2021-2022 Catalog 
    Jun 15, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Paralegal Studies, A.A.S.

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Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Contact Information:
Program Office 615-353-3400. Program Site, Email: paralegal@nscc.edu

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.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 Nashville State Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals (Approval Commission).

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.

Career Opportunities

  • Law Firms
  • Corporate Legal Departments
  • Law Schools
  • Federal Government
  • State Governments
  • Local Government
  • Public and Private Agencies
  • Non-Profit Organizations


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 Studies program. There are 36 hours of paralegal-specific classes in the technical core. Only nine transfer hours from ABA approved programs may be applied towards the AAS degree and only three transfer hours from ABA approved programs may be applied towards the Technical Certificate.These may be transferred into the program if the above criteria are met.

Course Requirements

Required: NSCC 1010 - First Year Experience

Speech Elective (choose one)

Humanities/Fine Arts Elective (choose one)

Natural Sciences or Mathematics Elective (choose one)

Social/Behavioral Sciences Elective (choose one)

Total Required – Associate Degree: 61 Credits


Recommended Full-Time Schedule

First Year

Second Year


Additional course requirements: The Tennessee Board of Regents requires that students either demonstrate the appropriate skill levels in math, reading, and/or writing before enrolling in college-level courses or enroll in appropriate co-requisite experiences with college-level courses to develop competency in those skills while performing college-level work. ACT/SAT scores, classic ACCUPLACER test scores, next-generation ACCUPLACER test scores, or other relevant information determine whether a student needs to enroll in co-requisite courses in math, reading, and/or writing (English).


* This course is part of the general education core.


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