The Associate in Science (A.S.) in Legal Studies (Paralegal Studies) degree prepares students for careers in the legal profession. The courses provide students with both the knowledge of the substantive areas of law studies (such as tort law, family law, real estate law, criminal law, probate and estate planning) and the practical skills (such as conducting legal research, preparing legal documents, investigating and communicating), which are necessary to succeed as a paralegal or legal assistant. The program culminates in a professional internship during the student’s last term in the program consisting of a minimum 180 intern hours at a law-related office. For those students who are unable to complete a traditional internship, the program offers a simulated law office class.
The A.S. in Legal Studies (Paralegal Studies) degree at FSCJ has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1997. In fact, it is the only ABA-approved program in North Florida.
This program cannot be completed entirely online. Due to ABA requirements, students must complete a minimum number of credit hours through traditional classroom instruction. Transfer of legal specialty courses from other institutions may be limited by the program's ABA approval.
Upon completing this program, students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in the following program learning outcomes:
At this time, certification of paralegals/legal assistants remains voluntary in Florida. The Certified Paralegal (CP) credential is recognized in the legal community as representing the highest standard of excellence and professionalism. Students who successfully graduate from the Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) program at Florida State College at Jacksonville meet the educational requirements to sit for the CP exam. The exam is administered locally by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). For more information regarding the CP exam, eligibility and fees, please visit the NALA website at http://nala.org/.