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Courses & Requirements

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The associate in science degree option in Paralegal Studies combines a liberal arts foundation with a career concentration in the paralegal area. Students have an opportunity to explore the field of law and to gain knowledge and develop essential skills to perform a wide range of supportive legal functions. The associate degree program in Paralegal Studies is split into two options: Transfer Option and Career Option. The Career Option is designed for students who plan to seek employment after receiving their associate degree and do not plan to further their education. This option focuses on the practical aspects of the profession and, because Career Option students do not plan to transfer to a four-year institution, this option offers more flexibility with electives. A minimum of 61 credit hours are required for graduation.

Starting in the fall of 2014, any student enrolled in an associate degree program who is new to NECC and has no academic history at the college, must take at least one course designated as intensive in each of NECC’s six core academic skills in order to graduate. In most cases, the program’s core required courses include these intensive courses. Plan to see an advisor for more complete information about this graduation requirement.

While paralegals assist attorneys with a wide range of tasks, paralegals must not set fees, give legal opinions or advice, or represent a client before a court or agency.

ABA Approval:

This program is approved by the American Bar Association.

Additional Admissions Criteria:

Additional admissions criteria for this program is available in the Paralegal Criteria Packet or from Enrollment Services.


Courses Credits Comments
English Composition I
English Composition II
3 Prerequisite
Introduction to American Law
3 Recommended as one of the first 5-6
Civil Rights and Liberties
3 Prerequisite
Introduction to Paralegalism
3 Recommended as one of the first 5-6
Legal Research and Writing I
3 Prerequisite
Legal Research and Writing II
3 Prerequisite
3 Prerequisite
Paralegal Practicum
3 Spring Semester Only
Practical Logic
Courses Credits Comments
Paralegal Electives 12 Prerequisite; PAR201
or higher (excluding PAR202
or PAR291)
Behavioral Science Elective 3  
Computer Elective 3 CIS110
or higher
Math Elective 3/4 MAT111
or higher
Science Elective 4 Must be lab science
Liberal Arts Elective 3 Not ART,
Free Elective 3 Not ART,

Paralegal Electives:

PAR201 Real Estate Law, PAR203 Wills, Estates and Trusts, PAR204 Corporate Law, PAR205 Family Law, PAR206 Tort Law, PAR207 Computer Applications in Law, PAR208 Contract Law, and any other special topics paralegal elective courses designed for Paralegal Program students that may be proposed in the future. All PAR courses are taught by experienced attorneys. Students must obtain a minimum grade of C in all PAR courses to meet Paralegal Program graduation requirements. Credit for law specialty courses taken more than 6 years prior to completion of the Paralegal Studies program will not be awarded, unless the student’s proficiency in the area can be demonstrated. Students interested in transferring credits taken at Northern Essex to a bachelor’s degree, should consult the institution receiving the credits.