Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
With an online Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies, you can gain the skills needed for an entry-level position* in the legal environment. The Associates in Paralegal Studies program covers many topics of law practice, including torts and remedies, legal research and writing, ethics, civil litigation, estate planning, legal software, and business, family, and criminal law. As part of the Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies capstone course, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a legal setting such as a law firm, real estate company, bank, or federal government agency. In this setting, you’ll work under the supervision of a licensed attorney to perform tasks like preparing legal documents or interviewing clients and witnesses in preparation for real cases.
*South University does not promise or guarantee employment.
General Undergraduate Admission Requirements
To be admitted to any of the undergraduate programs at South University, the prospective student must provide proof of high school graduation as recognized by the state of residence on the date the degree was earned, or the equivalent (e.g. GED with no single test score below 145 or numeric score equivalent to 2.0 on old version or state-issued certificate designated as the equivalent of a High School Diploma) with a minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. The prospective student must also complete the university administered placement tests prior to the start of the first quarter for campus students and during the first session of attendance for online students. South University accepts the International Baccalaureate Program diploma as meeting the requirement for high school graduation. Credentials earned outside the United States must be evaluated by a NACES or AICE-member credential evaluation service. Please speak with an admissions representative for more information.
Students with less than the minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may meet admissions requirements by submitting a minimum combined SAT (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math) score of 700 or 900 on the old SAT, a combined ACT score of 18, or a satisfactory score on the university-administered admissions examination (see the Admissions Office) or meet the criteria established for acceptance as a transfer student.
Students with less than the minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted provisionally for two quarters. Failure to achieve a 1.5 CGPA in the first two quarters of attendance will result in dismissal. Students may appeal the dismissal by following the Procedures for Appealing Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal Policy.
To facilitate the admissions process, unofficial documentation, such as copies of transcripts or grade reports, may be used to determine admission status. Transfer status cannot be designated, however, without some verifying documentation. Admissions test scores on university administered entrance exams will not be accepted from other universities. Prospective students must take a University administered admission exam, like the Accuplacer, at South University.
A student's failure to provide acceptable verification of proof of high school graduation within 5*/10 weeks of his or her start date will result in the following:
- Removal from class
- Cancellation of enrollment
- No final course grades
- No transcript
NOTES: Students who do not provide proof of high school graduation within the 5*/10-week period will not be responsible for any tuition and related fees.
South University may grant exceptions to the 5*/10-week period for unusual situations or circumstances. All exceptions must be submitted to the office of the University Registrar for approval.
Please see the policy on GPA Calculation for Admission for additional information
*Effective March 22, 2022 - Students beginning classes at the Montgomery campus or High Point Off Campus Instructional Site will have five weeks to submit acceptable documentation. *Effective April 1, 2022 - Students beginning classes at the Richmond and West Palm Beach campuses will have five weeks to submit acceptable documentation. *Effective May 31, 2022 - Students beginning classes at the Tampa and Orlando campuses will have five weeks to submit acceptable documentation. *Effective July 12, 2022 - Students beginning classes at the Austin and Columbia campuses will have five weeks to submit acceptable documentation. *Effective August 16, 2022 - Students beginning classes at the Savannah and Virginia Beach campuses will have five weeks to submit acceptable documentation.
Legal/Paralegal Studies Curriculum
South University's Legal Studies (BS) and Paralegal Studies (AS) programs are designed to provide opportunities for students to prepare for a rapidly changing and challenging profession as a paralegal. The American Bar Association (ABA) defines a paralegal as "a person, qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." Paralegals and legal assistants may not give legal advice, set fees, represent clients in court, or provide legal services to the public except as permitted by law. All students in South University Paralegal and Legal Studies programs receive instruction in legal ethics and how to avoid the unauthorized practice of law. Paralegals and legal assistants may not give legal advice, set fees, or represent clients in court.
Coursework emphasizes development of keen analytical and critical thinking skills while fostering sensitivity to cultural and political diversity. Students use modern law office technology and software in courses taught in classrooms, computer labs, or in courses offered online through the Savannah campus. South University encourages students to commit to lifelong learning that is beneficial in obtaining employment following graduation and that may help them in advancing in their careers as paralegal professionals.
Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies (AS)
Offered at Online Programs
Note: Not all Online Program offerings are available to residents of all U.S. states. Please contact an admissions representative for further information.
The Paralegal Studies (AS) program is designed to provide educational preparation for individuals to serve as paralegals or legal assistants. The program consists of specialized coursework and a supervised externship in selected legal settings such as law firms, real estate and title companies, banks and state or federal governmental agencies. Practical training is designed to prepare graduates working under the supervision of a licensed attorney to perform many tasks in a legal office, including, but not limited to, interviewing clients and witnesses, preparing legal documents and otherwise assisting attorneys with the preparation of their cases. The ABA defines a paralegal as "...a person, office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." Paralegals and legal assistants may not give legal advice, set fees, represent clients in court, or provide legal services to the public except as permitted by law.. All students in the Paralegal Studies (AS) program receive instruction in legal ethics and how to avoid the unauthorized practice of law.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of procedural law and substantive law by successfully completing legal assignments routinely performed in a law office or any organization involved with legal processes under the supervision of an attorney.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the needs of a modern technology-based law office.
- Demonstrate an understanding of professional and ethical standards expected of a paralegal.
- Demonstrate communication skills, including public speaking, letter and memorandum writing, as well as legal drafting under the supervision of an attorney.
- Demonstrate legal research, analytical and critical thinking skills, including reasoned approaches to legal problem solving.
Upon completing the Paralegal Studies associate’s degree program, you’ll be ready to work under the supervision of an attorney in entry-level paralegal and legal assistant positions and perform general background work for a legal firm. The American Bar Association (ABA) defines a paralegal as “a person, qualified by education, training, or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity, and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.” Paralegals and legal assistants may not give legal advice, set fees, represent clients in court, or provide legal services to the public except as permitted by law. This degree program can also help get you started on the path to earning your Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies.
Haven’t experienced online learning before or wondering what it’s like to earn your degree online at South University? While the mode of learning is different from the traditional classroom experience with added convenience and flexibility, we hold the same high standards of academic excellence in the online classroom.
South University’s online programs combine a curriculum designed for student outcomes and a classroom designed for flexibility and engagement. Our online classroom learning platform, Brightspace, provides you with a host of features to enhance your learning experience, including:
- Advanced media content
- Personalized navigation
- Simplified online learning atmosphere
- Access to digital books
- Emailing and instant messaging options
We provide more than just an online classroom, bringing a range of campus experiences and services online. In addition, the online classroom is accessible on the go via mobile devices and with tools like the Pulse App. Pulse helps you stay connected and on track with your course by providing a number of features such as course calendars, readings and assignments, feedback and grades, and announcements.
Read more about online requirements here.
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