Legal Assisting / Paralegal

This program is offered in Atlanta and New Orleans only. All other campus locations offer the Associate of Science in Legal Studies.

Only the Herzing University paralegal programs at New Orleans and Atlanta are approved by the American Bar Association.

The legal assisting/paralegal program prepares students with the skills and academic knowledge necessary for a career as a legal assistant/paralegal working under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies program at the Atlanta Campus, the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies program at the New Orleans Campus, the Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal program at the Atlanta Campus, and the Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal program at the New Orleans Campus are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA can be contacted at (800) 285-2221 or www.abanet.org. The American Bar Association defines a paralegal as "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 and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible". These career opportunities may be in small or large firms working as a legal assistant/paralegal.

The Atlanta and New Orleans legal studies and legal assisting/paralegal programs are not online programs so all Legal (PL) courses must be taken on ground and a minimum of 10 semester hours of legal specialty courses must be taken at the Atlanta or New Orleans campus.

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

Paralegal Duties

While attorneys assume ultimate responsibility for legal work, they often delegate many of their tasks to paralegals. In fact, paralegals – also called legal assistants – continue to assume a growing range of tasks in the nation’s legal offices and perform many of the same tasks as attorneys.

A paralegal's tasks can include helping lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegals investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered. They may also identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, and other materials that are relevant to assigned cases. In addition to this preparatory work, paralegals also perform a number of other vital functions. For example, they help draft contracts, mortgages, separation agreements, and trust instruments. They also may assist in preparing tax returns and planning estates. Paralegals are found in all types of organizations, but law firms, corporate legal departments, and various government offices employ most. Paralegals who work for corporations often assist attorneys with employee contracts, shareholder agreements, stock-option plans, and employee benefit plans.

Unauthorized Practice of Law

The duties of a legal assistant/paralegal include assisting the lawyer with research, brief preparation, and other legal office administration, but do not include practicing law, advising clients, or setting fees since paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

What are the career opportunities in this field?

Opportunities for paralegal work exist in all areas of law, including family law, bankruptcy, employee benefits, personal injury, litigation, copyrighting, criminal law, labor law, immigration, and real estate. While seven out of ten paralegals work for law firms, many others are employed by the government or corporate legal departments. 

All paralegals assist lawyers with the creation of legal documents and conduct research on laws, court cases and contracts, but some duties will vary depending on the employer. Those entering this field with little or no prior experience will typically perform routine tasks, taking on the additional responsibility of more varied tasks after gaining the appropriate experience. 

  • Private sector paralegals - Legal assistants working for law firms or corporations often assists on such topics as employee benefits plans, shareholder agreements, financial reporting, and government labor regulations.
  • Public sector paralegals - Duties for legal assistants working for government agencies depend on the specific focus of that agency. Those employed at the community level may assist with projects that help people who otherwise could not afford legal services. If working in litigation, the paralegal may assist with file maintenance, policy research, the preparation of explanatory documents about regulations and policy relating to that agency, and compiling data for agency hearings. 
  • Freelance paralegals - In some states, paralegals are able to freelance for lawyers, law firms or legal departments. They may work in a specialty area of the law or provide general assistance on exceptionally large or short-deadline projects. 
  • Where do they work?

Legal assistants are typically employed in an office setting and spend their time on the computer or in a legal library. Legal assistants may work part or full-time depending on the employer’s needs. Full-time employees typically receive a comprehensive benefits package including healthcare and retirement savings plan(s). A 40-hour work week is standard for most full-time paralegals however those employed by law firms may be required to work additional hours to meet court deadlines. Legal assistants may need to take precautions against eye strain and carpel tunnel, symptoms which occur more often for workers spending many hours at a computer. 

  • What are potential job titles?

This program specifically prepares students to become Paralegals and Legal Assistants. 

  • How do I advance in this career?

Professionals in the paralegal field advance by taking on greater responsibility; this includes a greater diversification of duties, tasks that prove critical to case work or deadlines, and supervising other department personnel. Upon completing an associate degree in paralegal/legal assisting, experience is the largest factor in advancement; however, obtaining a bachelor degree will help most paralegals advance at a faster pace and earn a higher income. Certifications are also available for paralegals who wish to maximize promotional and employment opportunities.

What is the program title, length, and content?

Only the Herzing University paralegal programs at New Orleans and Atlanta are approved by the American Bar Association. View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

LEGAL ASSISTING/PARALEGAL PROGRAM COMPARISON CHART

PROGRAM AVAILABILITY VARIES BY LOCATION.

ProgramsCreditsMonths*
Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/ Paralegal6620
Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies12636
*Average number of months for students to complete program
Note: The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies program at the Atlanta Campus, the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies program at the New Orleans Campus, the Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal program at the Atlanta Campus, and the Associate of Science in Legal Assisting/Paralegal program at the New Orleans Campus are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA can be contacted at (800) 285-2221 or www.abanet.org. The Atlanta and New Orleans legal studies and legal assisting/paralegal programs are not online programs so all Legal (PL) courses must be taken on ground and a minimum of 10 semester hours of legal specialty courses must be taken at the Atlanta or New Orleans campus.

ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL ASSISTING/PARALEGAL

THIS PROGRAM IS OFFERED IN ATLANTA AND NEW ORLEANS ONLY. ALL OTHER CAMPUS LOCATIONS OFFER THEASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES.

The program prepares students with the skills and academic knowledge necessary for a career as a legal assistant/paralegal working under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

The American Bar Association defines a paralegal as “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 and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.” These career opportunities may be in small or large firms working as a legal assistant/paralegal.

The duties of a legal assistant/paralegal include assisting the lawyer with research, brief preparation, and other legal office administration, but do not include practicing law, advising clients, or setting fees since paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.Download Program Course Sheet

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES

Designed to provide students with a more advanced understanding of law, this program also incorporates a selection of core business courses to provide a solid background in management and administration. Graduates are prepared for careers in legal assistance, legal administration, business and management training. This degree is also ideal for those wishing to continue on to law school. Download Program Course Sheet

Which locations offer this program?

Atlanta Campus
New Orleans Campus

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