May 24, 2022  
2021-22 Catalog 
    
2021-22 Catalog

Paralegal, A.S.*


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Program Design

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.

Curriculum

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.  Pursuant to American Bar Association guidelines, students are required to take at least nine (9) credits of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction.

Note: Course prerequisites are listed in the course descriptions.

 

Legal Specialty Transfer Credit Policy:

Only six credits of legal specialty courses may be transferred toward the Paralegal (LGL*) requirements of the Paralegal A.S. degree. Students must have earned a minimum grade of “C” in order to transfer these credits. These courses must be the equivalent of a paralegal course offered at MCC, and they must be from an accredited institution that is approved by the American Bar Association or in substantial compliance with ABA Guidelines. Legal specialty courses taken at an institution not approved by the American Bar Association can only be transferred by approval of the Paralegal Program Coordinator. The Paralegal Program Coordinator will review the course descriptions, outlines, and/or syllabi supplied by the student to determine if the course to be transferred meets the transfer criteria. All students seeking to transfer legal specialty credits must provide documentation that will show the format in which the intended transfer course was taken - traditional (face-to-face), online, hybrid, accelerated, compressed or other. If documentation cannot be provided, the Program Director has the discretion to not accept the transfer of legal specialty credits.

Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of all Paralegal degree program requirements, graduates will

  1. Recognize and describe the proper role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services to the public and apply the ethical rules that govern the conduct of the legal profession.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking, reasoning and analytical skills, conduct factual and legal research using print and computerized methods, and organize and present information effectively, both orally and in writing.
  3. Describe the organization of the American legal system, apply procedural law to litigation and administrative agency law, and demonstrate substantive knowledge of principles of law.
  4. Draft and interpret legal documents, including pleadings, deeds, mortgages, probate documents, court forms, business documents, and contracts for review by the supervising attorney.
  5. Perform file and case management tasks in accordance with office policy and court procedures, using problem-solving, organizational and computer skills.
  6. Recognize opportunities for professional development through continuing education and affiliation with professional organizations.

In addition, the graduate will complete the comprehensive learning outcomes identified with the General Education Core.

Paralegal Requirements


Total Minimum Credits Required: 61-62


Notes:


Becoming Connecticut State Community College

STUDENTS: The Community Colleges are undergoing a merger with a plan to become Connecticut State Community College in fall 2023; please work closely with your advisor/program coordinator to select your courses accordingly. See below for more detail about this exciting transition!

Becoming Connecticut State Community College

A merger of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges is underway. Connecticut State Community College (CT State), a statewide college comprised of all Connecticut’s current community college locations, plans to open its doors in the Fall 2023. Here are some important facts students need to know:

  • the final commencement ceremony for Manchester Community College is scheduled for May 2023. Ceremonies will continue to be held at each location as campuses of CT State.
  • as a part of the planned merger, students continuing their studies beyond summer term 2023 will be matched with the CT State program that most closely aligns with their Spring 2023 major and is offered at the Manchester location,
  • students beginning Associate degree programs in Fall 2021 should plan with their advisor/program coordinator to attend full-time if they wish to graduate prior to the planned merger,
  • students who begin an Associate degree program in January 2022 would be anticipated to complete their degree at the merged college, Connecticut State Community College,
  • in all cases, the College is committed to students completing their education with a minimum of disruption and staying in touch with your advisor/program coordinator is essential,
  • further details can be found and will be updated on the Frequently Asked Questions page:  www.ct.edu/ctstate/academics.

 

Legal Electives

‡‡ Students without a strong foundation in computer skills should take CSA* 105  prior to enrolling in LGL* 220 .

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