Jun 24, 2024  
2017-2018 Arapahoe Community College Catalog 
2017-2018 Arapahoe Community College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Paralegal Certificate

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CIP 220302 (LGA2)

Paralegals (Legal Assistants) play an important role in assisting attorneys to provide affordable legal services.

ACC’s American Bar Association – approved Paralegal Program provides a solid foundation of knowledge and practical experience to prepare students for this profession. While paralegals may not practice law, they work under the supervision of attorneys in private law firms or businesses, as well as in many government agencies. Tasks performed by paralegals include interviewing, investigation, research, preparing legal forms, assisting attorneys in court and other activities.

Please contact the Paralegal Department Chair or Coordinator if you have questions about the academic requirements.

ABA approval

The Paralegal Program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1977. The approval process ensures that the program complies with the high academic standards of the American Bar Association. If you have questions about the approval process, the American Bar Association may be reached at 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-988-5000.

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to Arapahoe Community College
  • Admission requires one of the following:
    • College Degree (Baccalaureate degree, Associate of Science degree, Associate of General Studies degree, Associate of Arts degree) from a regionally accredited college or university
      • An official transcript must be on file in Admissions and Records prior to enrolling in paralegal classes and
      • Successful completion of college-level English Composition class or or ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills of 105 or higher.
    • Program Chair approval based on at least five years of law-related work experience
      • Supporting documentation must be submitted to the Department Chair and the student must be formally admitted to the program by letter of acceptance and
      • Students should have been assessed to be at college-level in English (see Student Resources and Services - Assessment  in this Catalog), or have successfully completed college-level English with a grade of “C” or better, or ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills of 105 or higher within the last 5 years, before paralegal classes can be taken.
  • Students must contact the Program Chair, full-time Faculty member or Program Coordinator for advising and program planning prior to enrolling in any PAR courses. Once the advising process is completed students may enroll in PAR classes; enrollment in classes will not be permitted without such Program approval.
  • Program approval is required in order to transfer in credit for paralegal classes (PAR) from other institutions; courses may be transferred to the program ONLY if they were taken from an ABA-approved program at a regionally accredited institution, and out-of-state courses may only be transferred in if the law content is not state-specific. A maximum of (nine) semester credit hours of paralegal courses may be transferred to ACC and such courses must be approved by the Paralegal Department Chair
  • The Paralegal Department expects all students In the paralegal program to abide by the code of ethics promulgated by the American Bar Association (ABA) and National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) . The code of ethics may be viewed at www.americanbar.org and www.nala.org

Program Requirements

PAR 115   must be taken the first semester of study. All classes except for PAR 115 , have PAR corequisites or prerequisites; see Course Descriptions . All students who are enrolled in at least one paralegal (PAR) class will be charged a program fee each semester.

Progression and Course Completion

In order to progress through the Paralegal program:

  • A student must successfully complete each course in the Paralegal curriculum by achieving a grade of “C” or better
  • If a student withdraws from a PAR class, this will be treated the same as a failure to successfully complete a course
  • If a student earns a grade lower than a “C” in any PAR course, or withdraws from any PAR class, the student will be allowed to retake the course a maximum of one time.
  • No more than two PAR classes may be retaken during the completion of the Paralegal program
  • If a student is not successful, i.e., a “C” or higher grade on the re-take attempt, the student will be dismissed from the Paralegal program.
  • If the student withdraws for reasons other than academic reasons, the student may provide documented proof of reasons and petition the Paralegal Program for an additional one-time opportunity to retake the class. Approval of the exception is strictly the decision of the Program Chair.

Graduation Requirements

  • All paralegal courses required for the certificate must be completed with a grade of “C” or better
  • To graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Students must complete a Paralegal Exit Survey/Interview
  • At least 27 (twenty-seven) hours of paralegal (PAR) courses must be taken at Arapahoe Community College
  • Paralegal (PAR) courses must be taken within six years of a student’s graduation. General education courses are not subject to this six-year requirement
  • To graduate, students must apply for graduation and complete the graduation survey.
  • After applying for graduation, all correspondence to a student about the status of their program conferral will be sent to their student email address only.
  • As a graduate of a Career and Technical Education program you will be contacted by an ACC employee in approximately six months to verify your employment information. This information gathering is a federal requirement to ensure that ACC receives certain federal funding.
  • “Information regarding occupations, completion rates, placement rates, program costs and median loan debt may be found at www.arapahoe.edu/departments-and-programs/gainful-employment-disclosure-information.”

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