Paralegal Studies Associate of Arts

The Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies program prepares you to support a legal team with legal research, analysis, and limited interview and investigating duties, as well as preparing legal documents for client, attorney and court review. The course curriculum builds a foundation of legal support knowledge that students can use to start a paralegal career with a small law practice, large firm, or even a corporate or government legal team.

What will I learn in the Online Paralegal Studies Associate degree program?

In the Paralegal Studies degree program, you will learn the fundamentals of numerous legal aspects. Some courses you may take during your degree program include Civil Litigation, the foundation for any legal practice, that focuses on trial and litigation practices; Interviewing and Investigating, which addresses core concepts such as ethics, the adversarial system, the formal discovery process, and rules of evidence; as well as Wills, Trusts and Estates, which covers the creation, administration and execution of wills, trusts and estates, from estate planning and the rights of heirs through probate and administering estates.

What careers can I pursue with this Associate in Paralegal Studies online degree?

  • Paralegal
  • Legal Assistant
  • Legal Secretary
  • Legal Support Worker

How long is this Paralegal Studies online degree program?

At 60 credit hours, this Paralegal Studies degree program is designed to be completed in 24 months for a full-time student. So, you could be ready for your legal support career as a paralegal in as little as two years, depending on your schedule and ability to accommodate the required coursework.

How much will it cost?

Grantham University has one of the lowest tuition rates around. The undergraduate rate is $295 per credit hour or $250 per credit hour for military, veterans and first responders.

When can I start?

Courses begin monthly, so we are ready when you are.

Call us at (888) 947-2684 to learn more about the Associate in Paralegal Studies online degree program and our other accredited degree programs, financial assistance opportunities, the enrollment process, or for more information.

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Paralegal Studies Associate of Arts

Paralegal Studies Degree Outcomes

After successfully completing your accredited online paralegal studies degree program, you will be able to:

  • Professional and Ethical Responsibilities: Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct according to the standards and principles set forth by the paralegal profession
  • Analytical Skills: Critically assess situations and alternative solutions presented by the attorney, client, and/or court
  • Analytical/Communication Skills: Conduct interviews and investigations in compliance with boundaries and limitations established by the paralegal profession
  • Communication Skills: Demonstrate professional written and oral communication skills through effective correspondence with clients, attorney's, witnesses, and key court and business personnel
  • Legal Research and Writing: Analyze case law for relevance when preparing legal documents for attorney and court review
  • Organizational Skills: Demonstrate organizational skills that contribute to an efficient and effective legal practice (management of people, time, data, files)

Core Professional Competencies

Grantham University prepares graduates to succeed in a variety of professional and civic settings by incorporating these six critical life skills into the curriculum:

  • Communication – Formulating and expressing thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and non-verbal communication skills in person, in writing and in a digital world.
  • Distributed Collaboration – Working effectively across distributed locations and asynchronously to achieve a common goal through relationship-building, shared responsibility, empathy and respect.
  • Professional and Social Responsibilities – Engaging in social responsibility through seeking justice, valuing diversity, respecting the environment; demonstrating professionalism through integrity, mutual accountability and ethical behavior. This includes considering the social and global impact of individual and organizational decisions, and an awareness of and adherence to regulations, professional standards and industry best practices.
  • Critical thinking/problem solving – Using analytical reasoning when gathering and evaluating relevant information to effectively formulate possible solutions for an issue, problem or a variety of issues. This includes the ability to recognize potential consequences of a decision.
  • Career Management – Identifying knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal strengths and experiences necessary to pursue career goals. Recognizing areas for professional growth, how to navigate and explore job options, and how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.
  • Data Aptitude - Developing information literacy and the capacity to manage data with subsequent finding, structuring, evaluating and interpreting in order to provide meaningful analysis to accomplish a specific purpose.

Paralegal Studies Associate of Arts

Grantham University’s 100% online coursework is designed to help you prepare for success in your next career.

PROGRAM SNAPSHOT:
Program Core Credits: 24
General Education Core Credits: 30
Electives Credits: 6
Total Credit Hours: 60
Accreditation(s): DEAC
Program Core: 24
Course: Title: Credits:
Course: PLS101 Title: Introduction to Paralegal Studies Credits: 3
  The course gives the student a thorough introduction to the legal system in general specific areas of the law and the paralegal's integral role as a member of the legal team. The student will gain a comprehensive understanding of the laws in our society the importance of ethical and professional responsibility and the skills needed to thrive in a legal environment. Students learn how professionals work in each area of the law and how each skill directly translates on-the-job. Paralegal students learn about the substantive areas of the law and how to excel as a professional in each area.
Course: PLS103 Title: Introduction to Law Credits: 3
  Students will examine a variety of sources of law explore relevant legal principles and build their legal vocabulary. This course addresses the long standing legal principles that created the foundation of the American legal system. Through a detailed course of study students review the structure and systems composing the judicial branch of the U.S. system of government.
Course: PLS107 Title: Legal Ethics Credits: 3
  In this course students explore concepts related to professional legal ethics and responsibility. Students apply standards of care for legal professionals in areas such as professional care confidentiality work products and privilege. Students examine major principles that affect how the practice of law is regulated and develop analytical skills recognizing and responding to case study scenarios.
Course: PLS105 Title: Law Office Management and Technology Credits: 3
  This course assists students in developing a practical knowledge of the legal industry including technical considerations and law office operations and management. Students examine how law firms and types of legal offices conduct business differently from other industries. Students gain an inventory of the functions and procedures common to a law office environment and the essential skills utilized throughout a legal career.
Course: PLS201 Title: Legal Research and Writing I Credits: 3
  This course provides students with fundamental and essential legal research and writing skills necessary for all legal professionals. Emphasis is given to resources of law both primary and secondary and an introductory explanation of legal reasoning and analysis. This course emphasizes writing client opinion letters pleadings contracts office memos memoranda of law and appellate briefs.
Course: PLS203 Title: Civil Litigation Credits: 3
  This course teaches the paralegal student proper methods and procedures that must be followed in a legal practice. Emphasis is placed on trial and litigation practices through the study of procedures directly relevant to a paralegal professional. Students examine pre-trial and trial procedures as well as motions and other aspects they will likely encounter in their career. The primary focus is on general litigation practices with some examination into substantive areas such as personal injury real estate employment and intellectual property law.
Course: PLS205 Title: Torts Credits: 3
  Students study academic principles of tort and personal injury law and practical skills necessary for the paralegal. Topics covered include fundamental tort law personal injury law concepts and real-world practical skills using annotated cases that examine current topics in the field of tort and personal injury litigation.
Course: PLS207 Title: Contract Law Credits: 3
  This course explores the six steps of contract law: 1) body of law application to the transaction; 2) contract formation offer and acceptance; 3) freedom to contract including infancy illegality duress and unconscionability; 4)plaintiff allegation of defendant breach; 5) defendant responses to allegation of breach; and 6) plaintiff remedies for defendant breach of contract. Updated cases and examples are used to reinforce the theories addressed within the content of the course.
General Education: 30
Course: Title: Credits:
Course: English Composition Credits: 6
Course: EN101 Title: English Composition I Credits: 3
  This course emphasizes the writing process. Students will apply principles of good writing practice through various genre (narrative persuasive expository writings). Additionally students will analyze reading material as part of the critical and creative thinking processes associated with written communication.
Course: EN102 Title: English Composition II Credits: 3
  This course focuses on the research and writing skills required to develop a researched argument (academic research paper). Elements of rhetoric information literacy and argumentation will be introduced along with an emphasis on developing a thesis statement distinguishing supporting evidence and providing counter-arguments along with arguments.
Course: Math Credits: 3
Course: Computer Science Credits: 3
Course: CS105 Title: Introduction to Computer Applications Credits: 3
  Students are introduced to basic computer concepts as well as techniques and tools for folder and file navigation and manipulation. Students explore the fundamentals of an office productivity suite developing skills in word processing spreadsheet and presentation applications.
Course: Oral Communication Credits: 3
Course: Humanities and Fine Arts Credits: 3
Course: HU260 Title: Strategies for Decision Making Credits: 3
  This course examines critical thinking and the analysis of arguments in terms of premises reasons and conclusions. Course topics include obstacles to critical thinking diagramming arguments belief and doubt logical fallacies inductive reasoning deductive reasoning inferences and judging scientific theories.
Course: Natural/Physical Sciences Credits: 3
Course: Government/History Credits: 3
Course: General Education Credits: 3
Course: General Education Capstone Credits: 3

3 credit hours of Oral Communication must be filled by CO120 or CO201.
PLS201 must be passed with a "C" or better in order to complete the program.