Associate in Science
Note: In addition to the membership application above (“Apply for this Program Now”), students must also follow the Application Procedure for this program.
The mission for the Paralegal Studies program is to educate, train, and develop students for careers as paralegals and legal specialists in law related professions. The program is intended primarily for students who desire an associate in science degree and then entry into the workforce. The Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association and its curriculum is based upon the study of legal theory and enhanced by the practical application of law to real life scenarios. The program emphasizes legal research, writing, law related technology and critical thinking skills so that students enter the legal professional prepared for distinctive success as legal professionals.
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.
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 in Paralegal Studies 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. 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.
American Bar Association Approval
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, the Florida State College legal program curriculum is approved by the ABA. The program has an active advisory committee of area lawyers, judges, court administrators and business leaders.
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.
Florida State College’s Career Development Centers can help you determine your career interests and choose a career path. They can uncover opportunities where you can gain relevant work experience and prepare you for the real world of job hunting. Our career services professionals are here to help you achieve your career dreams.
The Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal (CLA/CP) credential, sponsored by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), 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. Students that successfully graduate from the Paralegal Studies Program at Florida State College meet the educational requirements to sit for the CLA/CP exam. For more information regarding the exam and the CLA/CP certification, please see the NALA website - www.nala.org.
Students desiring to enter the Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) program must attend an informational orientation prior to enrollment. Please call (904) 381-3506 to schedule your orientation date.
Need More Information? Contact:
Nancy Sutton, J.D., Kent Campus, (904) 381-3506