The Paralegal Program
The Paralegal Program is an ABA-Approved and North Carolina State Bar Qualified professional certificate program for women and men who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Admission is competitive.
The primary goal of the Paralegal Program is to introduce students to the study of law and the legal profession. The program’s focus is on the role of paralegals in assisting attorneys. Though paralegals cannot independently give legal advice to clients, represent clients in court, accept a case or set a fee, increasingly they are playing key roles in the legal services team, performing a wide variety of substantive legal work delegated by attorneys. The three concentrations—Civil Litigation, Business Organizations and Real Estate—and various electives offer instruction in specific skills used by paralegals in each area of law.
Why Hire Someone from an ABA-Approved Program?
Educational programs for paralegals vary. Programs may or may not be approved or accredited. Because paralegals are not licensed, a certificate from an ABA-approved program is considered a solid indication of a quality education. Many employers require or prefer a student with a certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal program.
Education programs approved by the American Bar Association must satisfy the stringent requirements of the approval process supervised by the ABA’s Standing Committee on Paralegals. An ABA-approved paralegal education program has undergone a rigorous scrutiny of its curriculum, faculty, recruiting and admission practices, library and computer resources, student services and other aspects of the program.
The guidance and direction of the ABA through the Standing Committee and its Approval Commission has led to the development of superior paralegal education programs designed to raise the competence of those individuals who assist lawyers in the delivery of legal services.
The approval process is accomplished through extensive investigation of self-evaluation reports prepared by the paralegal programs as well as through on-site evaluation of program operations to verify that they operate in compliance with ABA Guidelines. Programs that successfully complete the evaluation process are approved for a period of seven years.
Paralegal Program Job Bank
If you have a job opening in your law firm, corporation, government agency or non-profit, consider posting the job at Meredith College. These job listings are e-mailed to students and alumni without charge. Part-time and summer positions can also be forwarded to the pre-law advisor at Meredith College and to the Career Center. If you have a job opening, please send a description and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 919-760-2898.
Paralegal Program Internships
Students in the Paralegal Program have the opportunity to take part in internships. These internships typically last from 8-10 weeks for 8-10 hours per week. An internship is a wonderful way for students to get real-life legal experience and can be an excellent opportunity for employers to find potential employees. Please contact the Program Director if you would like to be placed on our internship list.
From time to time the Paralegal Program has teaching openings. The core courses are: Legal Research, Legal Survey, Law Office Management and Professional Development. The specialty courses are: Civil Litigation, Business Organizations, and Real Estate. Short courses in substantive areas of the law are also taught on a rotating basis for students in the Paralegal Program as well as for paralegals and attorneys completing continuing legal education. If you are interested in teaching in the Paralegal Program, please e-mail your cover letter, a current resume, and a paragraph about your work with paralegals.
One way in which to recruit, train and enhance the career of your employees is to sponsor their admission to the Paralegal Program. The current cost of the program is $5,510. You might find that this is a cost-effective way to develop an important player on your legal team. If you are interested in sponsoring a paralegal student, please contact the Program Director.
Continuing Legal Education
Meredith College offers continuing education courses for attorneys, paralegals, and other support staff. The training provides a hands-on, practical how-to approach to substantive areas of the law. For a current list of courses go to http://www.meredith.edu/legal. We offer a discount to Paralegal Program alumni with similar discounts offered to entities sending three or more students to the courses.
Customized Legal Training
Customized legal training—either at your location or at Meredith College—may also be arranged. Once you have determined your objective, we would be delighted to work with you to create and deliver training specific to the needs of your law firm, business, government agency or non-profit.
Whether you decide to send your employees to one of our regularly offered courses or to customize a course to meet your needs, we believe that you will find the training that you and your employees receive from Meredith College will provide you a quality educational experience with immediate tangible benefits.