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.

See http://www.herzing.edu/about/accreditation

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.

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