Award: Certificate in Legal Studies
No. of credits required: 
For more information: Contact Prof. AnnMarie Profili,443-412-2214, aprofili@harford.edu, or Admissions, 443-412-2109.

A legal assistant or paralegal is 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. ABA Guideline G-103(d). Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

The objective of the Paralegal Studies Certificate of the Legal Studies Program is to educate and train laypersons to assist attorneys and other legal professionals in their daily tasks and thereby contribute to the fair, economical and efficient delivery of legal services. The program meets this objective by requiring students to successfully complete its curriculum.

The Certificate in Paralegal Studies is designed to permit those students who desire to work in the legal field as paralegals, but who already have an associate or baccalaureate degree, to earn a recognized credential that would enhance their ability to secure employment.

Upon completion of the AAS or Certificate in Paralegal Studies, students will be able to:
  1. Apply paralegal skills to assist attorneys and other legal professionals in their daily professional tasks.
  2. Decide ethical questions consistent with legal ethics.
  3. Employ writing and verbal skills that enable them to perform successfully in the legal profession.
  4. Obtain employment as a paralegal.

 NumberTitle Credits
 PL 101Introduction to Law (Same course as PS 106) 3   
 PL 105Legal Research 3   
 PL 106Legal Writing 3   
 PL 110Technology in the Legal Profession *3   
 PL 122Torts and Insurance 3   
 PL 124Civil Litigation and Procedure 3   
 PL 203Contract Law 3   
 PL 238Law Practice and Professional Conduct 3   
 PL 242Real Estate Transactions 3   
 PL 248Internship in Paralegal Studies **/***
 PL 273Cooperative Education III: Paralegal **/***3   
 Paralegal Studies Electives ****/#5-7 
 Total Credits35-37

# Paralegal Studies Electives****
(Choose five to seven credits)
 BA 205Business Law 3
 CJ 104Procedural Law and Evidence 3
 CJ 111Principles of Criminal Law 3
 PL 201Conflict Analysis and Resolution 3
 PL 202Bankruptcy and Collections Law 3
 PL 204Constitutional Law 3
 PL 233Probate Practice and Procedure 2
 PL 244Family Law and Litigation 2
 PL 246Administrative Law and Procedure 3

* PL 110 is generally offered in the fall semester, in the evening.
** PL 248 and PL 273 require students to spend approximately 135 hours in law office settings during normal business hours.
*** Students should contact Advising, Career and Transfer services for permission to register for Cooperative Education courses, 443-412-2301.
**** Permission of the Paralegal Program Coordinator is required to transfer more than 8 credit hours of required paralegal courses. A maximum of 15 transfer credits will be allowed for all paralegal courses (required and electives).


Students earning a certificate from HCC must complete or demonstrate exemption from the following courses: ENG 003 and ENG 012, or ENG 018, and MATH 020. See graduation requirement details in this catalog for further information.

Permission of the Paralegal Program Coordinator is required to transfer more than 8 credit hours of required paralegal courses into the program. A maximum of 15 transfer credits will be allowed for all paralegal courses (required and electives).

Paralegal Studies
Program Level - Undergraduate certificate
Program Length 2 years

Occupations: Paralegal, Legal assistant
CIP Code: 22.0302
SOC Code: 23-2011.00
Link to O*Net: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/23-2011.00

*How much will this program cost me?
In-State (in-county) Tuition and fees: $5,754.00
Out-of-State Tuition and fees: $9,103.00
Books and supplies: $2,044.00
On-campus room & board: not offered

*The amounts shown above include costs for the entire program, assuming normal time to completion. Note that this information is subject to change.

What financing options are available to help me pay for this program?
Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans. The median amount of debt for program graduates is shown below:
Federal loans: *
Private education loans: *
Institutional financing plan: *

* Less than 10 graduates received loans. Median amounts are withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the loan recipients.

How long will it take me to complete this program?
The program is designed to take 18 months to complete. Of those that completed the program in 2016-2017, *% finished in 18 months.

*Less than 10 students completed this program in 2016-2017. The number who finished within the normal time has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.

What are my chances of getting a job when I graduate?
The job placement rate for students who completed this program in 2016-2017 is *%.

* This institution is not currently required to calculate a job placement rate for program completers.

Gainful Employment Disclosure Template: http://ww2.harford.edu/gedt/22.0302-GEDT.html

Upon completion of the program, opportunities for employment include law firms, legal departments of banks and other corporations as well as government agencies. The demand for paralegals is growing on the national, state, and local levels. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a much faster than average rate of growth for paralegal employment through 2018. In Harford County, rapid population growth has brought about a related need for legal services. The employment outlook for graduates of this program in Harford County and the surrounding area is good.