Paralegal, Associate of Applied Science
What is a paralegal/legal assistant?
A paralegal, also called a legal assistant, is a person who is qualified by education, training, or work experience; who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, government agency, or other entity; and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.
What does a paralegal do?
The lawyer delegates duties to the paralegal. These duties will depend on the individual’s abilities, specialty, and/or employment. Generally, those duties will include one or more of the following categories:
- Perform legal research,
- Interview clients/witnesses and conduct investigations,
- Draft legal documents,
- Calendar and track deadlines,
- Provide litigation support,
- Assist at hearings and trials, and
- Use technology to perform tasks.
A paralegal may not provide legal services directly to the public unless specifically authorized by law.
Employment opportunities for the paralegal are wide ranging and numerous. There are many job opportunities for a qualified paralegal including, but not limited to, the following areas:
- Private law firms (70 percent),
- Corporate legal departments,
- Insurance companies,
- Real estate agencies,
- Title companies,
- The court system,
- Trust and mortgage departments, and
- Government agencies.
Associate of Applied Science
The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
The Paralegal curriculum at San Jacinto College is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to work under the supervision of lawyers. The program provides the Paralegal student with knowledge and skills for employment in law firms, corporations, government agencies, and other legal departments.
Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) is the national honor society founded by the American Association for Paralegal Education. San Jacinto College Paralegal students who have completed two-thirds of the College’s Paralegal program with a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.5 legal specialty courses GPA and who demonstrate academic excellence may qualify for LEX.
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE)
- State Bar of Texas, Paralegal Division (TXPD)
- Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association (HMPA)
- Houston Paralegal Association (HPA)
The US Department of Labor predicts the paralegal profession will grow 15 percent through the year 2026. The San Jacinto College Paralegal program enjoys more than a 90 percent success rate.
Most of the entry-level job opportunities are with private law firms from one-attorney firms to large firms. The paralegal will usually specialize in one or two areas of law, but some in general practice will work in various areas.
Corporate law departments, government agencies, and other legal departments also provide jobs for our graduates.
Paralegals pursue careers in:
- Personal Injury,
- Corporate Law,
- Criminal Law,
- Employee Benefits,
- Intellectual Property,
- Immigration Law,
- Family Law,
- Real Estate, and
- Many other areas of law.
Internship opportunities include work for paralegals in law firms, corporate business, government agencies, real estate, insurance, and non-profit organizations.
Paralegal: $52,372 per year1
Source: texaswages.com, median salary Gulf Coast region, 2019
For more information, students may contact 281-998-6150 x7201.
The Paralegal curriculum at San Jacinto College is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to work under the general direction of attorneys to assist them in the completion of legal tasks. The ABA-approved program provides knowledge and skills for employment in law firms, courts, utility companies, title companies, trusts and mortgage departments of banks, government agencies, industrial companies, and other legal departments. A paralegal may not provide legal services directly to the public unless specifically authorized by law.
Program Outcomes and Goals:
Students will be able to deploy legal terminology in the creation of documents and presentations.
Students will be able to analyze sources of law including both primary and secondary sources.
Students will be able to research sources of law.
Students will be able to use and apply the rules of civil and criminal procedure.
Students will be able to distinguish the roles and ethical obligations of paralegals and attorneys.
Students will be able to compose correspondence and legal documents.
Students will be able to conduct client and witness interviews and factual investigations in a professional manner.
Students will be able to use common law office technology, including ProDoc, West Law, and efiling.
Students will be able to demonstrate oral and written communication skills.
Plan of Study
|LGLA 1311||Introduction to Law||3|
|LGLA 1313||Introduction to Paralegal Studies||3|
|LGLA 1345||Civil Litigation||3|
|ENGL 1301||Composition I||3|
|MATH 1314 |
or MATH 1332
|College Algebra |
or Contemporary Mathematics (Quantitative Reasoning)
|LGLA 1301||Legal Research and Writing||3|
|LGLA 1317||Law Office Technology||3|
|LGLA 1349||Constitutional Law||3|
|ENGL 1302||Composition II||3|
|LGLA 1355||Family Law||3|
|LGLA 2305||Interviewing and Investigating||3|
|LGLA 2313||Criminal Law and Procedure||3|
|LGLA 1359 |
or LGLA 2303
|Immigration Law |
or Torts and Personal Injury Law
|Language, Philosophy, and Culture (Humanities) or Creative Arts (Fine Arts)||3|
|LGLA 1353||Wills, Trusts, and Probate Administration||3|
|LGLA 2335||Advanced Civil Litigation||3|
|LGLA 2333||Advanced Legal Document Preparation||3|
|LGLA 2380||Cooperative Education-Legal Assistant/Paralegal||3|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Texas Government (Texas Constitution and Topics)|
|United States History I|
External Learning Experience: LGLA 2380 Cooperative Education-Legal Assistant/Paralegal
Students must be TSI complete in order to graduate: Math level 8.