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Tel: 847-214-7385
Fax: 847-608-5458
admissions@elgin.edu
Hours: M-Th 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.; F 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Fridays June - Aug.


Paralegal

A paralegal is a person qualified by education, training, or work experience who performs substantive legal work under the supervision of a lawyer. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Program Requirements

All students will be required to complete an internship experience. ECC continues to develop resources to assist students with internship placement. However, opportunities are not automatic or guaranteed. Students are responsible for taking the necessary steps to ensure an internship placement.

All students must complete at least ten semester credits of paralegal courses (PAR) at ECC through traditional classroom instruction.

Transfer Restriction on Paralegal Courses

A maximum of nine semester credits of paralegal coursework from an A BA-approved paralegal program will be eligible for transfer to ECC. All requests for transfer credit of paralegal courses will be evaluated by the instructional coordinator for paralegal and are subject to denial for the
following reasons: (1) no comparable paralegal course offered at ECC; or (2) failure to demonstrate development of practical paralegal skills in the course as required by ABA Guidelines.

Profile

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there will be even more legal assistants and paralegals as employment opportunities are likely to rise as much as 35 percent by the end of the decade. Though specific tasks vary according to the employer, paralegal work typically involves:

  • Interviewing clients and witnesses
  • Investigating case facts
  • Researching
  • Analyzing information
  • Writing reports
  • Helping prepare legal arguments
  • Drafting pleadings & contracts
  • Obtaining affidavits

Program Details

Paralegal options emphasize hands-on, practical applications. Facilities include online legal research and a well-stocked law library. Classes are taught by judges, attorneys, and experienced paralegals. All of them know how to bring learning alive.

The paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education.

Graduates of the ECC paralegal program will:

  1. Answer objective questions concerning:
    • requirements of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the regulatory authority of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
    • prohibitions on the unauthorized practice of law and recent interpretations of those prohibitions
    • paralegal profession
    • how legal assistants are trained
    • how legal assistants may become active in professional organizations and obtain continuing education
    • differences between criminal law and civil law and about the sources of law
    • use of print and online legal research resources and about citation of those resources
  2. Understand the structures of the state and federal court systems, including:
    • the process of trial and appeal and how a case is proven
    • produce written memoranda based on legal research using traditional print material and on-line research systems
    • demonstrate oral and written communications skills in class presentations and written work
    • produce written work demonstrating basic understanding of computer functions including:
      • including word processing
      • data base applications
      • spreadsheet applications
  3. Produce written work demonstrating:
    • problem-solving skills
    • the ability to meet deadlinesunderstanding of the need for attention to detail
  4. Create a portfolio of course work, including:
    • at least one memorandum based on legal research
    • various pleadings
    • one project evidencing competence in a transactional area of law such as:
      • real estate
      • estate planning
      • business entities

Joint educational agreements allow students from other community colleges to enroll in ECC's paralegal degree at in-district tuition rates. How it works»

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