2015-2016 Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Paralegal Studies, A.A.S.

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Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Contact Information:
Program Office 615-353-3390, 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.

Career Opportunities

  • 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.

Course Requirements


  •  Humanities Elective 3 Credits

Natural Sciences or Mathematics Elective

  • Natural Sciences or Mathematics Elective 3 Credits

Social Sciences

  •  Social Sciences Elective 3 Credits

Total Required – Associate’s Degree: 60 Credits


Recommended Full-Time Schedule

First Year

Second Year

Fall Semester

Spring Semester


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, COMPASS test scores, or other relevant information determine whether a student needs to enroll in co-requisite courses in math, reading, and/or writing (English).

Cooperative work experience can be an important addition to a student’s formal classroom work. Co-op courses may substitute for technical courses with the prior approval of the instructor. The Career Services Office will provide the correct course numbers.


* This course is part of the general education core.


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