Commonly Asked Questions
What is the Legal Assistant Program?
The Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) Legal Assistant Program offers an associate of applied science degree that prepares students to become legal assistants. Legal assistants, also known as paralegals, work within the legal system offering support to attorneys by conducting research, drafting documents and managing law offices. They may also investigate cases, conduct interviews and aid in the preparation for trails and other legal proceedings. Individuals who have formal training have an advantage in employment in this growing field.
What Will I Learn?
Students will learn to:
- Distinguish between civil and criminal law.
- Use appropriate legal terms.
- Explain the characteristics of the state and federal court systems.
- Use research and summary skills to develop a case brief.
- Use knowledge of diversity and human relations in teamwork and communication.
- Research employment opportunities, prepare an effective employment package, including resume and present themselves positively in a job interview.
- Use effective personal, interpersonal, time and project management skills required in the legal profession.
- Adhere to professional and ethical standards appropriate to the legal profession.
- Prepare a variety of legal documents.
- Use computer hardware and software, specifically the basic Microsoft Office software applications to complete office tasks.
- Perform mathematical operations applicable to the legal office field, such as calculating time and billing reports.
- Prioritize, anticipate and analyze problems, and evaluate and implement solutions.
What Careers Use These Skills?
Legal assistants work in private law firms, banks, insurance companies, corporations and government agencies. Some graduates choose to go on to bachelor’s degree programs and/or law school.
- assistants and paralegals can earn a starting salary of $35,425. The median income for the profession is $51,950.
What Degree or Certificate Can I Earn?
You can earn:
- Associate of Applied Science, Legal Assistant
Students begin by studying principles of law, legal research, writing, ethics and office procedures. At the advanced level, students take specialty courses such as litigation, criminal procedure, real estate, business organization and family law. Further specialization is available in courses such as estates and trusts, communications law and environmental law. To gain experience, students are required to complete a minimum of 90 hours of work under the supervision of an attorney.
What Courses Will I Take?
Always check with an advisor to determine what courses to take. All BCCC students must meet the College’s computer literacy requirement in order to receive a degree or certificate. All students are required to complete the PRE 100 course within the first six credits. PRE 100 is an academic achievement preparation course earning one credit. The following is a list of courses.
Preparation for Academic Achievement
Health and Life Fitness
General Law I
Arts and Humanities
Computers for Business Management or Word Processing I for Business Applications or Computers and Society
Health and Life Fitness
Legal Research and Bibliography
Office Practice and Ethics
Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Program Electives (3)
Biological and Physical Sciences
Practicum or Community Law Clinic
General Law II
Program Electives (2)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Program Total 61-65
Access the program brochure here.