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/public agency, bank, industry or other entity and who performs specifically
delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. The paralegal
program is designed neither for attorneys nor law office administrators. The Suffolk
County Community College Paralegal Studies A.A.S. and Certificate Programs are offered
for paralegal education. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the
public, except as permitted by law.
This curriculum, which is approved by the American Bar Association, provides
students with a background in law as practiced in legal offices and trains them to
prepare documents such as probate forms, title searches and closing statements, pleadings
and discovery proceedings, legal memorandum, and corporate minutes and filings. Skilled
use of the English language is essential, and a high level of verbal competence is
required for completion of the curriculum. Knowledge of word processing software packages
is strongly recommended.
Not all legal courses are offered on each campus each semester. Students are
strongly urged to meet with a paralegal academic advisor to plan their program. Failure
to do so may result in delayed completion of the program.
For entering students, minimum requirements for admission are an 80 high school
average, Regents English, strong reading and writing skills, and a combined score
of 1000 on the SAT or a composite score of 21 on the ACT. Students already enrolled
in college need 12 credits with a 3.0 GPA which include a B or better in ENG101 and LAW101. Students are admitted on a rolling basis, fall and spring, with most students who
meet minimum standards admitted. Exceptions to admission requirements must be approved
by the Academic Chair of the program.