Paralegal specialty courses are taught by experienced attorneys and LaGuardia’s program is approved by the American Bar Association.
Students who complete the Paralegal Studies curriculum, which is administered by the Business & Technology Department, will receive the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. The Paralegal Studies curriculum has been carefully designed to balance paralegal specialty and related courses with a broad liberal arts background. Students gain valuable practical experience through internships. LaGuardia's paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association. “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 who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. (Adopted by the ABA in 1997) Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
In support of the LaGuardia’s mission to educate and graduate its students to become critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens, the College has undertaken a team approach toward advising, designed to support you in your major from orientation through graduation. Your Advising Team is made up of faculty, professional and peer advisors. They will guide you at every step during your college career. They are ready to help you:
In your first semester, your First Year Seminar (FYS) professor is your advisor. In your second semester and beyond, you can log in to My LaGuardia to contact advisor(s) or make an appointment. Visit the Advising page to learn more about when to get advised and how to prepare for an advising appointment, and check out the Advising Calendar for information sessions, events and more.
Paralegals, or legal assistants, assist lawyers in a wide
range of activities. Lawyers remain responsible for paralegals’ work (in
general, paralegals may not themselves give legal advice, set fees or represent
clients in court). In the litigation area, for example, paralegals may
interview prospective clients, research the law, prepare court documents and
assist at trials. Paralegals who work on corporate legal matters may prepare
contracts, maintain records and ensure that a corporation has complied with
various statutes and government regulations. Paralegals who work on real estate
matters may prepare mortgage agreements and other documents relating to real
estate transactions and assist at closings.
While the major employers of paralegals are private law firms, there are also
job opportunities with government agencies, including district attorneys’
offices, and a variety of other employers. In addition, the curriculum may be
highly suitable for students who contemplate pursuing other law-related
careers, such as careers in law enforcement, or who seek a broad, practical
knowledge of the law for its own sake.
”Paralegals and legal assistants do a variety of tasks to support lawyers,
including maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and
drafting documents.”* According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2015 annual
median income for paralegals was $48,810. The top 10 percent or paralegals and
legal assistants earned an average of $79,010.*
The employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 8 percent
from 2014 to 2024.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational
Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants, on
the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm (visited September
Explore career possibilities on Career Connect.
Current Students Log in to the CUNY Portal to review your Degree Audit to find out what classes to take. Have questions about using Degree Audit? Visit LaGuardia’s Degree Audit page for tutorials and how-to guides.
Prospective Students Review the Paralegal Studies Curriculum and the recommended course sequence below.
Selecting Flexible Core Courses The courses you should take to satisfy the Pathways Flexible Core depends upon many factors, including: schools you are considering transferring to, your academic strengths and interests, and credits that you have earned from previous colleges. It is also important to note that some Pathways Flexible Core courses will also satisfy LaGuardia’s Urban Study requirement.We strongly recommend that you meet with a member of the advising team to decide together which courses would work best for you. Below a list of generally recommended courses based on course content and/or transferability: World Cultures and Global Issues
U.S. Experience in its Diversity
Individual and Society
Recommended Course Sequence
First Year, Fall I
First Year, Fall II
First Year, Spring I
First Year, Spring II
Second Year, Fall I
Second Year, Fall II
Second Year, Spring I
Second Year, Spring II
See flexible sequence for students with basic skills needs. For information about this program’s retention and graduation rate visit the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website page.