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Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota offers an online Associates of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies degree. The innovative online format allows working students the opportunity to earn a useful degree while still fulfilling current career and family obligations. The online program is comprised of the same courses as the traditional classroom, with courses to be taught through a virtual venue.
The Paralegal Studies program is designed for students interested in becoming non-lawyer legal professionals. A paralegal, also called a legal assistant is, in the words of the American Bar Association, a person “who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work, for which a lawyer is responsible.” With that responsibility, many legal offices prefer applicants who have completed a formal training program like the A.A.S. degree in Paralegal Studies. Lawyers work closely with paralegals in a variety of legal settings, in businesses and corporations, financial institutions, title and escrow companies, and government institutions. Paralegals can also qualify for other positions as trust officers, title examiners, contract clerks, legal investigators, and law firm administrators. The myriad of responsibilities that paralegals perform include: Conducting legal investigations, legal research, drafting documents, interviewing clients and witnesses, summarizing data and managing cases.
Due to the legal limitations of Paralegals, each student should understand the specific duties that are legally allowed within the state regulations. Specific tasks depend on the level of training, education, and experience of the paralegal, a paralegal may not give legal advice or otherwise engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
The 60 credit hour online Associate in Applied Science degree offers students the flexibility of a liberal arts degree in addition to the core legal studies courses of the Paralegal program. The online format allows students to earn a valuable degree for career advancement on an independent schedule. Graduates will be prepared for entry-level employment as paralegals or use the A.A.S degree as a foundation for future educational goals at a four-year institution.
Graduates will enter the legal environment with a solid understanding of legal terminology, the American legal system, and state and federal court rules and procedures. Paralegals present themselves as, well educated and highly trained professionals, who ethically analyze information for lawyers and clients.
They demonstrate the culmination of the paralegal curriculum in areas like: constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, family law, bankruptcy law, property law, torts, personal injury law, wills and probate, victim advocacy and dispute resolution.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
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