The curriculum for the Paralegal Certificate consists of five required courses:
The specialty course is a 161 classroom hour course in one of three areas of law practice: Civil Litigation, Business Organizations or Real Estate.
To earn the certificate, students must earn a grade of C or better in each required course. The coursework is designed to be completed three evenings per week for two semesters. All coursework must be completed within two calendar years, including two pre-requisites.
Unauthorized Practice of Law
In North Carolina, a paralegal cannot independently give legal advice to clients, represent clients in court, accept a case or set a fee. The American Bar Association has defined a paralegal as "a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible."
Meredith College's Paralegal Program, in conjunction with Legal Aid through their Lawyer on the Line (LOTL) program, has created a pro bono clinic for students to help a pre-screened client in one of the following areas of law-- private landlord/tenant, public and subsidized housing, Medicaid, disability and non-disability issues in Social Security metters, consumer collections, employee rights, custody, guardianship and simple estates. Paralegal students will work with a supervising attorney to talk with clients through telephone interviews; from that interview, information will be provided to the supervising attorney who will work with the students to provide advice or discrete services to pre-screeened Legal Aid clients. Prerequisites: LEG 010, LEG 011, LEG 012, LEG 013 (semester 1)
Curriculum requirements and course descriptions are subject to changes with each catalogue.