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    Florida State College at Jacksonville
   
 
  Sep 18, 2019
 
2019-2020 Catalog [Aug. 2019-Aug. 2020] 
  
2019-2020 Catalog [Aug. 2019-Aug. 2020]

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


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Advanced Technical Certificate

This is a Limited Access program.

Mission/Purpose

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 Program

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 Paralegal (CP) examination administered nationwide by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). The A.T.C. in Paralegal Studies program at Florida State College at Jacksonville has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since the program's inception, Fall 2015. 

Employment opportunities may include private law firms, courthouses, governmental or administrative agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, and other legal environments. The program may provide a solid foundation for those considering law school in the future as well.

Transfer of Legal Specialty courses from other institutions must be approved by the Program Manager and may be limited by the program's ABA approval.

All courses in this technical certificate are also included in the Paralegal Studies (Legal Assisting) (2299) (A.S.)  degree. Students 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 coursework.

The Career

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." For more information about the American Bar Association, visit americanbar.org.

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.

Employment opportunities may include private law firms, courthouses, governmental or administrative agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, and other legal environments. The program may provide a solid foundation for those considering law school in the future as well.

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 Bureau of Labor Statistics at bls.gov.

Certification/Licensing

At this time, certification of paralegals remains voluntary in Florida. The Certified Paralegal (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 CP exam. The exam is administered by the National Association of Legal Assistants. For more information regarding the CP exam, eligibility and fees, please visit the NALA website at nala.org.

Application Procedure

This is a Limited Access program option. Only those who meet the criteria below are eligible to be admitted. All others may consider the A.S. in Paralegal Studies program option. 

Applicants must submit an application for admission into A.T.C. in Paralegal Studies 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:

Tameiko Grant, Instructional Program Manager, (904) 381-3506 or tameiko.grant@fscj.edu

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. Completed at least one-fourth (25 percent) of the total hours required for the program in residence at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
  5. 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.
  • 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.)
  • Students who enter under the (2019/2020) catalog will be assigned to the degree or certificate requirements in effect during the 2019/2020 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.
  • Many courses in this catalog have prerequisite requirements and/or corequisite courses listed in the course descriptions. Students are advised to be guided by these requirements.

Articulation


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 to determine the career education path that is best for you.

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