Frequently Asked Questions
Where are paralegals employed?
Paralegals are employed by law firms, law departments of corporations, government agencies, banks, insurance companies and courts.
What do paralegals do?
Paralegals organize and manage the workflow in law offices and law-related fields. They do background work for attorneys; research laws and/or court decisions; and interview and prepare witnesses for depositions, cross-examination and court appearances. They prepare briefs, maintain files, prepare correspondence and draft documents. They assist an attorney in conducting business with clients, other attorneys and the courts. Paralegals (or legal assistants) perform many tasks that an attorney does — in fact, they can do everything but advise clients, represent a client in court or bill for services.
What is the salary of paralegals?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for paralegals is $52,920, or $25.44 per hour.
How long does the program take to complete?
The Paralegal Studies program is a two-year (four-semester) sequence leading to an Associate of Applied Business degree. A one-year post-degree professional certificate is offered for students who have already earned an associate or bachelor's degree. Students may enroll part-time or full-time. Many choose to take only two or three courses per semester, which increases the number of semesters needed to complete the program.
What are the paralegal courses like?
Throughout their study, students will learn the specialized vocabulary of the legal profession. Specific fields of law are introduced, including litigation, business law, probate, family law and workers' compensation. Students are trained in both traditional and computer-assisted legal research techniques. The Paralegal Practicum (externship) provides supervised work experience in a law firm or law-related setting in the students' final term of study.
Does the Paralegal Studies program accept legal specialty transfer credits from other institutions?
All requests for transfer credit of legal specialty courses are reviewed by the program manager. Courses must be equivalent to courses taught at Cuyahoga Community College (as determined by a syllabus review). In addition, students must have earned a C or better (B or better for an intro to paralegal studies course), and the courses must have been completed through another ABA-approved paralegal program.
Please note that, per ABA requirements, students must earn a minimum of nine legal specialty credit hours in a synchronous setting. As such, if a student wishes to use transfer credits to fulfill part of this requirement, they must submit written documentation from the dean or program director at the transferring institution confirming that the credits being transferred were taken in a synchronous format.
How do I apply for the Paralegal Studies program?
Associate degree and certificate applications are accepted each semester.
All applicants must:
- Complete assessment testing (associate degree program only)
- Complete ENG-1010 (associate degree program only)
- Earn a B or better in the Intro to Paralegal Profession course (PL-1001)
- Complete program application and narrative form
For more information, or to obtain forms, call 216-987-5112 or visit the Paralegal office at the Western Campus (C 245A).