Paralegal Plus Post-Bachelor Certificate

(40-44 credits)

Program Description

Do you pride yourself on your organization and attention to detail? Do you enjoy supporting others and advocating for underserved causes? Paralegals, as “the hands and feet” of a law firm, play a key role in the legal system, working with both legal professionals and their clients to help serve their needs.

At SPSCC, you’ll gain the fundamental skills required to enter the legal office: skills like legal research, documentation and writing, knowing the basis of court proceedings, and more. Our advisory board includes public and private attorneys and judges from the local community.

The overall program goal of the Paralegal Plus Post-Bachelor Certificate is to prepare students who have already obtained either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited four (4) year institution, but otherwise do not have any legal experience, and are interested in careers as paralegals or legal assistants working under the supervision of lawyers. In addition, it is the aim of the program to provide students with knowledge of legal concepts, procedures and essential skills required to serve the needs of a complex legal and business community by assessing existing courses and updating and/or developing new courses that meet the future needs of the profession. The Program emphasizes organizational, interpersonal, analytical and technological skills that support students in their professional pursuits and provides a broad range of skills for positions in a variety of legal settings such as private law firms, government agencies, community action agencies, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, estate and trust departments of large banks, or real estate and title companies. The curriculum consists of a combination of legal practice concentration, law-related, and general education courses. Students seeking a career as a paralegal must be able to write clearly, communicate effectively, be proficient with office computer systems, and possess a high degree of motivation and analytical reasoning capability. The Paralegal Program promotes ethical awareness and professional responsibility, and encourages development of the Paralegal and LLLT occupations.

Career Opportunities

The paralegal field continues as one of the fastest growing professions. The American Bar Association and Washington State Bar Association recognize the benefit of two-year paralegal and Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) programs. Job opportunities are continuing to increase and expand into new areas. Paralegal positions open in private law firms, corporate legal departments, insurance companies, estate and trust departments of large banks, real estate and title insurance companies, nonprofit private and public organizations and professional trade associations. Job opportunities in the public sector are available in community legal services programs, offices of public defenders, prosecutors, and attorney generals, government agencies and the court system. Earnings vary depending on the size of the community, geographic location, size, and business of the employing agency, and the paralegal’s education, background, and work experience.

Length of Program

Because legal courses are offered only in the evening, program completion may require 4 – 6 quarters.