Paralegal Studies


Suffolk Community College

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Earn your certificate degree online

You will earn the same diploma as our on-campus students

A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental/public agency, bank, industry or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. The paralegal studies program is designed neither for attorneys nor law office administrators. The Suffolk County Community College Paralegal Studies A.A.S. and Certificate programs are offered for paralegal education. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

The curriculum, which is approved by the American Bar Association, provides students with a background in law as practiced in legal offices and trains them to prepare documents such as probate forms, title searches and closing statements, pleadings and discovery proceedings, legal memoranda, and corporate minutes and filings. Skilled use of the English language is essential, and a high level of verbal competence is required for completion of the curriculum. Knowledge of word processing software packages is strongly recommended.

Not all legal courses are offered on each campus each semester. Students are strongly urged to meet with a paralegal academic advisor to plan their program. Failure to do so may result in delayed completion of the program.  

The certificate program is designed to serve students with either an associate or bachelor's degree seeking a career-oriented education which upon satisfactory completion will enable them to enter the job market.

Although a bachelor's degree is desirable, the minimum requirement for admission to the program is an associate degree with a minimum of 18 liberal arts credits. The program coordinator may make exceptions to the degree requirement for those students who do not hold a bachelor's or an associate degree but who have demonstrated no less than five years of satisfactory paraprofessional experience in law firms, corporate legal departments or city/town corporation counsel offices, and provide letters of recommendation from employers who are members of the Bar attesting to the applicant's suitability. 

Applicants may be given an interview and additional courses may be required to meet the requirement of 18 liberal arts credits. Full-time students may complete the program in two semesters. Completion on a part-time basis is at the pace chosen by the student.  

Transfer credit may be awarded for legal specialty courses completed at an accredited higher education institution whose Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association. Credit for legal specialty courses successfully completed with a grade of C or higher may be awarded for courses deemed equivalent by the Suffolk County Community College Paralegal Studies Program Director to legal specialty courses offered at Suffolk County Community College. Suffolk County Community College limits the number of legal specialty credits transferred into the degree or certificate program to no more than six credits. In addition, students must complete at least 30 credit hours for the degree or 15 credit hours for the certificate of the required coursework at Suffolk County Community College.

What's a certificate?
Certificates are usually one year in length and lead directly to employment. They consist of a focused series of courses and are typically found at Community Colleges.

How do I enroll?

Follow these steps to start your application

  1. Go to the online application
  2. Create an account
  3. Complete the forms or save for later
  4. Pay the application fee (if applicable)
  5. Submit any supplemental materials, if required
  6. Send in your academic records

Interested in learning more about this program?

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