WCJC’s Paralegal Studies program is designed to prepare students for a career assisting attorneys in the delivery of legal services.
The program is committed to preparing students for entry level careers in the legal field and offering appropriate transfer curricula in the discipline
The program’s goals and outcomes are designed so that students will:
Possess Effective Oral and Written Communication skills
Exhibit Professionalism Exhibit Proficiency in Basic Legal Skills
Exhibit Proficiency in General Education
The program strives to offer knowledge, skills, and values essential to legal professionals. Students in each class will demonstrate familiarity with specialized legal terms and phrases used in legal practice, exhibit working knowledge of the core legal areas, exhibit professional appearances and demeanors, and exhibit the ability to assist with all stages of trial preparation.
Legal assistants, also known as paralegals, who work under the supervision of a licensed attorney, can perform many of the day-to-day tasks of the law office, governmental agency, legal aid clinic, or corporate legal department. They assist the attorney in the preparation of legal documents, client interviews, research and investigation, trial preparation, and many other tasks. Some legal assistants prefer working in small, solo practices, where they can function as legal secretary, paralegal and administrative assistant for a single lawyer, while others work more autonomously as specialists in probate, criminal law, family law, or real estate, in larger firms and governmental offices. Entry level salaries vary based on location and legal specialty area, and raises and bonuses are common for the legal assistant whose efforts help makes a profit for the firm.
Students who undertake the degree program will qualify to take the voluntary Certified Legal Assistant exam offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants. Paralegal courses have also served as an advance look at the profession for those students preparing for law school.
According to November 2009 Yahoo Jobs article, projections show a 22 percent increase in paralegals during the 2006-2016 decade. In addition, the reported median 2008 annual wage for paralegals is $46,120, with the top 10 percent taking home $73,450.
***Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except when permitted by law.