CIP Code: 22.0302
NOVA Code: 2600
Purpose: The curriculum is designed to provide an individual with a sufficient level of knowledge, understanding, and proficiency to perform the tasks associated with meeting a client’s needs. These tasks can be performed by a trained, non-lawyer assistant working under the direction and supervision of a lawyer. A paralegal or legal assistant will have a basic understanding of the general processes of American law, along with the knowledge and proficiency required to perform specific tasks under the supervision of a lawyer in the fields of civil and criminal law. Occupational objectives include employment in corporate law firms, government agencies, and any of the varied law-related fields. Paralegals or legal assistants are prohibited by law from offering legal services directly to members of the public.
Advising Note: It is strongly recommended that students meet with an advisor before enrolling in classes or as early as possible in their first semester of enrollment.
Completion Requirements: To remain in the program, students must complete each of the legal specialty (LGL) courses in the program with a “C” or higher. Students must complete LGL 110 Introduction to Law and the Paralegal Assistant during their first semester of enrollment and complete the other legal specialty (LGL) courses in the order outlined. Course substitutions are made on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, the grade for substituted courses must be a “C” or higher.
Special Approval Status: The Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association.
Transfer from Other Institutions: Students must complete 25 percent (17 credits) of their coursework at NOVA. Program guidelines require that at least 50 percent of legal specialty (LGL) credits be completed at NOVA. In addition, ABA guidelines require that at least 9 of those credits be taken in traditional (face-to-face) or synchronous remote (Zoom) format. The Paralegal Studies Program accepts the transfer of legal specialty courses completed at other institutions as long as those institutions are regionally accredited and the program director determines that the course objectives and practical skills are comparable to the courses offered in NOVA’s Paralegal Studies Program. In all cases, the grade for transfer courses must be a “C” or higher.