A paralegal or legal assistant is a person—qualified through education, training or work experience—who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity. The paralegal performs specifically delegated, substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
Paralegals may be asked to conduct research and prepare memoranda; to draft pleadings, deeds or contracts; to interview clients or witnesses; to prepare answers to interrogatories; or to digest depositions. They may prepare inventories, accounts and tax returns in connection with estates and trusts; perform real estate title searches and UCC searches; calendar and track important deadlines; or organize and maintain client files. Paralegals may not give legal advice or engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
The Paralegal associate degree program includes specialized courses in the paralegal profession as well as related courses in business and liberal arts. An option in the program is a cooperative education/work experience course in which students gain practical experience in a legal setting while earning academic credit.
The Paralegal program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1984. It is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education.
The MCC Paralegal Association is an active student club that offers networking opportunities and guest speakers for its members.
The Paralegal program is primarily an evening program of study, offering legal courses during the academic year. Many students work full-time while attending classes at night. Students should note that not all courses are offered every semester, and only some courses are offered in the day. Part-time students should see a counselor for suggested course sequencing.
Note: Course prerequisites are listed in the course descriptions.