Paralegal

The Alabama Department of Labor lists Paralegal as one of Alabama’s Hot 40 and Top Growth Job professions. This growth is linked, in large part, to the Legal and Business communities’ reliance on paralegals for increased services formerly performed exclusively by attorneys.  Paralegals, under the supervision of licensed attorneys, can provide clients (legal and corporate) with valuable legal services cost effectively.

Paralegals are typically the backbone of law firms providing attorneys and clients with quality drafted legal documents and assistance in the trial process.  Paralegals are often called upon to meet with clients, interview witnesses, review critical documents and provide many more essential functions relative to client representation at all levels.  As the profession has grown, so has the variety of jobs in which paralegals are placed.  Many corporate employers including banks, insurance companies, defense contractors and other large businesses often employ “in-house” paralegals to prepare many of the documents necessary to business.  As the need for more affordable legal services increases, so too will the need for paralegals.

Calhoun Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies.  Calhoun Paralegal Studies students are exposed to a wide range of classes designed to provide the future paralegal with a working knowledge base of both procedural and substantive law.  Courses include Domestic, Business and Criminal Law as well as specialty classes on Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law.  Calhoun students learn from accomplished faculty including current Alabama Circuit Judges, Federal Bankruptcy Trustees and other prominent members of the North Alabama legal community.

Recommended Degree Plans

Fall Semester Start

This study plan is provided for planning purposes only. It assumes that you begin your college studies in the Fall semester. It is not a guarantee that you will graduate within two years of attendance at Calhoun. If you are required to complete developmental coursework in English or Mathematics, then the time you spend at Calhoun will increase accordingly. Course offerings are subject to change.

Year 1
First Semester (Fall) Credit Hours
ORI 101 Orientation to College 1
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
MTH Elective 3
PRL 101 Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3
PRL 102 Basic Research and Writing 3
Second Semester (Spring)
ENG 102 English Composition II 3
CIS 146 Microcomputer Applications 3
ECO 231 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
BUS 215 Business Communications 3
PRL 160 Criminal Law and Procedure 3
Third Semester (Summer)
SPH 107 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
PRL 282 Law Office Management & Procedure 3
Year 2
Fourth Semester (Fall) Credit Hours
CIS Elective Choose from CIS 197E, 197K, 197W 3
BUS 263 Legal & Social Environment of Business 3
PRL 262 Civil Law and Procedure 3
PRL 210 Property Law 3
BUS 151 Modern Business Math with Excel 3
Fifth Semester (Spring)
PRL 230 Domestic Law 3
PRL 240 Wills, Estates and Trusts 3
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3
PRL Elective/PRL 291 Internship** 3
BUS 241 Principles of Accounting I 3

*This information is provided for guidance only. Students should refer to the appropriate course catalog for official course and degree requirements. Completion of coursework in accordance with this example does not guarantee degree conference. Students should contact the PRL Program Director with advising questions about PRL courses and degree requirements: Brian Oakes, 256-303-4735 or brian.oakes@calhoun.edu.

**Additional prerequisites are required for PRL 291 Internship, including Program Director approval. Students who do not qualify or are otherwise unable to take PRL 291 must use another PRL elective course to satisfy this 3 credit hour requirement.

Spring Semester Start

This study plan is provided for planning purposes only. It assumes that you begin your college studies in the Spring semester. It is not a guarantee that you will graduate within two years of attendance at Calhoun. If you are required to complete developmental coursework in English or Mathematics, then the time you spend at Calhoun will increase accordingly. Course offerings are subject to change.

Year 1
First Semester (Spring) Credit Hours
ORI 101 Orientation to College 1
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
MTH Elective 3
PRL 101 Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3
PRL 102 Basic Research and Writing 3
Second Semester (Summer)
ENG 102 English Composition II 3
CIS 146 Microcomputer Applications 3
Third Semester (Fall)
CIS Elective (Choose from CIS 197E, 197K, 197W) 3
SPH 107 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
BUS 263 Legal & Social Environment of Business 3
PRL 262 Civil Law and Procedure 3
PRL 210 Property Law 3
Year 2
Fourth Semester (Spring) Credit Hours
BUS 215 Business Communications 3
PRL 160 Criminal Law and Procedure 3
PRL 230 Domestic Law 3
PRL 240 Wills, Estates and Trusts 3
PRL Elective/PRL 291 Internship** 3
Fifth Semester (summer)
PRL 282 Law Office Management &amp Procedure 3
Sixth Semester (Fall)
ECO 231 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3
BUS 241 Principles of Accounting I 3
BUS 151 Modern Business Math with Excel 3

*This information is provided for guidance only. Students should refer to the appropriate course catalog for official course and degree requirements. Completion of coursework in accordance with this example does not guarantee degree conference. Students should contact the PRL Course Director with advising questions about PRL courses and degree requirements: Brian Oakes, 256-303-4735 or brian.oakes@calhoun.edu.

**Additional prerequisites are required for PRL 291 Internship, including Program Director approval. Students who do not qualify or otherwise unable to take PRL 291 Internship must use another PRL elective course to satisfy this 3 credit hour requirement.

Please refer to the current catalog for degree requirements.

Paralegal and Legal Assistant Careers

Paralegals can be employed in all fields of law including litigation, personal injury, corporate law, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, labor law, bankruptcy, immigration, family law, and real estate. Use the Alabama Wage Lookup on the left to see the average wages for many careers.