Certificate Program

Department:Law/Criminal Justice

School(s): Community Engagement & Development

MCC Program Code: PL01
CIP Code: 22.0302
NYSED Code (DCC): 21815

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New, Transfer, or Re-admit students should contact Admissions at (585) 292-2200 or

Request a Change of Major.

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. The entry level paralegal works under the supervision of a lawyer researching the law, investigating facts, preparing drafts of legal documents, and working with clients. They are employed in almost all areas where law related work is performed, i.e., private law firms, government agencies, insurance companies and corporations, but, in all areas of law, paralegals are prohibited from establishing attorney-client relationships, from setting legal fees, from giving legal opinions or advice, and from representing clients in court. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as provided by law.

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

The Paralegal Studies Certificate program commences every Fall Semester. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings at the Downtown Campus. The curriculum consists of 17 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 indicated.

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
Occupational Resource:

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 (a degree in Criminal Justice is deemed to meet this requirement) and Program Director approval.

Students seeking admission to Paralegal Studies must possess an Associate degree; 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 273 Computer Support Systems1
First Semester Total:9
PLS 263 Contract Law for Paralegals2
PLS 268 Personal Injury Law2
PLS 269 Domestic Relations and Family Law2
PLS 270 Debtor-Creditor Law3
PLS 272 Real Estate Law2
PLS 275 Law Practice Management1
Intersession and Second SemesterTotal:12
PLS 271 Corporate Law and Business Organizations2
Summer Semester Total:2
PLS 250 Paralegal Communication Skills1
PLS 264 Administrative Law1
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
Final Fall Semester Total:10