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The Paralegal Associate of Applied Science program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College prepares students for work as paralegals who work with the supervision of an attorney. The program teaches students about theory and how it applies to the law as well as how to research statutes and prepare legal documents. Students will also study procedural and substantive legal problems, how to interview clients, and how to manage caseloads.
Upon completion of this program students will be able to analyze basic accounting principles, evaluate computer technology, and explain the American legal system. Individuals will also show skills in writing, communication, legal reasoning, and ethical and social responsibility. Finally, they will know about substantive and procedural law. Classes include topics in accounting, business law, research and writing, civil, criminal, and family law, and various government courses. Students may be required to take developmental courses in reading, math, and writing in order to prepare them for education on a college level; whether these classes are required are determined by the student’s score on the Accuplacer assessment.
A paralegal is a paraprofessional who assists lawyers in their legal work. Paralegal professionals are typically trained in legal matters, carrying out certain jobs that require specific knowledge of the law and procedures. They often handle most of the paperwork in areas such as bankruptcies, investigations, divorce actions, and interrogatories. Unlicensed paralegals must be supervised by a lawyer and cannot practice law. Licensed paralegals often work in a specific area of practice and represent clients in matters such as immigration, labor law, small claims court, provincial offenses, and other criminal areas. Paralegaals are not permitted to represent clients in family court or wills and estates but can be licensed to take swearing oaths.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
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