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 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.
Applicants must submit an application for admission into the program. The following criteria apply:
- Applicants must have graduated with at least a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Applicants must have a 2.0 overall grade point average.
Need More Information? Contact:
Nancy Sutton, J.D., Kent Campus, (904) 381-3506 or firstname.lastname@example.org