What do paralegals do?
Paralegals perform legal research, draft and prepare documents, and gather and organize factual information. Responsibilities differ depending upon the kind of business or firm and its size and specialization. Training as a paralegal provides instruction in basic legal principles and skills which can be transferred to various settings. In North Carolina, a paralegal cannot independently give legal advice to clients, represent clients in court, accept a case or set a fee.
What are salaries like for paralegals?
Legal Assistant Today, a national publication for paralegals, produces an annual report on salaries.
What if I am thinking about law school?
A paralegal career offers intellectually challenging and varied work in the legal field for a much smaller investment of time and money. However, the paralegal field can be a good option for students who are interested in a legal career but who are not sure about law school or are not ready to go immediately. Training and working as a paralegal can be a way to test your interest in becoming an attorney and gaining practical skills to give you a head start in law school.
Does the Paralegal Program provide job placement assistance?
Meredith College receives job announcements from the legal community weekly and distributes these to students and alumni of the paralegal program. Students complete a 15-hour Professional Development course focusing on the job search. The Director of the Paralegal Program is available to meet with students and alumni individually to create customized job searches and professional development strategies.
Is ABA-Approval Necessary?
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 and the preference of many employers.
What are the admission requirements?
The Paralegal Program operates with rolling admissions. The program is a post-baccalaureate certificate program and is open to men and women with a degree in any discipline. An application is not considered complete until all of the following documents have been received. See the complete list of requirements.
About the Program:
The Paralegal Program Mission Statement
To develop in students the knowledge, skills and ethical understandings needed to begin a paralegal career and to perform competently and ethically in their chosen area of specialization; to assist them in obtaining positions in which they have opportunities to utilize their training; to provide them with a foundation of knowledge and skills in their legal research, writing, and analytical thinking that can serve as the basis for further career development, law school or graduate school; to serve program graduates and the local legal community with continuing paralegal education courses; and to promote public awareness of the role of paralegals in the efficient delivery of quality legal services.
Student Learning Outcomes
o Graduates will develop critical thinking skills to perform paralegal tasks;
o Students will develop organizational skills that allow them to sort through and manage information;
o Students will develop written and oral communication skills to communicate well with employers, peers, clients, and other entities in the legal community;
o Students will develop a knowledge of legal ethics and develop their own statement of principles to guide their career; and
o Students will develop the skills to obtain employment and to work effectively and positively beginning on their first day of a new job.
o The Paralegal Program curriculum will stay current in its curriculum offerings and develop in its graduates the necessary paralegal skills to meet the needs of the legal community;
o The Paralegal Program will support students with the resources and skills to successfully complete the job search; and
o The Paralegal Program will increase awareness in the general public and enhance paralegal utilization in the legal field.