The Paralegal Program at Central Piedmont Community College is an ABA-Approved Program with the primary goal of providing our students with the legal knowledge and practical skills necessary to become competent, ethical paralegals.
The American Bar Association defines 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.” This program prepares individuals to work under the supervision of attorneys by performing a variety of legal tasks and assisting with substantive legal work. A paralegal is not licensed to practice law and is therefore prohibited by state bar rules from engaging in any activity that may constitute as the unauthorized practice of law. These include, but are not limited to, activities such as giving legal advice, representing clients in court or at depositions, signing legal documents, or entering into fee agreements with clients. Furthermore, paralegals generally may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
This program is designed to train individuals interested in becoming paralegals or legal assistants. This program does not offer curriculum leading to certification to become a lawyer, legal administrator, or other law office or courthouse personnel.
Overall, course work includes, but is not limited to, areas of civil litigation, legal research and writing, real estate, family law, wills, estates, trusts, contract (commercial) law, personal injury law, corporate law, criminal law, and legal ethics and professionalism. For students working toward an associate in applied science degree, general education required courses include subjects in english, mathematics, humanities, and the social sciences. All students are required to take courses in introduction to computers, keyboarding, word processing, text editing, and public speaking.
Additionally, graduates may receive training in probate work, investigations, public records searches, drafting and filing legal documents, and other tasks. Employment opportunities are available in private law firms, governmental agencies, banks, insurance agencies, and other business organizations.
Students may take a combination of traditional, hybrid, and online courses; however, students are required to take at least ten semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction.
Note: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.