Advance your career with an Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies from Catholic University, while maintaining your work and family responsibilities

The Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies Program at The Catholic University of America offers a flexible schedule of evening on-campus classes. Scholarships are available.

We’re located steps from the Brookland/CUA Metro stop on the Red Line.

The primary concern of a paralegal education program is to develop professional competence, which requires both general education and legal specialty course work. The Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies (AA-PS) is an undergraduate, degree program taught in-person at the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies (MSPS).  The program consists of 21 classes (63 credit hours). These are split between a General Education curriculum of 8 classes (24 credit hours), and a specialized Law curriculum of 13 classes (39 credit hours). Students will focus their legal specialty course work in one of two tracks: General Practice or Litigation Practice. All students will be required to participate in a legal internship during their last year in the program.

MSPS seeks to prepare individuals to function as informed, practical, knowledgeable, and morally alert members of society.  To support this mission, the Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies program will place the pursuit of professional excellence within the context of human, social, and religious values in the law. Classroom instruction will emphasize applying course material to solve professional and social problems within a legal setting.  Students will be equipped intellectually, morally, and professionally to serve their communities and meet the needs of a future legal employer (e.g., law firms, businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, etc). Building upon the program’s focus on Catholic values and paralegal skills, students will be expected to meet a wide array of educational objectives rooted in liberal arts and legal education.  Finally, by studying within the nation’s capital and participating in a mandatory internship, Paralegal Studies students will enjoy abundant practical opportunities to implement and apply their theoretical education to real world and current issues within a professional legal setting.

Who Would Most Benefit?


The Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies program is designed for those with little to no college experience and now wish to pursue an exciting professional career as a skilled paralegal equipped with the knowledge to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of paralegals is projected to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024.[1]

The role of paralegals is vital in the legal industry.  The utilization of paralegals improves the efficiency, economy, and availability of legal services.  As a result, increased emphasis is being placed on hiring paralegals in a variety of law-related settings.  Although private law firms continue to be the single largest employer of paralegals; outstanding job opportunities also exist in private and public sector markets.  In 2015, the median annual salary for a paralegal in the Washington, D.C. area was $77, 230.[2]

Requirements


Aside from the General Education courses listed below, students must also complete 9 Law Core courses, including a legal internship, and the requirements of the General Practice or Litigation Practice Track. All students must choose one of two tracks and complete 4 out of 6 electives from their chosen track.

General Education Courses


  • MHU 131 Presiding, Presenting, and Speaking
  • MHU 151 Rhetoric and Composition
  • MID 150 College Mathematics
  • MID XXX Natural Science Elective
  • MIS 105 Microcomputer Applications I
  • MPH XXX Philosophy Elective
  • MRE XXX Religious Studies Elective
  • MSO 200 Human Cultural Diversity

Law Core Courses (9 courses including internship)


  • MLA 101: Introduction to Paralegal Studies
  • MLA 110: Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics
  • MLA 201: Legal Research and Writing
  • MLA 211: Civil Procedure
  • MLA 216: Corporations
  • MLA 230: Criminal Law and Procedure
  • MLA 312: Torts
  • MLA 340: Contract Law
  • MLA 494: Paralegal Internship

General Practice Track Electives (complete 4 of 6)


  • MLA 252: Administrative Law
  • MLA 253: Constitutional Law
  • MLA 254: Family Law
  • MLA 257: Real Estate Law
  • MLA 258: Wills, Trusts, and Estates
  • MLA 400: Advanced Legal Research

Litigation Practice Track Electives (complete 4 of 6)


  • MLA 253: Constitutional Law
  • MLA 271: Evidence
  • MLA 273: Civil Procedure II
  • MLA 274: eDiscovery
  • MLA 275: Trial Practice
  • MLA 400: Advanced Legal Research

[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm (visited on March 8, 2017).

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates District of Columbia, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_dc.htm (visited on March 8, 2017).

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