The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Management/Paralegal Studies prepares students to work under the supervision of an attorney in private law offices, government agencies or corporate law departments performing delegated legal work including legal research, document preparation, client interviewing, factual investigation and case management utilizing current technology and in compliance with ethical and professional standards. The Paralegal Studies program at Walters State is approved by the America Bar Association (ABA).
The ABA defines a paralegal (or legal assistant) as "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 who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
Paralegals perform various tasks delegated to them by the supervising attorney including legal research, document preparation, client and witness interviewing, fact investigation, and litigation case management. The paralegal field has been one of the fastest growing career fields for some time and that trend is projected to continue into the foreseeable future.
The paralegal studies program of Walters State does not permit the award of law course credit by examination. To preserve the quality and integrity of the program, no more than six (6) hours of law course credits may be awarded by transfer from another institution. When a request for credit by transfer is made by a student, the transcript of the institution where those credits were awarded must be presented to the college's student records office. The program director will then review the transcript and a course description from the institution which awarded the credits and makes a determination as to 1) whether the institution which awarded the credits is accredited at a level substantially equivalent to Walters State; 2) whether the credits were awarded as part of a paralegal program substantially the equivalent of the Walters State paralegal studies program; and 3) whether the specific course appears to cover substantially the same material and involve the same number of semester hours as the equivalent course at Walters State. In the event the program director is satisfied that an acceptance/transfer of the credits is appropriate under these criteria, then the program director will generate a course substitution form indicating the source of the credits and the law course for which they should be accepted as credit and the reason for that recommendation. The course substitution is not effective until approved by the division dean, the vice president for academic affairs and the student records office.