Approved by the American Bar Association

What is a paralegal?

The ABA Standing Committee on paralegals has defined a paralegal as 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 may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law."

Why become a Paralegal?

The fastest growing occupation within the legal profession is the paralegal. The U.S. Department of Labor continues to predict that paralegal jobs will be growing faster than average. The legal market has a high demand for skilled paralegals with a four-year degree or post-baccalaureate certificate from ABA approved institutions such as Kent State University.

A paralegal is employed by a law office, corporate legal department, or public entity to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of a lawyer. Paralegals conduct legal research, maintain and organize files, and draft legal documents. Paralegals also work with clients and witnesses in preparing cases for trial. A paralegal is not a lawyer and may not give legal advice, accept cases, argue in court, or set fees.

The paralegal field, however, is very challenging and very rewarding on many levels. Paralegals can choose to work for a cause that is near and dear to one’s heart and be paid very well, without the overwhelming education commitment and responsibility of law school. Additionally, the paralegal field offers a balanced lifestyle.

The rate of job placement for Kent State University paralegal graduates is high. Graduates are employed by some of the most prestigious law firms in the country. All paralegal students must complete an internship in a legal setting prior to graduation, which sometimes results in a permanent position.

All faculty have extensive experience working with paralegals and are recognized in the areas of expertise in which they teach. Students are expected to meet with the Paralegal Studies Program Director once they decide on their major, minor, or post-baccalaureate certificate in Paralegal Studies to plan their program of study and discuss career options.

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