The Paralegal Studies curriculum leads to the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, which is approved by the American Bar Association. This curriculum provides students with a varied and general grounding in the practical skills necessary to be a paralegal along with a strong liberal arts background. The program is suitable for students seeking either to transfer to a four-year institution in a law-related program or to enter the work force as a paralegal, particularly in small to mid-sized law firms, businesses, government, and public and private agencies.
Community College of Philadelphia trains paralegals who must operate under the supervision of a licensed attorney and are prohibited from practicing law. This program has been approved by the American Bar Association.
New students are required to take the College’s placement tests at their time of entry. Students who are identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as a part of their degree program.
Students transferring into the Paralegal Studies Program may transfer in up to thirty credits (one half of the credits required for an A.A.S. in Paralegal Studies) from other accredited institutions in accordance with the College’s general transfer policies. Of those thirty credits, the Paralegal Studies Program at Community College of Philadelphia will accept up to fifteen credits of Paralegal Studies courses in transfer from an ABA approved institution with the following conditions:
A minimum of 60 credits, a grade of "C" or better in all Paralegal Studies courses and a grade point average of 2.0 are required for graduation. Certain courses required for graduation may be substituted with the approval of the program coordinator and the dean of Liberal Studies. Students whose behavior is viewed as inconsistent with professional standards may be dropped from the curriculum pending the results of a departmental hearing. All students are required to sign an integrity statement in all Paralegal Studies courses agreeing to abide by standards of ethics and integrity in all assignments and undertakings.
All students seeking the A.A.S degree are advised that they must complete 9 credit hours of legal specialty classes in a traditional classroom format. Courses in traditional format include those meeting entirely in the classroom and classroom hours of hybrid sections. Legal specialty classes are those designed by PLS. Students are urged to meet with a paralegal advisor prior to registering for courses and are cautioned that a degree will not be awarded until this requirement is met.
Students in the Paralegal Studies Program are advised that it is important to have current knowledge in order to successfully compete in today’s legal environment and are urged to complete all Paralegal Studies courses within five years of graduation. To ensure that graduates possess current knowledge and skills, the following requirements apply:
* Students are encouraged to take an additional PLS course.
** The curriculum has been designed so that any five of the following 13 courses will provide a coherent course of study in preparation for employment as a paralegal.
Accelerated Program/ Post Degree Program
For students who have all or most of their general education requirements, the Paralegal Studies Program offers courses in evening, accelerated, weekend and online formats.
A legal internship is offered to students enrolled in the program who have completed at least 36 credits toward the degree and who have attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 at that time. The internship is a 3-credit course requiring the student to perform without pay at least 96 hours of paralegal tasks in a legal employment setting approved by the Program Coordinator. Students who receive a grade of less than "C" are ineligible to retake this course. Those students who are ineligible for or who do not select the internship will be required to take another course from the concentration courses selections.
Law Library And Computers
The College Library maintains a complete law library which exceeds American Bar Association guidelines. Students are also exposed in class to computer-assisted legal research sources, such as online databases, the Internet and legal materials available on CD-ROM and are introduced to discipline-specific legal software in all advanced courses.
All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must complete a course substitution request form. To access the form, login to the MyCCP portal, and in the Student tab, under Electronic Forms, click on the Records and Registration Forms link, then choose Request For Course Substitution Of Graduation Requirement link. A more detailed explanation of the College's general education requirements is also available.
The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.