Minimum Requirements for Degree: 61 credits
The paralegal studies program trains students for employment as paralegals to help deliver legal services under the supervision of a practicing lawyer, and provides continuing education and upgrading of skills for paralegals already employed. The program also offers practical law-related topics for UAF students whose main focus is in other areas of study, such as political science and justice.
Paralegals and legal assistants are not authorized to provide direct legal services to the public. However, they are qualified to perform rudimentary legal research and produce drafts of letters, office memoranda, pleadings, contracts, wills and similar documents. Paralegals conduct client and witness interviews, engage in basic fact-finding and investigation, and assist in trial preparation and discovery. At all times they remain cognizant of the ethical responsibilities owed by the supervising lawyer to clients, other lawyers and the court system.
The paralegal studies program does not train lawyers or legal administrators. The associate degree is approved by the American Bar Association. The minor is not designed to prepare students to work as paralegals and is not approved by the American Bar Association.