Explore the Paralegal Program at NC

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Dean’s Office, Corsicana Campus | 903.875.7573

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Paralegal Studies at NC


Navarro College offers two programs designed to prepare individuals to perform and assist in performing duties requiring knowledge of substantive and procedural law under the direct supervision of an attorney or to perform duties for corporations and other employers that benefit from the Paralegal’s ability to gather, analyze and organize information and to understand legal issues.

 

The A.A.S. degrees prepares a student for immediate employment as a paralegal. These are two-year programs which allow the student to complete the basic core college requirements along with 10 paralegal courses providing the student with a knowledge of substantive and procedural law and the technical skills necessary to be a proficient paralegal. These programs also enable the student to transition seamlessly to bachelor’s degree programs at numerous 4-year institutions including Tarleton, UNT, UTA, and Texas A&M University-Commerce.

 

Navarro College offers a one-year certificate. This program works best for those students already employed as a Paralegal or those seeking the credential in addition to a previously earned degree.

What is a Paralegal? There are probably as many definitions of the term “paralegal” or its equivalent “legal assistant” as there are attorneys, corporations, government agencies and other entities that employ them. According to the American Bar Association, a legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed by a lawyer, law office, corporation, government agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which the lawyer is responsible.

 

What do Paralegals do? Paralegals perform many of the legal functions traditionally undertaken by an attorney. The paralegal performs these tasks under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney. Attorneys assume ultimate responsibility for the work, but are increasingly delegating many of their duties to paralegals. While the Paralegal job description will no doubt vary depending upon the employer, some common tasks a paralegal may be expected to perform are listed below:

 

  1. Conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with clients
  2. Locate and interview witnesses
  3. Conduct legal investigations
  4. Calendar and track important deadlines
  5. Organize and maintain client files
  6. Draft legal documents and forms
  7. Conduct legal research
  8. Assist attorneys at depositions, hearings and trials
  9. Organize information in preparation for trial
  10. Manage law office procedures

 

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public and are expressly forbidden by law from carrying out duties that are considered the practice of law such as giving legal advice, setting legal fees, and appearing in court on behalf of a client.

 

Where do Paralegals work? Paralegals work in a variety of settings including private law firms, government offices and courts, corporate legal departments, and other business such as banks, title companies, and insurance companies. Paralegals deal with all areas of the law including litigation, personal injury, real estate, family law, criminal law, bankruptcy, environmental law, employment law, corporate law, and elder law, among others. The duties of paralegals vary widely depending upon the employer. A paralegal may work in an office that specializes in a particular area of the law or for an attorney with a general practice encompassing many specialty areas.

 

Employment Outlook and Salary Expectations

 

Outlook: Increasing demand for qualified paralegals is expected to continue for years to come. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Paralegal field is projected to grow 12% from 2018 -2028, much faster than average to other occupations. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects. There are opportunities for employment in Navarro, Ellis, Kaufman and Limestone Counties as well as Dallas, Waco, Fort Worth and other major cities. In short, wherever there are lawyers, there is a demand for qualified paralegals!

 

Salaries: Students considering the Paralegal profession will be happy to learn that salaries continue to increase as well as demand. Salaries vary greatly in the profession depending upon various factors. Education, experience, geographic area, size and type of employer play a part in the salary a paralegal can expect to earn. A survey conducted by the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas in 2014 concluded that the median base salary for paralegals working in Texas law firms is $54,739, government agencies is $49,375 and corporate legal department paralegals made an average of $71,771 annually.

 

Paralegal Credentials:There are currently no requirements for Paralegals in Texas to be licensed or credentialed. However, The National Association of Legal Assistants, a respected national paralegal organization provides a voluntary certification procedure for graduates of paralegal programs meeting certain criteria. Navarro graduates are eligible to take the CLA exam, which is offered several times a year in the Dallas area. By passing the exam and meeting other requirements set by NALA, a graduate can earn the recognized “Certified Legal Assistant” or “CLA” distinction. For more information – go to www.nala.org.

 

About Becoming a Lawyer

Many paralegals take the next step and go on to become lawyers. If this is your goal, the Paralegal Studies Program at Navarro College can put you well on your way to achieving your dream.

 

The process of becoming a lawyer: After achieving your Associate’s Degree, you must go to school an additional two years to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. The Bachelor’s Degree can be in any subject. In other words, you do not have to major in pre-law or anything else. There are no prerequisite courses for law school other than the Bachelor’s Degree itself. After getting your Bachelor’s, you must apply and be accepted to an accredited law school. Law School is a three-year program. Graduates must then take and pass the Bar Exam and undergo a criminal background check in order to receive a license to practice law from the state. It takes 7 years of post high-school education to become a lawyer.

 

The Paralegal Studies Degree is a step in the right direction: A paralegal education will give you a firm foundation for courses you will be required to take in law school. It will also give you a practical understanding of the general concepts about which you will learn. Additionally, you will be qualified to work as a paralegal which will enable you to gain experience and money before or during law school.

Careers in Paralegal Studies


  • Corporate Paralegals
  • Litigation Paralegals
  • Legal Secretaries
  • Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators

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Gainful Employment


To download a copy of the report, please click on the link below.

 

Paralegal Studies Certificate (.pdf)

Degree Plans Offered


Paralegal Studies (AAS)60 credit hours
Paralegal Studies with Criminal Justice Emphasis (AAS)60 credit hours
Paralegal Studies Certificate36 credit hours
OFFERED ON CAMPUS: Online
PATHWAY: Public Service

Course Catalog


Search degree plans in the College Catalog
View Course Descriptions found in the College Catalog

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NEXT TERM ENROLLMENT: WINTER MINI / SPRING 2020
November 4 - December 11Winter Mini Registration
December 11Mini Registration ends & Payment due at 5 p.m.
December 16Winter Mini Classes start
November 4, 2019 - January 7, 2020Spring Registration
January 7Spring Registration ends & Payment due at 5 p.m.
January 13 (1st 8-Week & 16-Week terms) 2020Classes start
January 13 - January 27Spring 2nd 8-Week Registration
January 27 Spring 2nd 8-Week Registration ends & Payment due at 5 p.m.
January 28 - March 4Spring 2nd 8-Week Registration
March 4Spring 2nd 8-Week Registration ends & Payment due at 5 p.m.

DEGREE & TRANSFER OPTIONS

Complete your degree and begin your career
or transfer to a 4-year college to continue your studies.

 

Have transfer credits from another college or university? Send your official transcript(s) to the Office of Admissions & Records at 3200 W. 7th Avenue, Corsicana, TX 75110

ACCREDITATION

Navarro College is accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees; approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and is a member of the Texas Association of Community Colleges and the American Association of Community Colleges.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

PROGRAM CONTACT INFORMATION

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Dean’s Office, Corsicana Campus | 903.875.7573

Learn more about Financial Aid and Scholarships