The paralegal major focuses on the skills necessary for the graduate to work under the supervision and direction of an attorney with the understanding that the practice of law by lay persons is strictly prohibited. Students get inside the law and develop skills including proficiency in legal research, writing and analysis, drafting legal instruments and pleadings, interviewing clients and witnesses, doing discovery, preparing for trial and using computer-assisted research tools. Employment opportunities are excellent in law firms, corporations, banks, human resource offices, hospitals, state and federal governments and court systems. This major offers professional training and lays a foundation for a career in the legal field. It also qualifies as a pre-law major. This program is approved by the American Bar Association.
For students who have earned a prior degree, the paralegal major can be pursued through a second bachelor’s degree. The completion of 50 hours of study is required for the second bachelor’s degree. These 50 hours must include the required courses and the business and information processing core. The remaining hours are to be selected from either restricted University elective courses or University elective courses.
An active articulation agreement exists between this program and several community colleges. To see a complete list of current colleges with program articulation agreements with EMU, please click here.
Secondary Admission and Retention Policy
Students who wish to be Paralegal (Legal Assistant) Studies Program majors must apply for admission to the program. Students may be admitted to the program in the fall or winter terms. Applications for a winter term will be due by Dec. 1 of the preceding fall term. Applications for a fall term will be due by April 1 of the preceding winter term.
Program admission criteria are:
Admission to the University as an undergraduate or second bachelor’s degree candidate;
* Completion of ENGL 121 with a grade of B or higher;
Completion of LEGL 211 - Introduction to Paralegalism and Legal Terminology with a grade of B- or higher;
Completion of LEGL 304W - Legal Writing, Research and Analysis I with a grade of C+ or higher; and
A cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
Students satisfying these criteria are eligible to apply for admission to the program, but admission is not guaranteed.
Program Retention Policy
In addition to secondary admission requirements, program majors will be required to:
Complete each program core course (e.g., all courses having a LEGL prefix [except LEGL 211 and LEGL 304W — see above]), with a minimum grade of C;
** Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
** Maintain a GPA within the major of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
* Students applying for admission to the program as second bachelor’s degree candidates must present evidence of having completed an acceptable college-level English composition course with a grade of B or higher. A remedial English composition or writing course is not an acceptable college-level English composition course.
** A student whose cumulative GPA or cumulative major GPA falls below 2.5 will be placed on program probation for the next succeeding term. If the student fails to raise his or her cumulative GPA, cumulative major GPA or both to 2.5 or higher with the grades earned during the probationary term, the student will be dismissed from the program. For purposes of this policy, a student who is placed on program probation as the result of a deficient GPA at the close of a winter term will have until the close of the next fall term to raise his or her GPA to 2.5 or higher. If a student earns lower than a C in any program core course (except LEGL 211 and LEGL 304W — see above), the student will be allowed to repeat the course twice. If the student fails to earn a C or better in the repeated courses, the student will be dismissed from the program.