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Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies | Dr. April Vance, Department Chair, Legal Studies

Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies | Dr. April Vance, Department Chair, Legal Studies

What's the difference between an associate's and bachelor's degree in the legal field? Dr. April Vance discusses the benefits of an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies degree and how it differs from the Bachelor of Legal Studies program.

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My name is April Vance. I am the Interim Department Chair for the Legal Studies Department where students are engaged in pursuit of an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at South University. The Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies Degree is different from the Bachelor's of Science and Legal Studies Degree in that it provides a quicker way for you to enter into the workforce as a paralegal profession.

One degree typically takes the student two years to achieve, and that would be the Associate of Science degree. We have certain core classes that students are required to complete. This may include Family Law. Students are also engaged in the study of Introduction to Legal Ethics. And finally, students also do an externship where they are required to complete 120 hours of practical experience in a legal office to prepare them for becoming the paralegal that they hope to be.

So come, bring your previous life experience, your knowledge, your interest, your prior education, but come with the expectation that you are going to find professionals who really want to help you achieve this goal.

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Outcomes

The AS in Paralegal Studies program prepares graduates to work directly under the supervision of an attorney in entry-level positions and perform general background work for the legal firm.

About Paralegals

Quick Facts*

  • Approximately 7 out of 10 work for law firms; others work for corporate legal departments and government agencies.
  • Most entrants have an associate’s degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor’s degree coupled with a certificate in paralegal studies.
  • Employment is projected to grow much faster than average, as employers try to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform tasks formerly carried out by lawyers.
  • Competition for jobs should continue; experienced, formally trained paralegals should have the best employment opportunities.

*Provided by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

http://www.southuniversity.edu/west-palm-beach/areas-of-study/criminal-justice-and-legal-studies/paralegal-studies-associate-of-science-as/outcomes