Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies
While lawyers assume ultimate responsibility for legal work, they often delegate many of their tasks to paralegals.
One of a paralegal’s most important tasks is helping lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegals investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered. They identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, and other materials that are important to assigned cases. They analyze and organize the information, and prepare written reports that attorneys use in determining how cases should be handled.
In lawsuits, paralegals help prepare the legal arguments, draft pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits, and assist attorneys during trials. Paralegals also organize and track files of all important case documents and make them available and easily accessible to attorneys.
In addition to this preparatory work, paralegals perform a number of other vital functions. For example, they help draft contracts, mortgages, separation agreements, and instruments of trust. They may also assist in preparing tax returns and planning estates. Some paralegals coordinate the activities of other law office employees and maintain office financial records.
Familiarity with computer use and technical knowledge has become essential to paralegal work. Computer software packages and the Internet are used to search legal literature stored in computer databases and on CD-ROM. In litigation involving many supporting documents, paralegals usually use computer databases to retrieve, organize, and index various materials. Imaging software allows paralegals to scan documents directly into a database, while billing programs help them to track hours billed to clients. Computer software packages also are used to perform tax computations and explore the consequences of various tax strategies for clients.
UC's baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies is designed for people who have already earned a bachelor’s degree but wish to change careers.
What is Paralegal Studies?
This Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in paralegal studies is for people who have already earned a bachelor’s degree but may wish to change careers and have an interest in the law.
The paralegal field is growing and offers opportunities in many different areas of concentration. A paralegal in the Cincinnati region can work in a variety of legal fields, such as finding success with corporate firms, private firms, or in the public arena.
Paralegals play a vital role in the legal system by completing essential legal tasks that ensure the delivery of quality legal services to the client. A paralegal’s primary role is to provide support to attorneys. Paralegals may work specifically with one lawyer or work with a group of several attorneys. The work that paralegals do varies based on the size and practice area of the firm at which they are employed, but commonly includes such tasks as meeting with clients, interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, researching case law and legal precedents, drafting documents, pleadings and correspondence with clients and the court.
Much like attorneys, paralegals can choose a certain type of law, which can determine the type work they will do on a regular basis. A litigation paralegal, for example, may prepare clients for trial, interview witnesses, research legal precedents pertinent to a case, and must have a wide knowledge of the court rules and evidentiary issues. A paralegal degree does more than provide opportunities in the legal field. Many other industries need paralegals, including real estate, hospitals, nonprofits and health care systems.
Familiarity with computers and technology has become essential to paralegal work. Computer software, databases and the Internet are used to search client information and conduct legal research. Paralegals often use computer databases to retrieve, organize and index various materials. Imaging software allows paralegals to scan documents directly into a database, while billing programs help them to track hours billed to clients.
Excellent communication skills, a willingness to learn computer software applications and attention to detail are important attributes to succeed as a paralegal. You should have good people skills, be an independent worker and have a high degree of personal integrity.
The paralegal profession has been a growth occupation for the past 25 years.
“Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects." — U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A paralegal has many options for employment. This is a growing career, and a challenging one. If this sounds like the career for you, call today to meet with one of our advisors!
Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
The following information is provided per U.S. Department of Education regulations: The Department of Labor's standard occupational classification (SOC) code for this occupation is 23-2011. The informational profile for this occupation is online at http://online.onetcenter.org.
Regulations published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010, require institutions to report certain information about students who enrolled in Title IV eligible educational programs that lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation (GE programs). View this program’s most recent disclosure information including program costs, median loan debt at program completion, normal time to completion and normal time to completion rates, and job placement rate (if reported) at http://www.ucclermont.edu/content/dam/clermont/gainful-employment/paralegal-post-bacc/Paralegal%20Studies%20(Post%20Bacc).html.
UC Advantages and Special Opportunities
The UC Clermont campus is on 92 wooded acres located in Batavia, Ohio, in the heart of Clermont County. We are relatively small and our faculty to student ratio is low. You will find small class size and personal interaction with your instructors create the ideal learning environment. Parking is convenient and at no additional charge. Plus, our tuition is the lowest of the UC colleges.
Our paralegal program places a strong emphasis on learning legal technology. Many of the classes are taught in a computer lab with hands-on use of the software typically used in a law office setting.
You must have a bachelor’s degree for acceptance into this Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.
If you have taken paralegal courses at other institutions, you may petition the program director to transfer those credits to our program. Credits must be from a regionally accredited, ABA or an institutional member of AAfPE to be considered.
For specific deadline information, visit the Admissions webpage.
AccreditationThe University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Our paralegal Post-Baccalaureate Certificate is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Degree in Paralegal Studies
Full-Time Program Duration
UC Clermont & UC East
4200 Clermont College Drive
Batavia, OH 45103
Phone: (513) 732-5319