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Florida Community College programs of study

Associate in Science/Associate in Applied Science

Legal Assisting (Paralegal Studies) (2299)

Mission Statement

The Florida Community College at Jacksonville Legal Assisting Program affirms the comprehensive mission of fostering the effective integration of legal assistants/paralegals into the legal service delivery team. Its primary mission is to provide rigorous, high-quality instruction, designed and developed to conform to the standards set by the American Bar Association, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the State of Florida, in a climate respecting the worth and dignity of each individual. The Florida Community College at Jacksonville Legal Assisting Program affirms the student as the heart of that educational endeavor. As such, the Legal Assisting Program works vigorously to ensure its standards of excellence are maintained and that its students possess the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to meet the demands and challenges of a legal assisting profession. In the spirit of its philosophy, the Legal Assisting Program is relentlessly dedicated to developing and achieving excellence in its individual student goals so that our mission is carried out as a lifelong learning process in the thinking and through the lives of our students.

Educational Goals of the Legal Assisting Program

An associate in science degree prepares graduates to assist attorneys as legal assistants in administrative agencies, insurance companies, private law firms, state agencies, corporations, government, and other legal environments. The technical curriculum has been designed to provide students with knowledge and skills in the areas of the role of a legal assistant, ethical requirements, legal research, analysis, the preparation of legal documents, litigation practice and procedure, real estate transactions, family law, administrative law, tort law, criminal law and probate law and practice. Emphasis is on training students in both civil and criminal matters.

An associate in science degree in Legal Assisting is offered to students who complete a minimum of sixty-four (64) credits, which must include:

  • Eighteen (18) general college credits
  • All of the Legal Assisting Program’s required courses
  • At least ten (10) credits of Legal Assisting Program electives
  • A minimum grade-point average of 2.00

The program culminates in a professional internship program. All other professional core courses must be completed prior to enrollment in the internship. In this course, students will work not less than 120 hours in a law-related office. In addition, students will meet weekly to share work experiences and receive final preparation for paraprofessional practice.

Graduates of the Legal Assisting Program shall be able to apply knowledge of the law and legal procedures in rendering direct assistance to lawyers. Note: While legal assistants are not permitted by law to give legal advice, they do work under the direct supervision of attorneys, performing specifically delegated duties necessary in the effective delivery of legal services to the client.

Interested? You can learn more about a career in legal assisting and how we can help you achieve that goal at the FCCJ Legal Studies Institute webpage. You’ll also find information on continuing education for legal professionals, internship information and links to other legal professional associations.

This program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Application Procedure
Students desiring to enter the legal assisting program must have a personal interview with the legal assisting program director prior to enrollment. New students are required to attend an orientation with the program director prior to enrolling in the PLA courses.


General Education Courses
ENC 1101 English Composition I (3) (prerequisite to PLA 1104)
ENC 1102 English Composition II: Writing About Non-Fiction Prose (3)
*Mathematics (3)
*Social and Behavioral Sciences (6)
*Humanities (3)

Credit hours: 18

Professional Courses
BUL 2131 Business Law I - The Legal Environment of Business (3)
CGS 1570 Microcomputer Applications (3)
  or CGS 1100 Microcomputer Applications for Business and Economics (4)
SPC 2016 Speech Communication for Business and the Professions (3)

Credit hours: 9

Paralegal Courses
PLA 1003 Introduction to Legal Assisting (3)
PLA 1104 Legal Research and Writing I (3)
PLA 2273 Tort Law (3)
PLA 2610 Real Estate Law (3)
PLA 2114 Legal Research and Writing II (3)
PLA 2433 Business Organizations (3)
PLA 2800 Family Law (3)
PLA 2200 Litigation (3)
**PLA 1943 Internship (3)

Credit hours: 27

Professional Electives (minimum 6 credit hours)
ACG 2021 Financial Accounting (4)
CJL 2062 Constitutional Law (3)
BSC 2085C Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
BSC 2086C Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
BSC 2010C Principles of Biology (3)
BSC 2020C Human Biology (4)
BUL 2242 Business Law II (3)
CGS 1060 Introductory Computer Concepts (3)
CGS 2512 Spreadsheet Concepts and Practices (3)
CGS 2525 Introduction to Multimedia (3)
CGS 2542 Database Concepts for Microcomputers (3)

Other choices for electives:
Insurance (RMI 1522, RMI 1523, RMI 1612, RMI 1613)
E-commerce and the Internet (CGS 2554, CGS 2555)
Business (MAN 2021, MAN 2300, MAR 1011, SBM 2000, OST 1581)
Office Technology (OST 2771, OST 2773, OST 1100, OST 1108, OST 1273, OST 1336, OST 1355, OST 1384, OST 2335, OST 2402)
Medical Terminology (HSC 1531)

Professional Law-Related Electives (mimimum 4 credit hours)
PLA 2880 Constitutional Law (3)
PLA 1931 Selected Topics in Legal Assisting (3)
PLA 1933 Selected Topics in Legal Assisting (3)
PLA 1303 Criminal Law and Procedure for Legal Assistants (3)
PLA 1423 Contract Law (3)
PLA 2240 Alternative Dispute Resolution (3)
PLA 2263 Evidence for the Legal Assistant (1)
PLA 1080 Legal Interviewing and Communicating (3)
PLA 2763 Law Office Procedures (3)
BUL 2242 Business Law II (3)
PLA 2465 Debtor/Creditor Law (3)
PLA 2483 Administrative Law (3)
PLA 2600 Wills, Trusts and Estates (3)
PLA 2732 Technology in the Law Office (3)
PLA 1941 Internship (1)
PLA 1942 Internship (2)

Credit hours: 10

Total Credit Hours: 64

*Refer to A.S. degree General Education Requirements.
**An approved elective may be substituted for this course if students have verifiable, related work experience of not less than 12 consecutive months.

The final responsibility for meeting graduation requirements stated in your Degree Audit Report rests with the student.

You have two options in this program: the associate in science (A.S.) degree, which can prepare you for employment or transfer to a state university, and the associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree, which is intended primarily for students who want immediate employment after graduation. If you choose the A.S. degree you must take MAC 1105, MGF 1106 or a higher level mathematics. The A.A.S. degree requires MAT 1033 or higher. Please see an advisor to determine the option that is best for you.

Estimated cost of tuition is $3,900 (for Florida residents, as of 7/04)


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