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    Florida State College at Jacksonville
  May 30, 2023
2015-2016 Catalog [Aug. 2015-Aug. 2016] 
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2015-2016 Catalog [Aug. 2015-Aug. 2016] [Archived Catalog]

Paralegal Studies (4104) (A.T.C.)

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Advanced Technical Certificate

The Advanced Technical Certificate (A.T.C.) is exclusively for the student who has earned a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and is now seeking a career change or certification.  The Paralegal Studies courses identified in this A.T.C. will meet the educational requirements for the Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal (CLA/CP) examination administered nationwide by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). 

All courses in this technical certificate are also included in the Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) (2299) (A.S.)  degree. You have the option of applying all of the coursework completed in this program toward an associate’s degree.

A minimum grade of “C” or better must be achieved in all professional core courses.


The mission of the Paralegal Studies program is to educate, train, and develop students for careers as paralegals and legal assistants.  The curriculum focuses on the study of legal theory and substantive areas of the law, and incorporates the practical application of law to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the profession.  The program emphasizes legal research, writing, law related technology, communication, ethics, and critical thinking skills so that students enter the legal profession well prepared.

The Profession

The American Bar Association 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.”

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.  The Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) program supports these ethical guidelines against the unauthorized practice of law by non-attorneys.  The students in the program have extensive training in legal ethics.

Expected Job Growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to project growth in the employment of paralegals and legal assistants.  For specific information, projections, and salary expectations, please visit the website for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Certification and Licensing

At this time, certification of paralegals/legal assistants remains voluntary in Florida.  The Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal (CLA/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 CLA/CP exam. The exam is administered locally by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).  For more information regarding the CLA/CP exam, eligibility and fees, please see the NALA website.

Application Procedure

Applicants must submit an application for admission into the program.  The following criteria apply:

  1. Applicants must have graduated with at least a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Applicants must have a 2.0 overall grade point average.

Need More Information? Contact:

Nancy Sutton, J.D., Kent Campus, (904) 381-3506 or


Graduation Requirements

In order to be awarded an advanced technical certificate, students must have met the following requirements.

  1. Students must fulfill the specific program requirements as outlined in the Florida State College at Jacksonville Catalog.
  2. Earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (“C”) on a 4.0 scale on all courses attempted at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
  3. Completed the required courses as set forth in the curriculum.
  4. Students who place into college preparatory courses are required to complete designated college preparatory courses with a grade of “C” or better regardless of program of study.
  5. Completed at least one-fourth (25 percent) of the total hours required for the program in residence at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
  6. Students must have fulfilled all financial obligations to the College before they may graduate.

Note: Students are cautioned to pay particular attention to the following statements.

  1. A student’s graduation date will be the date of the end of the College term in which the student has fulfilled all academic requirements. (The removal of an incomplete grade does not affect students’ graduation dates, since the grade change is effective at the end of the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned rather than the term in which the incomplete work was made up.)
  2. Students who enter under the (2015/2016) catalog will be assigned to the degree or certificate requirements in effect during the 2015/2016 academic year.  The student’s assigned catalog year will remain in effect as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment. Changes to requirements as mandated by law or by rule of the District Board of Trustees may supersede this provision.
  3. Many courses in this catalog have prerequisite requirements and/or co-requisite courses listed in the course descriptions. Students are advised to be guided by these requirements.
  4. Degree-seeking students whose native language is not English and who fall below a designated cutoff score on the English as a second language entry college placement test (CPT-L), will be required to take English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses prior to registering for other college credit classes. Students from cultures whose language of instruction may have been in English, but the native language is other than English, also come under the CPT-L test and course guidelines. The level of these courses will be determined by the entry placement scores. Individual exceptions will be determined by the EAP program manager. Students who place into EAP, as determined by the test, must complete EAP prefix courses before registering for other college credit classes. Non-degree-seeking college credit students who plan to take English, reading or courses where these are critical requisite skills must also meet these requirements. Exceptions to these requirements can be made by the EAP program manager or designee.


This certificate articulates directly into the Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) (2299) (A.S.)  degree. Students may pursue one or more certificates to develop or upgrade their skills in a particular field, or pursue the A.S. degree and earn technical certificates while completing the requirements for the degree. Contact an advisor or counselor to determine the career education path that is best for you.

Gainful Employment

This is a gainful employment program. Visit the Gainful Employment page for gainful employment programs’ placement and on-time completion rates, median loan amounts, SOC codes and estimated program costs.

Gainful employment programs include only training programs of at least one academic year that lead to a certificate and credentialed non-degree programs (credit programs requiring 30 or fewer credit hours and clock hour programs requiring 600 or more contact hours). These programs prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

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