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 AAS and Certificate Programs are offered for paralegal education.
Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
Admission Procedures and Requirements
The 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.
The certificate program is designed to serve students with either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree seeking a
career-oriented education which upon satisfactory completion will enable them to enter the job market.
Although a Bachelor of Arts degree is desirable, the minimum requirement for admission to the program is an associate's
degree with a minimum of 18 liberal arts credits. The program coordinator may make exceptions to the degree requirement
for those students who do not hold a bachelor's or an associate's degree but who have demonstrated no less than five years
of satisfactory paraprofessional experience in law firms, corporate legal departments or city/town corporation counsel
offices, and provide letters of recommendation from employers who are members of the Bar attesting to the applicants
suitability. Applicants may be given an interview and additional courses may be required to meet the requirement of 18
liberal arts credits. Full-time students may complete the program in two semesters. Completion on a part-time basis is
at the pace chosen by the student. Suggested sequence of courses follows.
Students need to have completed a B.A., B.S., A.A. or A.S. degree, or have the above-referenced significant law-related
experience and 18 liberal arts credits. Students are admitted on a rolling basis, fall and spring, with most students
meeting minimum standards admitted. Students must demonstrate strong reading and writing skills.