FAQ's

The following questions are the most frequently asked questions by Paralegal Studies Program students. Other questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Q: Who is a paralegal?
A: Paralegals (also called Legal Assistants) are professionals who work side-by-side and under the supervision of an attorney. They assist attorneys with legal work in both civil and criminal law. Paralegals help attorneys with matters including: legal research, drafting court documents, client and witness interviews, case investigations, corporate transactions and trial preparation. Although a paralegal cannot engage in the practice of law, working with an attorney allows the paralegal to get inside the law and presents a diverse and exciting career opportunity.

Q: How do I get admitted to the Paralegal Studies Program?
A: First you must be admitted to EMU. After admission to the University, you then declare your major as Paralegal Intent on the University’s website. You meet with an EMU Academic Advisor and then you must meet with the Paralegal Studies Program Coordinator to develop and review your Course of Study.

The Program follows a Program Admission Policy. The details of this Policy are on this website and in the EMU Catalog. Once you successfully complete LEGL 304W, Legal Research, Writing & Analysis I and LEGL 211, Introduction to Paralegalism, you complete an Application for Admission to the Program. You can get this Application from the Program Coordinator. You cannot take an advanced LEGL-designated, required core courses until you have been admitted into the Program.

Q: Where do I find the application for Program admission?
A: The Application for Admission can be obtained from the Program Coordinator or downloaded from this website.

Q: When do I complete the application for Program admission?
A: Once you have completed (or are in the process of completing) LEGL 304W and LEGL 211, under the Program Admission Policy, your Application will be accepted by the Program Coordinator. (See Admissions for details)

Q: Where do I find the course requirements for the Paralegal Studies Degree?
A: All degree requirements are located in the EMU Catalog. It is your responsibility to read this catalog.

Q: Can I take a course prerequisite simultaneously with the course?
A: No, prerequisites are designed to successfully prepare you for the course.

Q: Do I have any responsibilities as a Paralegal Studies student?
A: As a Paralegal Studies Major, you are preparing to enter the profession of law. As such, you must always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Among your other professional responsibilities are: taking responsibility to read each course Syllabus and understand it.

Q: How many core paralegal studies required courses can I take at another institution?
A: None, unless you receive permission from the Program Coordinator or are a transfer student or are entering the Program under an Articulation Agreement.

Q: How many course hours do I need to qualify for a B.S. Degree in Paralegal Studies?
A: You need a minimum of 124 course hours for the degree from Eastern Michigan University. This total (124) does not always include some prerequisites, which you may need to take before a required course.

Q: Who is the academic advisor for Paralegal Studies majors?
A.: The Program Coordinator will have office hours, each semester, posted on his or her office door for advising.

Q: If I am interested in taking advantage of EMU’s Prior Learning Assessment, how many hours of PLA credit are accepted by the Paralegal Studies Program for the LEGL core required courses?
A: Nine (9) credits, which is three (3) required, core LEGL courses.

Q: What is the proper format for an e-mail to a professor?
A: An e-mail to a professor is a professional correspondence. Your email should contain both a Greeting (Dear Professor___) and your signature. The e-mail content must be in complete sentences. Twitter, Facebook or other electronic short-hand language is not acceptable. You should carefully draft your e-mails so that they are not demanding and are professional in tone. Remember! You are in a professional program.

Q: What if I do not understand what is meant by cheating and/or plagiarism?
A: It is your responsibility, as a Paralegal Program student, to understand what is meant by both "cheating" and "plagiarism". Saying you "didn’t know," is no excuse. For a student who is studying to enter the legal profession, to state that you "don’t understand cheating/plagiarism" or "don’t mean to cheat or plagiarize" is unacceptable. The legal profession is guided by Canons of Ethics, which you must follow as a paralegal. If you are unsure, ask any professor for examples of cheating/plagiarism. It is also your responsibility to read the Student Conduct Code and Judicial Structure. Don’t let time constraints or laziness lead you to cheat or plagiarize!

Q: What should I do if I am concerned about my course grade?
A: You must contact and talk with the course professor and only your professor. You should refrain from talking with other professors about your difficulties with one of their colleagues. A student should not contact the Program Coordinator about course difficulties unless the Program Coordinator is the course professor.

Q: What if I cannot resolve my grade issue(s) to my satisfaction?
A: If you are unable to resolve your issues, you can refer to the EMU Grade Grievance Procedure, which is on the EMU website. These procedures should be handled in a professional manner. This means at no time should you discuss publicly your issues with a professor. Although you may wish to express your opinion(s) about a faculty member’s course, you must guard against comments that rise to the level of slander (or libel).

Q: How do I request an override for a course?
A: If you are a beginning Program Intent Student, you should contact the Program Coordinator for overrides for LEGL (only) courses. In your message, you must include your name, E#, course # and course crn so that a requested override can be processed. The Program Coordinator will either grant the override or refer you to the course professor. Students who are already Program majors should contact the course professor directly with any override requests.

Q: Can the Paralegal Studies Program Coordinator grant overrides for courses in other programs?
A: No. You must seek an override from either the Program Director or the course professor.