The Paralegal Certificate Program

 Visit the course catalog for a list of the Paralegal Courses.

If you enjoy dealing with legal issues, you should consider a career as a legal assistant, or paralegal. The field has seen huge growth over the past 30 years, and it is expected to continue to be one of the fastest growing over the next 10 years.

Paralegals work with lawyers to conduct research; investigate facts; analyze, digest and draft documents; interview clients and witnesses. Most paralegals work in law offices, corporations and government agencies. To be effective, paralegals must be organized, analytical and good communicators. They must also enjoy research and writing. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Specialized training is recommended for individuals who want to become Paralegals. According to the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, more than 80% of all paralegals have received some formal paralegal education. A bachelor's degree is highly recommended, including or supplemented by paralegal training. Students with bachelor's degrees may use the certificate program to enhance their marketable skills.  Marist's Paralegal Certificate is approved by the American Bar Association.

Requirements to earn a Paralegal Certificate:

The Marist College Paralegal Program is designed to ensure that you have a solid liberal arts foundation, plus the specialized knowledge you need to work as a paralegal.

  • Students must complete 60 credits to earn the Paralegal certificate:
    • 36 general education credits which must include 18 credits in liberal arts and demonstrate writing proficiency. These credits may be transferred from an accredited college or university, and

    •  24 paralegal credits which include 6 credits in law related courses and 18 credits in legal specialty coursework. 

  • Students must earn 2.5 minimum GPA in law related and specialty course work.

Transfer Policy:

Students may transfer in up to 36 credits that fulfill the general education requirements set forth above.  A student may transfer from another institution a maximum of six of the 24 required paralegal credits. However, the transfer of legal specialty courses is limited to three credits to be transferred from an institution that is approved by the American Bar Association or a community college that has a signed articulation agreement with Marist College Paralegal Program. The Director reviews the course syllabus from any course to be transferred to ascertain that the course is similar in scope and content to the standards of our course. Students must receive a grade of ā€œCā€ or better in the course in order to transfer the credit to Marist. The Paralegal Program will only accept credits from accredited colleges and universities that meet Maristā€™s transferability requirements.

Course Schedule:

Locations & Formats:

Offered at two locations with evening or weekend formats. Depending upon which location you are interested please contact the following:

Location Format Contact
Poughkeepsie Evenings Patti Burns at 845-575-3800
Fishkill Weekend Cohort Donna Tompkins at 845-897-9648

2013 - 2014 Tuition & Costs:

Tuition Book & Fees
$495.00 per credit (Weekend Program)              $850.00 Estimated
$600.00 per credit (Evening Program) $890.00 estimated
   

Gainful Employment and Financing Options

Paralegal Certificate - Evening format

Paralegal Certificate - Weekend Format

Financing options for the Paralegal Program:

Students participating in the paralegal program may be entitled to scholarship, PELL Grant, TAP Grant, Federal Stafford Loans.  Students are only entitled to borrow loans from the Federal government at the Freshman level each year the FAFSA is filed if doing the Paralegal Certificate on a stand alone basis.

For the 2012 - 2013 award year, the median debt for program graduates was:

  • Federal Loans: $0
  • Private Education Loans: $0
  • Institutional Funding: $0

For the 2011-2012 award year, the median debt for program graduates was:

  • Federal Loans: $3,594.00
  • Private Educational Loans: $0.00
  • Institutional Financing: $0.00

For the 2010-2011 award year, the median debt for program graduates was:

  • Federal Loans: $4,728.00
  • Private Educational Loans: $0.00
  • Institutional Financing: $0.00

Overall Institutional Loan Repayment Rate: 74%

 

How long will it take to complete this program?

The weekend concentrated schedule enables students the ability to complete the 24 paralegal credits and graduate in one year.

  • 88% Total Completion Rate for '12 - '13
  • 88% Total Completion Rate for '11 - '12 
  • 79% Total Completion Rate for '10 - '11
  • 92% Total Completion Rate for '09 - '10
  • 85% Total Completion Rate for '08 - '09
  • 87% Total Completion Rate for '07 - '08
  • 88% Total Completion Rate for '06 - '07
  • 79% Total Completion Rate for '05 - '06 

U.S. Department of Labor Standard Occupational Code:

Paralegal and Legal Assistants: 23-2011.00

www.onetonline.org

Opportunities:

  • Gives you an edge in entering a highly competitive field
  • Enhances your job opportunities if you are currently employed in the field
  • Complements other concentrations in our B.A. / B.S. in Liberal Studies

This certificate offers students a college curriculum which is approved by the American Bar Association. Students are eligible for the program with a Bachelor's degree or 36 transferable credits, the weekend-concentrated schedule enables you to complete the 24 undergraduate credits within one year. Interested?  Request Information.

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