The objective of the Marist Paralegal Program is to offer organized and comprehensive training in the theory, information, and skills required to qualify as a legal assistant, in accordance with the guidelines established by the American Bar Association. The program is offered within the context of the educational purpose of the college and its commitment to a liberal arts, humanist, value-oriented curriculum. Our program meets its objective in a number of ways. Faculty in the program are drawn from Marist faculty and from practicing lawyers and law office administrators in the Mid-Hudson area. The program encourages a generalist orientation among its students, while stressing specific competency in a paralegal studies.
Program matriculates may satisfy the generalist requirements by having a baccalaureate degree, by being enrolled in the College's baccalaureate program contemporaneously with enrollment in the Paralegal Program, or by having at least 36 general education college credits. Students acquire competency in paralegal studies by being required to complete successfully the following courses: Introduction to Law, Introduction to Legal Research and Writing, Family Law, Criminal Law, Real Property and Title Search, Business Law I, Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Civil Litigation and Practice.
Upon graduation, students will be capable of functioning in all the required areas of study. As examples, a real estate closing, a simple will, a divorce proceeding, a memorandum of law utilizing research tools, and civil trial pleading are but some of the tasks our graduates understand and can complete. Additionally, grasping sufficient legal theory to be able to grow in the profession is required of our students. Successful completion of the program therefore qualifies graduates to serve the many legal needs of the Mid-Hudson area, while contributing to the advancement of the legal profession.
The program combines required paralegal courses with general education courses. In order to receive the Paralegal Certificate, undergraduates accepted into the Paralegal Program are required to matriculate and pursue a major field of study leading to the baccalaureate degree. The certificate will be awarded after a student has completed all of the course requirements in paralegal studies (24 credits) and at least 36 additional credit hours toward the Marist baccalaureate degree. Students already holding baccalaureate degrees are eligible to receive the Paralegal Certificate upon completion of the paralegal course requirement (24 credits).
Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
The Paralegal Certificate Program is approved by the American Bar Association.