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 participate in a legal internship during their last year in the program.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 18% in paralegal jobs from the year 2010-2020 which is even with the average occupation. Following the Great Recession, many law firms have replaced lawyers with paralegals on their staff as a way to reduce their costs, which has increased demand for paralegals. Also, paralegal jobs are unlikely to be outsourced because a physical presence is required for job activities like filing important documents and attending hearings or dispositions. Since many law firms are located in urban areas, job availability is typically highest in these areas as well.
The paralegal profession is expected to grow by 8% through 2024.7 This rate of growth is slightly faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations in the US. As of 2015, there were approximately 271,930 paralegals employed across the United States.8 With an occupational growth rate of 8%, this number is expected to reach 293,684 by 2024.8.