Paralegal Studies

Paralegal Studies with Specializations in:

  • Litigation
  • Transactional

Associate in Science Degree
(Articulated A.S. to B.A/B.S. Career Path)

Valencia’s Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association.

This program is designed to prepare students to work in the legal field for law firms, banks, corporations, and government agencies in the performance of delegated, substantive legal services under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Students receive instruction in the substantive and procedural law necessary to function in the legal environment under the direction and supervision of attorneys in areas such as civil litigation, real property, legal research and writing, business organizations, and legal technology. Students will understand the ethical framework within which they will work and will be able to analyze and communicate effectively in these areas. Instruction stresses practical applications.

The services paralegals provide include assisting in trial preparation, drafting court pleadings and related documents, performing legal research and informal investigations, preparing real estate documents and assisting in real estate closings, drafting contracts, and maintaining corporate books. Paralegals cannot give legal advice, accept a case, set a fee, or present a case in court and may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

This program is designed for students who seek immediate employment in the legal environment and who may also decide to transfer as a junior to complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies at one of the two Florida public universities to which this degree will transfer. Students may transfer through a statewide agreement to Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) or through a specific program agreement to the University of Central Florida (UCF). Additional general education and legal specialty courses will be required in the university program.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult a Career Program Advisor in the department office for assistance in determining the best education plan for their career goals.

In addition to credits included in the State of Florida’s common course numbering system, Valencia may accept up to nine legal specialty credits from a non-American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies program as credit toward PLA course requirements in the Paralegal Studies A.S. degree. All legal specialty courses transferred into the program must be reviewed and approved by the Paralegal Studies Program Director, in addition to the standard college award of credit process.

Students will select either a Transactional or Litigation specialization. The Transactional specialization provides additional course work relating to real estate and probate matters, while the Litigation specialization provides additional course work relating to civil court and bankruptcy proceedings.

Although scheduling may not always provide for the following progression of courses, students should use the foundation, intermediate and specialization course sequence as a guide in program planning. This is found at http://valenciacollege.edu/asdegrees/criminal-justice/ps.cfm

All degree-seeking students must satisfy entry testing requirements and satisfactorily complete all mandatory courses in reading, student success, mathematics, English, and English for Academic Purposes in which the student is placed.

Start Right

Degree-seeking students enrolling at Valencia for the first time will have a limited range of courses from which to choose for their first 18 college-level credits. Within the first 18 college credit hours, you will be required to take ENC1101 (3 credits), and if applicable, SLS 1122 (3 credits) and a mathematics course appropriate to your selected meta-major (3 credits).  The remaining courses will be chosen from the General Education Core Courses in humanities (3 credits), science (3 credits), or social science (3 credits), and/or the introductory courses within the A.S. degree programs. For specific courses see the Foundation Courses on the “Program Requirements” tab. For course sequencing recommendations, see your Career Program Advisor or create an education plan by logging into Atlas, clicking on the LifeMap tab and clicking My Education Plan.

Potential Careers

  • Paralegal
  • Legal Assistant

Salary & Earnings Information

For salary and wage information, visit: www.salary.com or www.smart-college-choices.com

Contacts

Future Students

Contact Enrollment Services at enrollment@valenciacollege.edu or call 407-582-1507.

Current Students

East Campus
Wendy Toscano, Program Chair, East Campus: 407-582-2529
wtoscano@valenciacollege.edu

Lisa Larson, Career Program Advisor, East Campus: 407-582-2503
llarson9@valenciacollege.edu

Osceola Campus
Ramon Velez-Cruz, Career Program Advisor, Osceola Campus: 407-582-4258
rvelez20@@valenciacollege.edu 

For more information on the Paralegal Studies program, visit: valenciacollege.edu/departments/east/business/paralegal

Program Requirements

Foundation Courses
ENC 1101FRESHMAN COMPOSITION I +*~3
POS 2041U.S. GOVERNMENT. ~3
PLA 1003CINTRODUCTION TO PARALEGAL PRACTICES AND ETHICS +*3
PLA 1611REAL PROPERTY I +*3
PLA 2203CIVIL LITIGATION I +*3
SPC 1608FUNDAMENTALS OF SPEECH ~3
or SPC 1017 INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
PLA 2433BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS +*3
Math or Science See Gen. Ed. Core Requirement +*~3
Intermediate Courses
PLA 1104LEGAL RESEARCH AND THEORY I +*3
PLA 2732CLEGAL TECHNOLOGY *3
PLA 1730CCOMPUTER-ASSISTED LEGAL RESEARCH +*1
BUL 2241BUSINESS LAW I *3
BUL 2242BUSINESS LAW II *3
HumanitiesSee Gen. Ed. Requirement ~13
PSY 2012GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY3
APA 1111CBASIC ACCOUNTING *3
or ACG 2021C PRINCIPLES OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING
Select one of the following:3
FRESHMAN COMPOSITION II +*~
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
Specialization (see below)15
Total Credit Hours64
+

This course must be completed with a grade of C or better.

*

This course has a prerequisite; check description in Valencia catalog.

~

This is a general education course.

1

Students planning to transfer to UCF should select from , ARH 2051 INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY II, HUM 2220 HUMANITIES - GREEK AND ROMANHUM 2223 HUMANITIES - LATE ROMAN AND MEDIEVAL,HUM 2232 HUMANITIES - RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE, HUM 2234 HUMANITIES - ENLIGHTENMENT AND ROMANTICISM, MUL 1010 MUSIC APPRECIATION, PHI 2010 PHILOSOPHY, REL 2300 World Religions, and THE 1000

(GR)

Denotes a Gordon Rule course.

Litigation Specialization

Program Outcomes

  • Research and analyze a legal issue under the supervision of a member of the Bar.
  • Draft certain legal documents used in litigation and transactional matters, including bankruptcy and debtor-creditor filings, under the supervision of a member of the Bar.
  • Apply the appropriate ethics rules to hypothetical ethical scenarios that may arise in the legal setting under the supervision of a member of the Bar.
  • Describe practices and traits required to work effectively in a group or individually under the supervision of a member of the Bar.
PLA 2223CIVIL LITIGATION II *3
PLA 1114LEGAL RESEARCH AND THEORY II +*3
PLA 2192CLEGAL RESEARCH AND THEORY III CAPSTONE *3
PLA 2465CDEBTOR-CREDITOR/BANKRUPTCY *3
Paralegal Studies Elective3
Total Credit Hours15
*

This course has a prerequisite; check description in Valencia catalog.

+

This course must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Transactional Specialization

Program Outcomes

  • Research and analyze a legal issue under the supervision of a member of the Bar.
  • Draft certain legal documents used in litigation and transactional matters, including wills and trust documents, under the supervision of a member of the Bar.
  • Apply the appropriate ethics rules to hypothetical ethical scenarios that may arise in the legal setting under the supervision of a member of the Bar.
  • Describe practices and traits required to work effectively in a group or individually under the supervision of a member of the Bar.
PLA 2612REAL PROPERTY II *3
PLA 2601CWILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION I +*3
PLA 1114LEGAL RESEARCH AND THEORY II +*3
PLA 2192CLEGAL RESEARCH AND THEORY III CAPSTONE *3
Paralegal Studies Elective3
Total Credit Hours15
Paralegal Studies Electives
These courses may be used as the Paralegal Studies Elective if not a Specialization requirement.
PLA 2223CIVIL LITIGATION II *3
PLA 2465CDEBTOR-CREDITOR/BANKRUPTCY *3
PLA 2601CWILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION I *3
PLA 2612REAL PROPERTY II *3
PLA 2800CFAMILY LAW *3
PLA 2930SELECTED TOPICS IN PARALEGAL STUDIES *3
PLA 2942INTERNSHIP IN PARALEGAL STUDIES *3
CGS 2100CCOMPUTER FUNDAMENTALS AND APPLICATIONS3
CJL 2100CRIMINAL LAW3
CJL 2102CRIMINAL EVIDENCE & PROCEDURES3
*

This course has a prerequisite; check description in Valencia catalog.

+

This course must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Notes:

PLA prefix courses are offered predominantly on the East Campus; some foundation courses are offered also at the Osceola Campus.

Specialized courses may not be offered every session or on every campus.

Several Florida public and private universities provide opportunities, in addition to the Articulated A.S. to B.A./B.S. transfer option, for A.S. degree graduates to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. Information on some of these transfer options, including Legal Studies at UCF and FGCU and UCF’s Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree, may be found at valenciacollege.edu/asdegrees/transferagreements.cfm. Students who want to continue their education should contact their university of choice for acceptance of this degree.

For students who are interested in pursuing UCF’s B.A.S. degree, 36 credit hours of general education courses will be required. Students will also have to fulfill the state’s foreign language requirement, which is two years of the same high school foreign language or two semesters of the same college-level foreign language.