Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Contact Information: Program Office 615-353-3390, E-mail: Paralegal@nscc.edu, Program Site
The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals defines a legal assistant or 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 who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.” The Paralegal Studies program is designed to provide a general education and substantive legal courses to prepare students for entry-level paralegal positions working under the supervision of an attorney in the private or public sector. Paralegal skills emphasized include: an understanding of basic substantive and procedural law, legal research, legal document preparation, legal ethics, problem solving, case management and effective communication.
Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
Graduates of this program should be able to:
- Demonstrate a basic understanding of legal ethics and professional responsibility.
- Explain the organization of the court system.
- Draft legal documents under the direction of an attorney.
- Conduct legal research and do legal writing.
- Interview clients and witnesses to gather investigative information.
- Use word processing and law-related computer software.
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of procedural and substantive law.
- Use verbal and written communication skills effectively.
- Law firms
- Corporate legal departments
- Law Schools
- Federal Government
- State Governments
- Local Government
- Public and Private Agencies
The A.A.S. degree is designed to prepare a student for employment upon graduation. Some universities, at their discretion, accept some technical courses for transfer. A student who plans to transfer to a university should consult his/her advisor and the receiving university about transfer and articulation policies. Failure to do so could result in loss of transfer credits.
Paralegal Transfer Credit Policy
Paralegal-specific courses successfully completed by the student are evaluated by the program coordinator as to the college level, earned grade, NSCC equivalent, method of delivery, and accreditation of the prior college. There are limitations on the class rubric and number of hours that may be transferred to the Paralegal program. There are 18 hours of paralegal-specific classes in the technical core. Only six hours may be transferred into the program. There are twelve hours of technical electives. These may be transferred into the program if the above criteria are met.