A paralegal is a person qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity, and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible (paralegals cannot practice law). 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. Click here to watch a short video about this program.
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 laypersons 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. Students have clinical or internship experiences during their degree program, which enables them to complete the program with work experience on a resume. Only EMU Paralegal Studies Program students have the amazing and unique opportunity to work in the Washtenaw County-EMU Legal Resource Center (“LRC”) located in Ann Arbor.
Students interested in pursuing a second bachelors degree should contact the program coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A student’s eligibility to graduate from this major is determined by the following
- Apply and be granted admission to Eastern Michigan University (emich.edu/admissions).
- Apply and be granted admission to their major (See Program Admission for specific information).
- A completed associate degree, certificate, or adequate coursework. Students eligible to follow an articulation agreement, typically transfer in 64 credit hours to EMU. Eligible students who transferred in less than 64 credit hours, had unique circumstances and were granted permission to follow the articulation agreement by the Director of Community College Relations (emich.edu/ccr).
Interested students should meet with their community college advisor for information on following the articulation agreement before transferring to EMU. After transferring to EMU, a student must consult with the Community College Relations Office to confirm eligibility.
Students who wish to pursue this major 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 are due by Dec. 1 of the preceding fall term. Applications for a fall term are 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 , or satisfy with ENGL 1190 - Communications 2 or ENGL 1220 - Composition 2 @ MCC, with a grade of “B” or higher.
- Completion of with a grade of “B-” or higher.
- Completion of with a grade of “C+” or higher.
- 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.
In addition to secondary admission requirements, students are required to:
- Complete each program core “LEGL” course with a minimum grade of C.
If a student earns lower than a C in any program core course, 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. Please note (“B-“) and (“C+”) require a higher minimum grade
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (See note below)
- Maintain a GPA within the major of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (See note below)
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.
General Education Requirements:
A student with a Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) endorsement on their transcript only needs to complete the General Education Application Requirements of
- One [GEUS or GEGA] course
- One [GELB] course or experience
- One Writing Intensive [GEWI] course in the major
To use MTA, a student must have an official community college transcript, with the “MTA Satisfied” endorsement sent to EMU’s Admissions Office. The MTA may be completed after admission to EMU, however, students should inform their advisor or they may be advised to complete additional courses for the general education program.
Students who do not have “MTA Satisfied” on their community college transcript, will be required to satisfy EMU’s general education requirements as applied to transfer students. For specific General Education requirements, click or print a .
Major Requirements: 72 hours
Required Foundational Courses: 6 hours
Satisfy the Economics or Sociology course combination below.
Required Courses: 33 hours
Business & Information Processing Courses: 15 hours
This major does not require a minor.
Students must earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level or above. If sufficient credits hours are not transferred in, additional EMU credits must be completed to reach the minimum of 124 credit hours required to graduate.
Beginning in Fall 2022, all baccalaureate degree programs for all undergraduates (regardless of catalog year) will require a minimum of 120 credit hours for completion.
Critical Graduation Information
The Articulation Agreement provides the following exceptions:
- Under this agreement, EMU will waive the 60-hour rule and require that a minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed in EMU courses, with at least 15 hours in the program at the 300-level or above. Of the last 30 hours completed before graduating, a minimum of 10 credit hours must be in courses offered by EMU.
Students are required to satisfy all requirements listed below, not waived or modified above
Effective Dates: September 1, 2019 until August 31, 2022.
This is a renewal of an agreement made in June 2003 and renewed in September of 2007, 2010, and January 2014. This agreement is consistent with the 2019-2020 catalog. Students have until summer 2027 to graduate from Eastern Michigan University following this agreement. In the event that a student does not complete the program within seven years, they may be required to have their credits reevaluated using the requirements of the current articulation guide.