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Pre-Law and Paralegal

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Pre-Law and Paralegal

Marist takes pride in its tradition of providing students with solid preparation for the study and practice of law. Grounded in a liberal undergraduate education modeled on the recommendations of the American Bar Association, this preparation has gained our students admission to a wide spectrum of law schools. These include the most prestigious in the country, among them Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, New York University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Virginia, and Yale University. From there, our alumni have entered virtually every field including private practice, government service, corporate law, and the judiciary.


Pre-Law at Marist provides a culture of support for students interested in exploring law school. The goal of the program is engaging students to create an academic, leadership, and character profile that would enhance the opportunity for admission to the law school of their choice. Having a consistent, central source of advice helps students launch their professional futures during their time as an undergraduate.

Pre-Law Internships

At Marist, internships provide a crucial way for students to understand the interplay between legal theory and professional practice. Careful advising helps students identify sites most suitable for their interests and experiences. The Hudson River Valley region is home to numerous exciting venues for internships. In addition to the special programs listed below, recent internship sites include:

  • Dutchess County Supreme and County Court
  • Dutchess County Family Court
  • Dutchess County District Attorney's Office
  • Dutchess County Public Defender's Office
  • New York State Attorney General Regional Office
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Office
  • United States Federal Bankruptcy Court

Pre-Law Advisor/Paralegal Program Director

As an attorney, judge, and professor, Annamaria Maciocia provides her students with an insider's sense of the current framework of legal practice. Professor Maciocia joined the Marist faculty as a professional lecturer in 1995. In 2011, she became the Director of the College's Paralegal Program, which recently celebrated its 25th year of recognition as an American Bar Association-approved program, a distinction given to only about a quarter of programs nationwide.

Throughout her time at the College, Professor Maciocia has shown boundless dedication to Pre-Law and Paralegal students. In recognition of her great success as an educator and mentor, she received the 2014 Board of Trustees' Faculty Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Professor Maciocia is a graduate of Vassar College and Albany Law School. In addition to being an attorney admitted to the practice of law in New York State, she is presently serving in her fifth 4-year term as town justice for the Town of Plattekill Court, where she oversees both civil and criminal cases in a town court ranked among the top 25 percent of the state in terms of volume. She is also a member of the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors.

Students who would like to discuss potential careers in law should feel free to contact Professor Maciocia by email or by phone at (845) 575-3000, ext. 2515.

Paralegal Program

The Marist Paralegal Program offers 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 reflects the context of the College's educational goals and its commitment to a liberal arts, humanist, values-oriented curriculum. Our program meets its objective in a number of ways. Faculty in the program are drawn from the Marist faculty and from practicing lawyers and law office administrators in the Mid-Hudson region. The program encourages a generalist orientation among its students, while stressing specific competency in paralegal studies.

Upon graduation, students will be capable of functioning in all the required areas of study. 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, our students gain an understanding of legal theory that enables them to grow in the profession. Successful completion of the program therefore qualifies graduates to serve the many legal needs of the Mid-Hudson River Valley region, while contributing to the advancement of the legal profession. The program combines required paralegal courses with general education courses. 

The Paralegal Certificate
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).

For additional information, please see the School of Professional Programs' description of the Paralegal Certificate. 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.

Need Help?

Please see the Pre-Law FAQs.

Student Learning Outcomes