The Tulsa Community College (TCC) Paralegal Studies Program is part of the School of Business and Information Technology. The Program is approved by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals, is an institutional member of the American Association for Paralegal Education, and is the only regionally accredited, degree granting Paralegal Studies Program in Green Country. A TCC Certificate in Paralegal Studies is a step toward a rewarding career in the law. Students seeking the credential will take at least 10 semester credits, or the equivalent, of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction.
Paralegals fill an important role in many legal teams as well as businesses or government institutions. These paraprofessionals perform legal work under the supervision of an attorney in the service of the needs of clients. Tulsa Community College's Paralegal Studies Program offers students the means to begin a rewarding and challenging career as a paralegal by earning a Post Degree Certificate (Cert.) in Paralegal Studies. For more information about the Paralegal Studies Program, see the Certificate Requirements and Degree Path in the course catalog.
Unauthorized Practice of Law: The paralegal may be asked to accomplish a variety of duties as part of his or her job. 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.
This Paralegal Studies Program prepares graduates to work as professional assistants under the supervision of attorneys. All Paralegal Studies students receive training in civil procedure, contracts, real property, legal research and writing, drafting of documents, litigation support, law office systems and management, and use of computers in the legal environment. Program students will take at least 10 semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction.
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.
Graduates of TCC's Paralegal Studies Program are qualified to find employment in a variety of private and public businesses including:
- Corporate legal departments
- Law firms
- Title insurance companies
- Real estate offices
- Various areas of the criminal justice and court system
- State and federal government offices
- Legal service projects
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the paralegal occupation is expected to grow 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 Studies Program director can provide more information on current salary trends.
All classes are taught by practicing lawyers and certified paralegals who bring years of relevant experience to the classroom.
After a student satisfactorily completes the Paralegal Studies Program, he or she is eligible to take the examination given by the National Association of Legal Assistants to become a Certified Paralegal (CP) or that given by the National Association of Legal Professionals to become a certified Professional Paralegal (PP).
Admission to the Program
All Students must complete all admission requirements to Tulsa Community College and complete Paralegal Studies Application. Post Degree Certificate students must have a bachelor's degree, an A.A., A.S., or an A.A.S. degree to be admitted to the program for the proposed option.
For any questions about Admission to the Program and/or a copy of the Legal Specialty Course Transfer Policy please contact the Program Coordinator, Michael Speck at firstname.lastname@example.org.