Marsha Shields, M.A., Program Director
Ford Hall Room 104
Department of Political Science
Phone: (502) 852-3249
Paralegals, also called Legal Assistants, work with lawyers in a wide range of professional tasks, including legal research, writing, interviewing, document preparation, and office management. Paralegals work in law firms, business corporations, and government agencies. Paralegals may perform substantive legal work, except for that which is prohibited by law. Completion of the Paralegal Studies Program does not allow the non-lawyer graduate to practice law.
The College of Arts and Sciences Paralegal Studies Program provides a high quality liberal arts education as a foundation for specialized legal skills. The Associate in Arts in Paralegal Studies degree requires grades higher than most programs. This helps assure the high quality of graduating paralegal professionals. The general education credits may be applied toward a four year degree in a number of disciplines. Paralegal students are encouraged to earn a Bachelor's degree. Receipt of the American Bar Association approved AA degree in Paralegal Studies qualifies the student for a career as a paralegal. However, the Political Science BS track in Paralegal Studies, by itself, does not qualify a student for a career as a paralegal, and the concentration is not American Bar Association approved. Students with most Bachelor's degrees can take just the paralegal classes and obtain the A.A. degree in Paralegal Studies.
The University of Louisville is committed to providing equal educational opportunities at the lowest possible cost. Financial aid is available to many students. Most of the courses necessary for this degree may be taken in the evenings at the Belknap Campus.
The U.S. Department of labor Reports list the paralegal profession among the fastest growing job markets of the next decade. The program cannot guarantee job placement, but local employers report that there are a substantial number of positions for qualified paralegals. The University Career Center, frequently contacted by prospective employers, assists students in finding suitable employment. Students are also encouraged to join the Louisville Association of Paralegals, which offers a job bank program. Registration with the Louisville Bar Association Placement Office is also recommended. The Paralegal Studies director periodically receives job listings, and maintains a resume file from which to make suitable referrals.
The University of Louisville Paralegal Studies Program is an accredited Associate Degree program with the approval of the American Bar Association. The University of Louisville is also a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education and the Louisville Association of Paralegals.
For information about related organizations and subjects, select from the following:
National Association of Legal Assistants