Program Description

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 for become a lawyer, legal administrator,
or other law office or courthouse personnel.

Program Coursework

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, 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.

Note: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.