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. 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.