The American Bar Association (ABA) defines a paralegal/legal assistant as “a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”
This A.S. degree program supports ethical guidelines against the unauthorized practice of law by non-attorneys. Paralegals and legal assistants are not permitted by law to give legal advice, represent clients in court or set legal fees. Doing so is considered the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) and can result in civil and criminal liability.
Employment opportunities may include private law firms, courthouses, governmental or administrative agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations and other legal environments.