About this program
Why a Paralegal Studies Major?
The paralegal profession holds jobs for the future.
The United States Department of Labor has reported in its 2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook, that: "Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects. This occupation attracts many applicants, and competition for jobs will be strong. Experienced, formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects."
Who is a Paralegal?
A paralegal, or legal assistant, is a person qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity, and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible (paralegals cannot practice law).
Why choose EMU's Paralegal Studies program?
EMU’s unique Paralegal Studies program provides the education necessary for students who want to get a job inside the exciting legal field upon graduation. The program, approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), offers both the initial Bachelor of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Second Bachelor’s Degree. And our graduates get paralegal jobs!
The program’s faculty – all of whom are attorneys – are committed to providing program students with the "real world" skills needed to succeed in today’s legal profession and to work side-by-side and under the supervision of an attorney. These skills include:
- Proficiency in legal research, writing and analysis;
- Understanding the basics of Probate and Family Law;
- Using computer-based research and office management tools;
- Learning court rules and procedures;
- Drafting legal documents;
Understanding corporate transactions;
- Interviewing clients and case investigation; and
- Preparing for trial.
Prior Learning Assessment Hours
If a student qualifies for credit through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), a maximum of 9 LEGL core credit hours may be earned through PLA. For more information about PLA or transfer credit, please consult the program coordinator.
Program of Study
The program offers legal courses (those with an "LEGL" prefix) based on a standard schedule. This standardized schedule was created so that each program major can develop a plan of study leading to graduation. The program coordinator is available to help you with your plan of study. However, it is your responsibility to plan your studies through graduation. This means that you must be familiar with: (1) all University General Education requirements, including all prerequisite courses; (2) all program course requirements, including all prerequisite courses; and (3) all University graduation requirements. Failure to develop and follow a plan of study may cause delays in your graduation.
In the rare case, there may be a need for a student to engage in a course of “Independent Study.” All Independent Study requests must be approved by the Professor as well as by the School Director and the program coordinator. Independent Studies are neither permitted as a substitute for University and program degree requirements nor as a part of a plan to improve a student’s GPA. There is an Independent Study Application, which can be obtained from the program coordinator.
- ABA (American Bar Association)
- NALA (The Paralegal Association)
- NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Associations)
- SBM (State Bar of Michigan)
- AAfPE (American Association for Paralegal Education)
- WCBA (Washtenaw County Bar Association)
- FBA (Federal Bar Association)
- GLPA (Great Lakes Paralegal Association)
Check out Paralegal411.org. EMU's program has been ranked #12 on their ranking of top programs in the country!
Student Employment Sources
Program Internship Requirements
All program majors must complete the required program internship, LEGL 416. (Note: This Internship course fulfills the General Education requirement of a Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBC) course.) All questions about the Internship, including but not limited to the timing of the Internship, the suitability of a location for the Internship, the suitability of clinical Internship work, and the substantive work that must be completed as part of the classroom and clinical Internship components, should be directed to the instructor of record for the class or the program coordinator. In order to insure that a student’s internship is a successful experience, a student may not accept an internship for credit until the internship has been approved by the instructor of record or the program coordinator. A student must complete all prerequisite courses before entering LEGL 416. (All prerequisites are listed in the University Catalog.)
LEGL 416 is offered every winter term. If needed because of anticipated graduations, LEGL 416 may also be offered during the spring term. As with all program courses, the fact that LEGL 416 is offered does not guarantee that there will be sufficient enrollments to meet the required course minimum. Enrollment priority for LEGL 416 will be based upon anticipated date of graduation. For example, a student who reasonably expects to graduate at the end of the winter term would be given enrollment priority for winter LEGL 416 over a student who expects to graduate at the end of the spring, summer, or next fall term. Absent advance written permission, you may not begin your clinical internship work (e.g., your field experience) prior to the time that you begin LEGL 416. The location of your Internship, as well as the general nature of the substantive clinical Internship work you will do, must be approved in advance.
Your clinical Internship work must be properly supervised. If you are working in an office where legal services are being provided, you must be supervised by a licensed attorney. Under no circumstances are you to engage in activities that might constitute the unauthorized practice of law. If you are uncertain about whether any task you are asked to complete might constitute the unauthorized practice of law, you should consult with your supervising attorney. You should also consult with the instructor of record for the class, or with the program coordinator.
The program has established more specific guidelines and rules regarding the program Internship. These guidelines and rules are incorporated in the LEGL 416 syllabus and course materials. You must familiarize yourself with the guidelines and rules that are outlined. Failure to follow the syllabus, and all specific guidelines and rules of the LEGL 416 course, may result in failure to receive credit for, or a passing grade in, LEGL 416. This may result in your graduation being delayed.
- Call: 734.487.0354
- Office: 122 Sill Hall, Ypsilanti, MI 48197