Paralegal Studies

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Approved by the American Bar Association, Kent State University’s Kent Campus offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in paralegal studies. Students also have the option to minor in paralegal studies in conjunction with a four-year baccalaureate degree (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science).

Paralegal studies is an interdisciplinary program in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program combines a liberal arts/general education background with law-related specialty courses to provide the graduate with communication skills, knowledge of the legal system and practical hands-on experience. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

What a Student Should Expect From Paralegal Courses

All students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at Kent State complete a series of Kent Core requirements. Paralegal studies majors take courses in English composition, mathematics or logic, foreign language, humanities, fine arts, social sciences and basic sciences.

The paralegal studies program at Kent State is designed to educate prospective paralegals in all areas of law. The program’s focus is on developing the critical reasoning, analytical skills and legal knowledge essential to succeed in today’s paralegal and law-related occupations. The following courses are core requirements for the paralegal studies major, and all students must complete the following legal specialty courses:

Introduction to Paralegal Studies
Legal Research and Writing
Principles and Practice of Litigation
Applied Legal Research and Litigation
Internship in Paralegal

All students must complete six courses from the following legal specialty courses:

Family Law and Procedure
Estate and Probate Administration
Administrative Law and Process
Tort Law
Contract Law
Law of Corporations and Other Associations
Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Intellectual Property Law

All students must complete four courses from the following law-related courses:

Criminal Law
Criminal Procedures and Evidence
Human Service Agencies and the Law
Civil Law and Procedure
Court Functions
Legal and Regulatory Environments of Business
Critical Issues in Law Management
Real Estate Law
Introduction to Public Administration
Courts
Constitutional Law: Government Structures and Functions
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
Philosophy and Justice
Philosophy of Law
Fundamental Tax Procedures

Research Facilities and Computer Lab

Students can access a vast collection of legal materials at Kent State’s Library and will also have access to legal online research databases in the Library’s computer lab. Students can make use of the departmental computer lab for Internet, e-mail and word processing needs.

Faculty

All faculty have extensive experience working with paralegals and are recognized in the area of expertise in which they teach. Many courses are taught by attorneys who are specialists in their field.

Advising 

Once they decide on their major or minor, paralegal studies students are expected to meet with the director of the program to plan their program of study and discuss career options.

Policy on Transfer of Legal Specialty Coursework

Students who have taken paralegal courses at other institutions may petition to the program director to have courses transferred to Kent State University. The student must include with the petition a catalog from the institution, course syllabi, a transcript and sample work from the courses. Transferability is based on the accreditation of the school, comparability of the course including evaluation of practical assignments, year course was taken and grade the student received. Transfer from schools that are not ABA approved or members of AAfPE will be limited to two courses, as long as academic quality and comparability to Kent State courses are assured. Transfer from schools that are ABA approved or are members of AAfPE will be limited to two courses for the minor or certificate and four courses for the major degree.

The U.S. Department of Labor continues to predict that paralegal jobs will be growing faster than average. The legal market has a high demand for skilled paralegals with a four-year degree from ABA-approved institutions. Kent State graduates are prepared for careers in private law offices, public agencies, corporations, legal services and law-related occupations in corporations, banks and other business entities. The rate of job placement for graduates has been high. Kent State graduates are employed by some of the most prestigious law firms in the country. Prior to graduation, all students in paralegal studies must complete an internship course in a legal setting, possibly resulting in a permanent position