The Associate in Science degree in Paralegal Studies is designed for students seeking a professional career in a law-related field. The program trains students in many diverse areas of law. Subjects include legal research and writing, real estate law, criminal law, family law, wills and trusts, torts, and litigation.
As current industry standards are under development, program graduates will be specialists who can manage law office operations, assume certain routine duties of attorneys and directly assist attorneys in handling legal problems. Other roles may include performing legal research, developing new procedures, and drafting of documents. The program is designed for both full time and part time students. Classes are offered in day and evening formats, including an online format.
Successful completion of this program qualifies students to sit for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal exam (CLA/CP). The program does not qualify students to practice law, sit for a state bar exam, nor act as or represent themselves as lawyers. Paralegals and legal assistants are advised to acknowledge the American Bar Association definition of a paralegal or legal assistant as “a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, a law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”
The Associate in Science degree in Paralegal Studies transfers directly into the Edison State College Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Public Safety Administration, as well as any public Florida college or university’s Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. For additional information on Transfer Services, contact the department at 239-489-9132.
The Florida Registered Paralegal Program
In the state of Florida, a paralegal is generally defined as a person with education, training or work experience who works under the supervision of a member of the Florida Bar and who performs specifically delegated legal work for which a member of the Florida Bar is responsible. The Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP) is now recognized and approved by the Supreme Court of Florida. Refer to the Florida Bar Association website: www.floridabar.org for more information on becoming a Florida Registered Paralegal.
An entry level worker can expect to earn $37,000 while an experienced worker can expect to earn $52,000. *
Salary range varies by level of experience and type and/or size of legal employer. Willingness to relocate may increase salary opportunities.
There are approximately 50 annual openings in Edison State’s service district. **
* Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation retrieved January 20February 2009.
** 2008-09 Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Labor Market and Statistics.
- Legal Assistant
- Contract Administrator
- Victim’s Advocate
- Private Investigator
- Talent/Sport’s Agent
- Title Researcher/Abstracter
- Legislative Analyst
- Real Estate Closing Agent
Related knowledge and skills:
- Strong Communication Skills
- Fact Management
- Research Skills
- Computer Skills
- Stress Management
- Negotiation/Mediation Skills
- Time Management
- Financial Skills
- Organizational Skills
- Interviewing Skills
- Document Management
Refer to specific course descriptions listed in this Catalog.