Paralegal Studies

More highly trained paralegals are needed now – and not just in law firms

Are you interested in a legal career with an excellent employment outlook? The paralegal studies certificate program at Monroe Community College is a great way to break into a growing field that offers interesting work and many job opportunities.

Paralegals are in demand in all areas where legal work is performed, including:

  • Private law firms
  • Government agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Corporations

In this certificate program, you’ll learn about the preparation of legal documents, the investigation of facts, and how to work effectively with attorneys and clients.

MCC’s paralegal program comes with impeccable credentials, including approval by the American Bar Association. We created the curriculum in partnership with the Monroe County Bar Association and the Paralegal Association of Rochester.

Get the Legal Essentials from Experts in the Field

The paralegal studies program at MCC prepares you for entry level employment as a paralegal professional. You’ll be ready to perform from day one because all your professors have experience in the field. Here’s what they’ll cover:

  • New York law
  • Ethics and professional responsibility
  • Procedural applications of the law
  • Computer application in the law
  • Client satisfaction through teamwork

During the program, you’ll learn to:

  • Identify legal concepts and their practical applications
  • Deliver effective oral and written communication
  • Use technology for research
  • Apply analytical thinking skills in legal contexts

Study for Your Paralegal Career in the Evening

In the paralegal studies program at MCC, you can work and study at the same time. You’ll begin in the fall semester, with classes held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings at the MCC Downtown Campus.

It will take you four straight semesters to earn your paralegal studies certificate. Then you’ll be ready to start your career as a paralegal at employers like these:

  • Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC
  • Boylan Code, LLP
  • Monroe County District Attorney
  • Monroe County Public Defender
  • Segar & Sciortino, PLLC
  • JustCause
  • Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP

Admission to the paralegal studies program requires a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree with at least 18 credits in liberal arts courses. Once in the program, students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom synchronous instruction.

To find out more about the paralegal studies certificate from Monroe Community College, please email Jennifer Vigneri at or call her at (585) 685-6373.

In all areas of law, paralegals and legal assistants are prohibited from establishing attorney-client relationships, from setting legal fees, from giving legal opinions or advice, and from representing clients in court. They may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as provided by law. Students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom synchronous instruction.


Certificate Program

Department:Law/Criminal Justice

School(s): Community Engagement & Development

MCC Program Code: PL01

The Paralegal Studies Certificate program was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) in February 2004. This program prepares graduates for entry level employment as paralegals. An entry level paralegal typically works under the supervision of an attorney researching the law, investigating facts, preparing drafts of legal documents, and working with clients. Paralegals are employed in almost all areas where law-related work is performed, including, but not limited to: private law firms, government agencies, courts, insurance companies, corporations, and other types of legal environments. As non-attorneys, paralegals are prohibited under state law* from establishing attorney-client relationships, setting legal fees, giving legal advice, and representing clients in court. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as provided by law. *Some exceptions may apply under applicable federal administrative law.

Monroe Community College's curriculum was prepared in partnership with the Monroe County Bar Association and the Paralegal Associates of Rochester. Course work covers national law, but emphasizes New York law, legal research and writing, ethics and professional responsibility, procedural applications of the law, law office technology, and client satisfaction through legal teamwork.

The Paralegal Studies Certificate program commences every fall semester, but may include options for admission and new entry into the program in other semesters. The majority of classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings at the Downtown Campus. The curriculum consists of 16 courses varying from one credit hour to three credit hours, and the program takes 15 months to complete. Each course must be taken in the sequence in which it is offered.

Program Learning Outcomes
1) Identify legal concepts and their practical applications
2) Deliver an effective oral presentation
3) Write effectively in a variety of legal contexts
4) Use legal technology for legal research
5) Apply analytical thinking skills in legal contexts.
6) Apply knowledge of ethical obligations and reasoning to situations in the law

Employment Potential
For related jobs: Career Coach
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Requirements for Program Entrance
Admission to the program has specific educational requirements that include either a bachelor's degree, or an associate's degree with 18 credit hours in broadly based liberal arts courses (an MCC degree in Criminal Justice is deemed to meet this requirement) and Program Director approval.

Students seeking admission to Paralegal Studies must possess an associate's degree; a bachelor’s degree preferred. For students without a bachelor’s degree, a departmental interview/recommendation is required.

Distribution Requirements

Credit Hours
PLS 260 Introduction to Paralegal Studies2
PLS 266 Legal Research and Writing3
PLS 267 Litigation and the Federal and NYS Procedural Laws3
PLS 255 Law Office Technology 2
First Semester Total:10
PLS 263 Contract Law for Paralegals2
PLS 268 Personal Injury Law2
PLS 269 Domestic Relations and Family Law2
PLS 270 Bankruptcy Law2
PLS 272 Real Estate Law2
Second Semester Total:10
PLS 271 Corporate Law and Business Organizations2
Third Semester Total:2
PLS 250 Paralegal Communication Skills1
PLS 256 Criminal Law & Procedure for Paralegals 2
PLS 265 Fact-finding Research1
PLS 274 Estate Planning, Estates and Trust Administration3
PLS 276 Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility1
PLS 299 Paralegal Internship 3
Fourth Semester Total:11

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