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Online Degree Overview

Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

Dr. April Taylor, Interim Dean for College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences at South University.
The online Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies program’s courses cover torts and remedies, legal research and writing, ethics, civil litigation, estate planning, legal software, and business, family, and criminal law. In the Paralegal Studies associate’s degree capstone course, you’ll 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.

Admission Requirements

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.

Course Requirements

Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies: 92 Credits
Area I General Education Requirements: 40 Credits
Professional Development
ITS1000 Computer and Internet Literacy, 4 Credit Hours
UVC1000 Strategies for Success, 4 Credit Hours
Basic Communications
ENG1100 Composition I, 4 Credit Hours
ENG1200 Composition II, 4 Credit Hours
ENG1300 Composition III, 4 Credit Hours
Choose one additional course from the list below:
COM2006 Interpersonal Communication, 4 Credit Hours
SPC1026 Public Speaking, 4 Credit Hours
Mathematics and Statistics (choose one)
MAT1001 College Algebra I, 4 Credit Hours
MAT1005 College Algebra II, 4 Credit Hours
MAT1500 College Mathematics, 4 Credit Hours
MAT2058 Statistics, 4 Credit Hours
Natural Sciences (choose one)
BIO1020 Biology I, 4 Credit Hours
BIO1021 Biology II, 4 Credit Hours
CHM1010 General Chemistry, 4 Credit Hours
Arts and Humanities (choose one)
ENG2002 World Literature I: From the Ancient World to the Middle Ages, 4 Credit Hours
ENG2003 World Literature II: From Enlightenment to Modernity, 4 Credit Hours
ENG2011 Introduction to American Literature: 1865 to present, 4 Credit Hours
HIS1101 U.S. History I: Colonial to 1865, 4 Credit Hours
HIS1102 U.S. History II: 1865 to Present, 4 Credit Hours
HUM1001 History of Art through the Middle Ages, 4 Credit Hours
HUM1002 History of Art from the Middle Ages to Modern Times, 4 Credit Hours
HUM2101 World Civilization I: Prehistory to 1500 C.E., 4 Credit Hours
HUM2102 World Civilization II: 1500 to Present, 4 Credit Hours
PHI2301 Introduction to Philosophy, 4 Credit Hours
REL1001 World Religions, 4 Credit Hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences (choose one)
ECO2071 Principles of Microeconomics, 4 Credit Hours
ECO2072 Principles of Macroeconomics, 4 Credit Hours
POL2076 American Government, 4 Credit Hours
PSY1001 General Psychology, 4 Credit Hours
SOC1001 Introduction to Sociology, 4 Credit Hours
SOC2010 Social Problems, 4 Credit Hours
Area II Foundation Requirements: 8 Credits
BUS1038 Business Law I, 4 Credit Hours
BUS2038 Business Law II, 4 Credit Hours
Area III Major Requirements: 44 Credits
Core
LGS1001 The Legal Field: Law and Ethics, 4 Credit Hours
LGS1004 Torts and Remedies, 4 Credit Hours
LGS1005 Legal Research and Writing I, 4 Credit Hours
LGS1006 Legal Research and Writing II, 4 Credit Hours
LGS2001 Civil Litigation, 4 Credit Hours
LGS2002 Family Law, 4 Credit Hours
LGS2003 Estate Planning and Probate, 4 Credit Hours
LGS2004 Criminal Law, 4 Credit Hours
LGS2007 Computers in the Legal Office, 4 Credit Hours
Electives (choose one)
LGS2005 Real Estate Law, 4 Credit Hours
LGS2008 Worker's Compensation Law, 4 Credit Hours
LGS2010 Bankruptcy Law, 4 Credit Hours
LGS2030 Administrative Law, 4 Credit Hours
Capstone:
LGS2099 Paralegal Externship, 4 Credit Hours

Outcomes

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, and all students in South University legal studies programs receive instruction in legal ethics and how to avoid the unauthorized practice of law.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the needs of a modern technology-based law office.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of professional and ethical standards expected of a paralegal.
  4. Demonstrate communication skills, including public speaking, letter and memorandum writing, as well as legal drafting under the supervision of an attorney.
  5. Demonstrate legal research, analytical and critical thinking skills, including reasoned approaches to legal problem solving.

Career Outlook

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.

Online Classroom

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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Success STories

Outstanding Education for Remarkable Careers

We're committed to helping our graduates make an impact in their professional and personal lives. We applaud our alumni and the difference they make. Check out what some of our Criminal Justice & Legal Studies graduates have to say.

Vicki Tucci 1997
Vicki Tucci Grad Alumni
Class of '96
Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

“Ultimately, I would like to use my experience and law degree to become a judge. As a young, single mom still fleshing out a career, I felt so clueless about many things. It was that hunger for knowledge that led me to South University’s program in paralegal studies. I got so much more than a classroom education. I found friends, professional contacts, and a world of inspiration from being around people who wanted to see me at my best.”

Christopher Butler 2010
Christopher Butler Grad Alumni
Class of '10
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

“I started my studies in Criminal Justice prior to my military service and needed to complete my degree. Criminal Justice allowed me to be of service to the community and this nation. South University gave me the educational credentials I needed to get the job advancements and opportunities that have gotten me where I am today in my career field.”

Alicia Parler 2010
Alicia Parler Grad Alumni
Class of '10
Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

“The comradery among service men and women exists due to hardships and discipline soldiers confront together on a regular basis. More than anything, military life has taught me to appreciate my freedom as an American, something I took for granted before I joined. I learned self-discipline, which made me a better student, and ultimately, helped me realize my career aspirations. As soon as I stepped foot onto campus, and started contacting professors like Carolyn Horner, the whole experience from start-to-finish has been welcoming and encouraging.”

Linda Hunter 2010
Linda Hunter Grad Alumni
Class of '10
Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

“I can go just about anywhere and say I have a bachelor's degree in Legal Studies from a university whose program is approved by the ABA, and professionals know what that means. I know my hard work and the degree will be noticed.”

blue cap and gown graduate icon
Peter Gross Grad Alumni
Class of '10
Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies

“My classes at South University were inspiring, not just informative; a thorough curriculum absolutely gave me the background I needed to be hired immediately at my law office.”