The non-transfer Certificate/Associate in Science (AS) degree program in Legal Assistant studies is designed to prepare students for a paraprofessional career in generalized or specialized areas of paralegal services. This program provides the student with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to enter the job market as a legal assistant in private law offices, government agencies or corporations. A legal assistant works under the direction of an attorney in performing legal services to meet the client’s needs. The Associate in Science degree provides students with the educational foundation helpful for transfer to a baccalaureate pre-law program or related field of study.
Although most employers do not require certification, earning a voluntary certification from a professional society may offer advantages in the labor market. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), for example, has established standards for certification requiring a combination of education and experience. Paralegals who meet those standards are eligible to take a two-day examination given by NALA. Those who pass the exam will earn a Paralegal Certification.