A.A.S. Paralegal

Gavel on top of manual

The Degree

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Outlook

Paralegals play an important role in assisting attorneys with conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, and organizing and managing case files. With attorneys dedicating more time to working with clients and providing one-on-one legal services, the demand for educated professionals in this field has grown increasingly. Projections by the U.S. Department of Labor show that employment of paralegals and legal assistants is forecasted to grow 15 percent through 2026.

Although paralegals cannot practice law, you'll be involved in a variety of legal tasks in your everyday position. On an average day in this profession, you might be involved in handling a real estate closing, interviewing clients and witnesses, drafting a will, or carrying out an investigation to assist in preparation for a court case.

The Program

In the Paralegal degree program, you'll acquire the knowledge and skills that are required of paralegals in common legal specialty areas such as real property law, family law, litigation, and trust and estate law. This program, which is an institutional member of the American Association for Paralegal Education, provides you a solid core of paralegal courses. Throughout your studies, you will have opportunities to delve into your particular areas of interest. You may find yourself drawn to the family law class or honing your skills in the legal research and writing course or learning about trial preparation in the courts and litigation course. Your Paralegal education is designed to prepare you for employment or transfer opportunities in this important field.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • Interpret and articulate the legal issue posed by a client's fact scenario, along with the answer to that issue.
  • Prioritize, integrate, and analyze information to achieve the best outcome for a client.
  • Apply the rules of legal ethics in different scenarios encountered in paralegal practice.
  • Create appropriate legal documentation required for various legal tasks.

*Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

The Experience

As a Paralegal, you will develop a thorough understanding of the United States court system, and you will learn the many areas of substantive law. In the classroom, you'll engage in assignments and projects that are identical to documents and court filings that are drafted by working paralegals. Combined with these experiences, you'll also have the opportunity to intern as a paralegal and experience this profession firsthand. Some of our students have landed internships with law firms, real estate companies, banks, and insurance companies.

The Graduates

Graduates of our program have gone on to apply their education to employment opportunities at small, mid-sized, and large law firms across New York State and in other states. They have also secured positions working for corporations, in the court system, and in government offices. Most graduates enter the workforce immediately upon graduation. Some choose to transfer on to the four-year level to advance their studies and others have gone on to pursue law school.

The Faculty

FLCC's Paralegal programs are directed by Nolana McKinstry, J.D. Prior to entering higher education in 2010, McKinstry practiced commercial litigation at K&L Gates LLP, which is an international law firm that is based in the United States. Each faculty and adjunct member in these programs is an experienced attorney or paralegal. Collectively, they bring valuable real-world experience and law knowledge in the private and public sectors to the classroom.