not permitted by law to give legal advice, they do work under the direct supervision of attorneys, performing specifically delegated duties necessary in the effective delivery of legal services to the client. The program supports these ethical guidelines against the unauthorized practice of law by non-attorneys and students have extensive training in legal ethics.

Record of Conviction of a Crime


Most public service agencies and some law firms require students to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement in legal departments. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are deemed unsatisfactory may be denied access to public service agencies. If the students enroll in any internship or cooperative education class and are seeking experience at a State Attorney’s Office or other public service agencies. If the students enroll in an internship or cooperative education class and are seeking experience at a State Attorney’s Office or other public service agency, then a background check is performed by the SAO or facility and the student may be denied the internship based on their criminal record.

Graduation Requirements


In order to be awarded the associate in science or associate in applied science degree, students must have met the following requirements:

  1. Earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) at Florida State College in courses eligible toward the associate in science or applied science degree programs (A.S. Florida State College GPA or A.A.S. Florida State College GPA).
  2. Earned an all–college cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) on all courses attempted, including transferred credits. (All college cumulative).
  3. Completed at least 25 percent of credit semester hours required for the degree at Florida State College.
  4. Completed a minimum of 60 semester hours, as specified by the degree, of which a minimum of 15 semester hours must be General Education requirements.
  5. Earned a grade of at least a “C” in each course used to satisfy the A.S./A.A.S. General Education Requirements .
  6. Can demonstrate mastery of the Information Literacy Assessment. Refer to the assessment section  for details.
Note: Students are cautioned to pay particular attention to the following statements.
  1. Graduation dates will be the date at the end of the college term in which the students complete the academic requirements for the degree or certificate for which students are applicants. (The removal of an incomplete grade does not affect students’ graduation dates, since the grade change is effective as of the end of the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned rather than the term in which the incomplete work was made up.)
  2. If students expect to complete the coursework under the terms of the catalog in effect during the term of their first registration, they must graduate within five years or they will need to be reassigned to an active catalog. Accordingly, students who enter under this catalog (2010/2011) must graduate by the end of the Summer Term 2015, or they will automatically be reassigned to the 2014/2015 catalog requirements. Changes to requirements as mandated by law or by rule of the District Board of Trustees may supersede this provision.
  3. The General Education Requirements may be taken on any Florida State College campus or center.
  4. Many courses in this catalog have prerequisite and/or corequisite courses which are listed in the course descriptions. Students are advised to be guided by these requirements.
  5. Students who place into college preparatory courses are required to complete designated college preparatory courses with a grade of “C” or better regardless of program of study.
  6. Students enrolling in associate in applied science programs must pass all sections of the placement test before award of an A.A.S. degree, regardless of the degree program’s general education requirements.
  7. Degree–seeking students whose native language is not English, who fall below a designated cutoff score on the English as a second language (ESL) entry placement test, will be required to take ESL courses with EAP prefix prior to registering for other college credit classes. The level of these courses will be determined by the entry placement scores. Individual exceptions will be determined by the ESL program manager.
  8. Degree–seeking students identified as non–native speakers must take an English as a second language (ESL) placement test prior to taking the College’s standard course placement test. Students who place into ESL, as determined by the test, must complete ESL courses before registering for other college credit classes. Non–degree seeking college credit students who plan to take English or reading courses must also meet these requirements. Exceptions to these requirements can be made by the ESL program manager or designee.

Articulation


This A.S. degree program articulates into a bachelor’s degree program. For more information, please visit the Transfer Services Web page and look for your A.S. program of study.

University Transfer


This associate in science degree program is intended primarily for students who desire to complete an associate in science degree and become employed. Students who decide to pursue university transfer study must meet certain course and test requirements. For details refer to the University Transfer Guide.