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Program Policy

Paralegal Policy for the Transfer of Legal Specialty Courses

This policy governs the transfer of legal specialty courses taken at other colleges to Northern Essex Community College. In order to earn credit to satisfy the requirements of legal specialty courses for the NECC Paralegal Associate Degree or Paralegal Certificate, the following process must be followed.

Registrar’s Office

The student must assure that the Registrar’s Office at NECC receive an official transcript from the institution where the credits have been earned. The Registrar’s Office at NECC then determines whether the transferring institution is an accredited institution and whether the student earned a C or better in the legal specialty course. If so, the Registrar’s Office forwards a copy of the transcript to the Paralegal Program Coordinator for further review.

Paralegal Program Office

Upon receipt of the transcript from the Registrar’s Office, the Paralegal Program Coordinator requests that the student provide the Program Coordinator with a copy of the course description from the college catalog as well as the syllabus for legal specialty courses for which the student is requesting transfer credit.

Upon receipt of the requested material, the Paralegal Coordinator reviews the course description and the syllabus to ensure that the course is similar to that offered at NECC and meets the American Bar Association’s requirements for a legal specialty course. To be considered a legal specialty course by the ABA, the course must:

  1. Cover a specific area of law, procedure, or the legal process;
  2. Be developed for legal assistants;
  3. Emphasize legal assistant skills, forms, documents, procedures, and legal principles and theories, and;
  4. Be pertinent to the legal assistant’s performance on the job.

The Paralegal Program Office will inform the Registrar’s Office of the acceptance of any transfer credits for legal specialty courses and the Registrar’s Office shall post such courses on the student’s transcript.


  • Legal Research & Writing II must be taken at NECC.
  • Transfer credit will not be given for more than two legal specialty courses to satisfy the paralegal elective requirements at NECC. However, a student may receive transfer credit for a legal specialty course taken at another college to meet the free elective requirement under the Associate Degree-Career Option.
  • No credit will be given for legal specialty courses taken more than six years prior to the student’s completion of the program requirements. No credit will be given for online legal specialty courses taken at other colleges unless such courses have been approved by the ABA through the online course approval process.
  • No more than 2 legal specialty courses may be taken in an online format, including those courses taken at NECC and other institutions.