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 through 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 and guidelines from engaging in any activity that may constitute the unauthorized practice of law, 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 those individuals who are interested in becoming paralegals or legal assistants. This Program does not train one to become a lawyer, legal administrator, legal secretary, or other law office or courthouse personnel.
Course work includes, but is not limited to, substantive and procedural legal knowledge in the 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, required courses also include subjects such as English, mathematics, humanities, and social science. All students are required to take introduction to computers, basic keyboarding, word processing, text editing, and public speaking.
Graduates are trained to assist attorneys 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.
Note: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.