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Paralegal Studies Description

Approved by the American Bar Association, Kent State University’s Kent Campus offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies. Students also have the option to minor in Paralegal Studies in conjunction with a four-year baccalaureate degree (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science). Paralegal Studies is an interdisciplinary program in the College of Arts and Sciences.  The program combines a liberal arts/general education background with law related specialty courses to provide the graduate with communication skills, knowledge of the legal system, and practical hands-on-experience.  Many of the courses found in Category II and Category III are offered online on a rotating basis.

The Paralegal Studies program at Kent State University is designed to educate prospective paralegals in all areas of law. The programs focus on developing the critical reasoning, analytical skills and legal knowledge essential to succeed in today’s paralegal and law-related occupations.

What is a Paralegal/Legal assistant? 

The ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals has defined a Paralegal/Legal Assistant as "A legal assistant or paralegal 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 may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law."

Career & Internship Opportunities

What Paralegals do

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, from ABA approved institutions.  Kent State graduates are prepared for careers in private law offices, public agencies, corporations, legal services, and law-related occupations in corporations, banks, and other business entities.  The rate of job placement for graduates has been high.  Kent State graduates are employed by some of the  most prestigious law firms in the country. All students in Paralegal Studies must complete an internship course in a legal setting prior to graduation which may result in a permanent position.

You may access assistance in planning for internships as well as job searches by visiting KSU Career Services.

Program Requirements & Legal Specialty Courses

All students pursuing a bachelor's degree at Kent State University complete a series of liberal education requirements.  Paralegal Studies students take courses in English composition, mathematics or logic, foreign language, humanities, fine arts, social sciences and basic sciences. All students must complete an internship in the final stages of their course work. Classes are offered during the day, evening, Saturdays, and often online. Specialty courses are offered during the summer sessions as well. Both full- and part-time students are welcome.

Policy on Transfer of Legal Specialty Course Work

Students who have taken paralegal courses at other institutions may petition to the Program Director to have courses transferred to Kent State University. The student must include with the petition a catalog from the institution, course syllabi, a transcript, and sample work from the courses. Transferability is based on the accreditation of the school, comparability of the course including evaluation of practical assignments, year courses was taken, and grade the student received. Transfer from schools that are not ABA approved or members of AAfPE will be limited to two courses, as long as academic quality and comparability to KSU courses are assured. Transfer from schools that are ABA approved will be limited to two courses for the minor and four courses for the major degree.

For information on the Kent State University Policy on Course Transfers, please see the KSU Transfer Credit Policy

Research Facilities and Computer Lab

Students can access a vast collection of legal materials at Kent State University's library and will also have access to legal online research databases in the library's computer lab.  Students can make use of the departmental computer lab for Internet, e-mail and word processing needs.

Faculty

All faculty have extensive experience working with  paralegals and are recognized in the area of expertise in which they teach.  Many courses are taught by attorneys who are specialists in their field.

Advising

Students are expected to meet with the Paralegal Studies Program Director, once they decide on their major or minor in Paralegal Studies, to plan their program of study and discuss career options.  Contact Dr. Jarrod Tudor, jtudor@kent.edu, 330-931-5015.

Kent State University Paralegal Organization

Paralegal students at the Kent Campus have formed the Kent State University Paralegal Organization which meets once a month and invites guest speakers from the legal community, as well as sponsors social events.

You can obtain additional information on the Paralegal Studies Programs at Kent State University by contacting:

Paralegal Studies Program
113 Bowman Hall
Kent State University
PO Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242-0001

Phone: (330) 931-5015
Fax: (330) 672-3720

Prof. Amanda M. Paar Conroy
Director of Paralegal Studies
apaar@kent.edu
Direct Dial (330) 931-5015 or (330) 672-4148

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