May 30, 2020
School: Business and Professional Careers
Academic Dept: Professional Careers
Chair: Prof. Kristyan Rose Gilmore
Important Note about Program Requirements
The requirements listed below are for students entering into this program in Fall 2018. Students who entered the program during a prior semester will find their specific requirements listed in the Catalog under which they entered. Archived Catalogs are accessible through the dropdown menu above.
Certificate programs are designed to provide a mix of theory and practical training leading to immediate employment upon completion. People who pursue certificates might have an advanced degree and typically want to learn new skills and acquire knowledge. Others might enroll in a certificate program to “test the waters,” with an eye toward pursuing an associate’s degree. Credits earned now in a credit-bearing certificate will apply later toward an associate’s degree at Westchester Community College. Click to learn more about the differences among the award types.
The Westchester Community College Paralegal Program is approved by the American Bar Association. The goal of the Paralegal Program is to provide students with substantive knowledge of the law, together with hands-on working experience, which will enable them to work ethically under the supervision of an attorney in the public or private sector.
The Paralegal Program provides graduates the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform competently as paralegals in law-related occupations under the supervision of an attorney. Paralegals work in all phases of practice except providing legal advice to clients, appearing in court, and setting fees. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that legal occupations will grow faster than the average for all occupations in the economy through 2018. Employment opportunities exist in government agencies and court systems, law offices, banks, insurance and title companies, as well as in the contract or legal departments of various other government and business enterprises.
Students entering into the Paralegal Certificate Program must have obtained at least 60 college credits from an accredited institution, eighteen hours of which must be in general education as defined by the American Bar Association. The certificate can be earned in two semesters of full-time study or on a part-time basis determined by the student (not to exceed three years).
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, a student will:
- Demonstrate the skills necessary to work in an ethical manner in a law office under the supervision of an attorney.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the state and federal court systems.
- Demonstrate knowledge of legal terminology, substantive law, and legal procedures necessary for a successful legal career.
Students choose five courses from the following:
Program of Study Note(s):
* This course is a prerequisite for all paralegal courses and is offered in a compressed format to allow for concurrent enrollment with other paralegal courses if needed.
Minimum Total Credits - 30
Educational Plan: The Educational Plan is an advisement tool that provides important information to students about how to complete this degree. Click to download the Paralegal Certificate Educational Plan (PDF) .
Career Path Opportunities
Are you wondering what careers you can explore with a degree or certificate? Perhaps you are not sure what people do or how much money they make in certain careers that pique your interest? Would you like to know how many jobs are predicted to be available in a particular industry? Or maybe you are unsure whether receiving a degree or certificate would be right for you? Go to https://sunywcc.emsicareercoach.com to explore career paths, their associated job descriptions, salary trends, and jobs trends. Complete a career assessment for additional guidance. Still not sure? Visit www.sunywcc.edu/career for more career resources and contacts.
Are you a prospective Westchester Community College graduate? We look forward to seeing you soon! Apply today, then see the College’s Admissions and Enrollment Checklist.