Paralegal Program

people and torts 

Paralegals fill an important role in many legal teams as well as businesses or government institutions. These professionals summarize depositions, perform legal research and complete initial drafts of contracts. Paralegals implement their skills in various ways to support legal teams.

Tulsa Community College’s Paralegal program offers students the means to begin a rewarding and challenging career as a paralegal by earning either an Associate in Applied Science or an Associate of Arts degree, Paralegal emphasis.

Program Objectives

The program prepares graduates to work as professional assistants under the supervision of attorneys. Graduates receive training in civil procedure, legal research and writing, drafting of documents, litigation support, law office systems and management, and use of computers in the legal environment. In addition, students gain knowledge of various areas of law including contract law, real property transactions, business organizations, family law, bankruptcy and probate practice.

What Does a Paralegal Do?

The paralegal may be asked to accomplish a variety of duties as part of his or her job. In addition to routine office duties, paralegals:

• Conduct research and draft documents

• Interview clients

• Locate and interview witnesses

• Perform investigations

• Compile statistical documentary research

• Draft correspondence and pleadings

• Summarize depositions, interrogatories and testimonies

• Assist attorneys in preparing for trial

• Collect and analyze evidence

However, paralegals are prohibited from offering legal advice and arguing cases in court; and Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.  Paralegals either work with attorneys who assume professional responsibility for the final work product or in areas where ‘lay’ individuals are explicitly authorized by statute or regulation to assume certain law-related responsibilities.

 

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Traits and skills common to paralegals

Successful paralegals display many common traits such as:

• Effective oral and written communication skills

• Proficient research and investigative skills

• Computer skills

 
Faculty experience

All classes are taught by practicing lawyers and certified paralegals who bring years of relevant experience to the classroom.

 

 

Graduates may work in many areas

In addition to law firms, graduates of TCC’s Paralegal program are qualified to find employment in a variety of private and public businesses, including:

• Corporate legal departments

• Law firms

• Hospitals

• Title insurance companies

• Real estate offices

• Various areas of the criminal justice and court system

• Numerous state and federal government offices

• Legal-service projects

 

   

Job outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the paralegal occupation is expected to grow much faster than average as paralegals take on more responsibilities under a lawyer’s supervision.

Starting salaries vary depending on the employer and region. However, TCC counselors or the Paralegal program director can provide more information on current salary trends.

 
Internships

Qualified students may apply for internships
with law firms, government agencies, local
businesses and the court system. In addition
to gaining experience, students make valuable
contacts while strengthening their resumes.

 

Certification

Once the student satisfactorily completes
the Paralegal program, he or she is eligible
to take the examination given by the
National Association of Legal Assistants,
Inc. to become a Certified Paralegal (CP).

 

For information on the Paralegal program at the Metro Campus, call the Business and Information Technology Division at (918) 595-7039 or Michael Speck, Coordinator of the Paralegal program at (918) 595-7317 or e-mail mspeck@tulsacc.edu

* Students must have prior approval from program director before enrolling in Paralegal classes.

TCC