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Paralegal

Step into a career in the legal world with a Paralegal Associate of Applied Science degree or certificate from Arapahoe Community College.

Scales of Justice

The objective of this program is to instruct students through a challenging curriculum and with an accomplished faculty. Our ABA approved program strives to instruct the conceptual, practical, and technological skills current in today’s legal community, so that our graduates have the tools to succeed and advance in the legal profession. Our goal is to mentor and coach our students not only to excel professionally but to lead by example through competency, professionalism, and high ethical standards. You will have access to resources to support your success, including a law library, accomplished faculty, guest speakers, industry events, networking opportunities, and notary training.

American Bar Association logoThe Paralegal Program at ACC has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1977.

ACC Admissions
Admissions
admissions [at] arapahoe.edu
Richard Corbetta
Program Chair / Faculty
Paralegal
richard.corbetta [at] arapahoe.edu
Celeste Carpenter
Program Coordinator
Paralegal
celeste.carpenter [at] arapahoe.edu

What You'll Learn

The objective of the ABA approved Paralegal Program at ACC is to train students to become ethic-minded paralegals and legal professionals in order to allow them to assist in effectively delivering legal services. While paralegals may not practice law in the State of Colorado, they work under the supervision of attorneys in law firms, government agencies, and various business settings.

Getting your Paralegal Associate of Applied Science degree will develop your skills and knowledge of the legal profession. When you graduate, you’ll be able to:

  • Employ critical thinking and analysis skills to legal situations
  • Show basic legal knowledge by locating and analyzing laws and legal processes
  • Develop written research assignments that focus on communicating legal research and outcomes
  • Apply many of the technology skills and software used in today's legal setting
  • Display entry-level career preparedness in a real world job setting
  • Display knowledge of professional ethics

CIP 220302 (LGA2)

Paralegals (Legal Assistants) play an important role in assisting attorneys to provide affordable legal services.

ACC's American Bar Association – approved Paralegal Program provides a solid foundation of knowledge and practical experience to prepare students for this profession. While paralegals may not practice law, they work under the supervision of attorneys in private law firms or businesses, as well as in many government agencies. Tasks performed by paralegals include interviewing, investigation, research, preparing legal forms, assisting attorneys in court and other activities.

Please contact the Paralegal Department Chair or Coordinator if you have questions about the academic requirements.

ABA Approval

The Paralegal Program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1977. The approval process ensures that the program complies with the high academic standards of the American Bar Association. For questions about the approval process, the American Bar Association may be reached at 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-988-5000.

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to Arapahoe Community College
  • Completion of all general education courses is required before students are allowed to register for paralegal (PAR) courses.
  • Students must contact the Program Chair, full-time Faculty member or Program Coordinator for advising and program planning prior to enrolling in any PAR courses. Once this is accomplished students may enroll in PAR classes; enrollment in classes will not be permitted without such Program approval.
  • Program approval is required in order to transfer in credit for paralegal classes (PAR) from other institutions; courses may be transferred to the program ONLY if they were taken from an ABA-approved program at a regionally accredited institution, and out-of-state courses may only be transferred in if the law content is not state-specific. A maximum of (nine) semester credit hours of paralegal courses (PAR) may be transferred in to ACC and such courses must be approved by the Paralegal Department Chair.
  • The Paralegal Department expects all students in the paralegal program to abide by the code of ethics promulgated by the American Bar Association (ABA) and National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). The code of ethics may be viewed at www.americanbar.org and www.nala.org

Program Requirements

All general education classes must be successfully completed prior to taking PAR classes. PAR 115 must be taken the first semester a student begins taking paralegal (PAR) classes. All classes, except for PAR 115, have corequisites or prerequisites; see Course Descriptions. Students who are enrolled in at least one paralegal (PAR) class will be charged a program fee each semester.

General Education Courses (24 credit hours)
Guaranteed Transfer (GT) Courses

Students must select additional general education classes from the Guaranteed Transfer (GT) courses as follows:

Total: 60 credit hours

Progression and Course Completion

In order to progress through the Paralegal program:

  • A student must successfully complete each course in the Paralegal curriculum (general education and paralegal classes) by achieving a grade of "C" or better
  • If a student withdraws from a PAR class, this will be treated the same as a failure to successfully complete a course
  • If a student earns a grade lower than a "C" in any PAR course, or withdraws from any PAR class, the student will be allowed to retake the course a maximum of one time.
  • No more than two PAR classes may be retaken during the completion of the Paralegal program
  • If a student is not successful, i.e., a "C" or higher grade on the re-take attempt, the student will be dismissed from the Paralegal program.
  • If the student withdraws for reasons other than academic reasons, the student may provide documented proof of reasons and petition the Paralegal Program for an additional one-time opportunity to retake the class. Approval of the exception is strictly the decision of the Program Chair.

Graduation Requirements

  • All paralegal and general courses required for the degree must be completed with a grade of "C" or better
  • To graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Students must complete a Paralegal Exit Survey/Interview
  • At least 27 (twenty-seven) hours of paralegal (PAR) courses must be taken at Arapahoe Community College
  • Paralegal (PAR) courses must be taken within six years of a student's graduation. General education courses are not subject to this six-year requirement
  • Apply for graduation online at www.arapahoe.edu/graduation.
  • As a graduate of a Career and Technical Education program you will be contacted by an ACC employee in approximately six months to verify your employment information. This information gathering is a federal requirement to ensure that ACC receives certain federal funding.
  • Information regarding occupations, completion rates, placement rates, program costs and median loan debt may be found at arapahoe.edu/gainful.

CIP 220302 (LGA2)

Paralegals (Legal Assistants) play an important role in assisting attorneys to provide affordable legal services.

ACC's American Bar Association – approved Paralegal Program provides a solid foundation of knowledge and practical experience to prepare students for this profession. While paralegals may not practice law, they work under the supervision of attorneys in private law firms or businesses, as well as in many government agencies. Tasks performed by paralegals include interviewing, investigation, research, preparing legal forms, assisting attorneys in court and other activities.

Please contact the Paralegal Department Chair or Coordinator if you have questions about the academic requirements.

ABA approval

The Paralegal Program has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1977. The approval process ensures that the program complies with the high academic standards of the American Bar Association. If you have questions about the approval process, the American Bar Association may be reached at 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-988-5000.

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to Arapahoe Community College
  • Admission requires one of the following:
    • A baccalaureate degree or an associate of arts or science degree from an accredited post-secondary institution. This does not include an associate of applied science degree or equivalent occupational or vocational degree.
    • An official transcript must be on file in Admissions and Records prior to enrolling in paralegal classes.
  • Students must contact the Program Chair, full-time Faculty member or Program Coordinator for advising and program planning prior to enrolling in any PAR courses. Once the advising process is completed students may enroll in PAR classes; enrollment in classes will not be permitted without such Program approval.
  • Program approval is required in order to transfer in credit for paralegal classes (PAR) from other institutions; courses may be transferred to the program ONLY if they were taken from an ABA-approved program at a regionally accredited institution, and out-of-state courses may only be transferred in if the law content is not state-specific. A maximum of (nine) semester credit hours of paralegal courses may be transferred to ACC and such courses must be approved by the Paralegal Department Chair
  • The Paralegal Department expects all students In the paralegal program to abide by the code of ethics promulgated by the American Bar Association (ABA) and National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) . The code of ethics may be viewed at www.americanbar.org and www.nala.org

Program Requirements

PAR 115 must be taken the first semester of study. All classes except for PAR 115, have PAR corequisites or prerequisites; see Course Descriptions. All students who are enrolled in at least one paralegal (PAR) class will be charged a program fee each semester.

Total: 36 credit hours

Progression and Course Completion

In order to progress through the Paralegal program:

  • A student must successfully complete each course in the Paralegal curriculum by achieving a grade of "C" or better
  • If a student withdraws from a PAR class, this will be treated the same as a failure to successfully complete a course
  • If a student earns a grade lower than a "C" in any PAR course, or withdraws from any PAR class, the student will be allowed to retake the course a maximum of one time.
  • No more than two PAR classes may be retaken during the completion of the Paralegal program
  • If a student is not successful, i.e., a "C" or higher grade on the re-take attempt, the student will be dismissed from the Paralegal program.
  • If the student withdraws for reasons other than academic reasons, the student may provide documented proof of reasons and petition the Paralegal Program for an additional one-time opportunity to retake the class. Approval of the exception is strictly the decision of the Program Chair.

Graduation Requirements

  • All paralegal courses required for the certificate must be completed with a grade of "C" or better
  • To graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Students must complete a Paralegal Exit Survey/Interview
  • At least 27 (twenty-seven) hours of paralegal (PAR) courses must be taken at Arapahoe Community College
  • Paralegal (PAR) courses must be taken within six years of a student's graduation. General education courses are not subject to this six-year requirement
  • Apply for graduation online at www.arapahoe.edu/graduation.
  • As a graduate of a Career and Technical Education program you will be contacted by an ACC employee in approximately six months to verify your employment information. This information gathering is a federal requirement to ensure that ACC receives certain federal funding.

ACC academic plans will help guide you through your chosen program. The academic plan will provide you with important information, like which semesters courses are offered, if there are any pre-requisites or co-requisites for courses, program outcomes, course sequence recommendations, notes for the program, graduation requirements and other important information. These are updated annually, so we recommend downloading a copy of yours to keep on track to graduation.

The program endeavors to achieve its goals by:

  • Instructing students in the practical aspects of substantive areas of law and teaching them the skills applicable to the workplace requirements of a paralegal;
  • Maintaining a high academic standard for paralegal students by providing thorough and effective instruction by experienced legal professionals;
  • Determining the roles and functions of paralegals in the community, emphasizing ethical conduct and the effective delivery of legal services within the community;
  • Evaluating the needs of employers for properly trained paralegals by maintaining contact with the legal community and introducing new skills and methods as used in the workplace;
  • Introducing students to the technology and software programs that are required in today’s practice of law;
  • Teaching students in the conceptual and practical skills current to today's legal community.

ABA approval

The Paralegal Program at Arapahoe Community College has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1977. This approval ensures that the program complies with the high academic standards of the ABA for a legal career training program.  If you have any questions about the approval process, the American Bar Association may be reached at www.americanbar.org or at 321 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610.

American Bar Association logo

Affiliations:

Member, American Association for Paralegal Educators (AAfPE)
Member, National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
Member, National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
Member, Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association (RMPA)

The ACC Paralegal Program Advisory Committee is a representative group of professionals whose experience and knowledge represent a cross section of the educational and legal services industries. The primary purpose of the advisory committee is to assist the Paralegal Department at ACC in establishing, operating, and evaluating the program and how it serves the needs of students, the legal industry, and the local legal community by informing about changes and trends in the legal field, advising on the job market and developing career opportunities for paralegal students, generating community cooperation and interest, reviewing the program’s effectiveness in terms of its curriculum and objectives, and informing the program of the needs of the legal community.

Job Openings for Paralegals

Paralegals and legal assistants are in high demand. With the skills you learn in ACC's Paralegal program, you could get a job as a(n):

Discover Paralegal Jobs through Purple Briefcase

Review the jobs below and more through Purple Briefcase (accessed through MyACC – Training & Technology – Career Services).

Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association Educational Summit

This summit, on October 15 beginning at 8am, will provide members of RMPA and PAR students with opportunities to attend a full day of educational seminars and will also have a unique networking opportunity that is second to none. Richard Corbetta and Celeste Carpenter will be giving a Notary Practicum, for current students, graduates, and current paralegals as part of this educational summit.

RMPA continues to have an enduring and meaningful impact within the Rocky Mountain legal landscape, affirming themselves as leaders in the paralegal profession. They are committed to excellence which has produced leaders with passion and vision for the future of the paralegal profession. This event will provide all with growth and development opportunities to learn in an atmosphere and with the longest-lasting ABA program in Colorado right here at ACC.

Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association - Paralegals with Altitude - rockymtnparalegal.org

Meet our Paralegal Program Team

Richard
Corbetta
Program Chair / Faculty
Celeste
Carpenter
Program Coordinator
Janet
Williams
Faculty