The Catholic University of America

 Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies (AA-PS) 

Overview  

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 CUA’s Metropolitan School of Professional Studies (MSPS).  The program consists of at least 60 credit hours split between a General Education curriculum of 24 or more credit hours and a specialized Law curriculum of 36 or more 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 who 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     

In addition to the General Education courses, students must also complete nine Law Core courses listed, a legal internship, and the requirements of the General Practice or Litigation Practice Track (students must complete four out of six electives from their chosen track).  Please visit AAPS Courses for detailed course requirements.   

Law Core Courses (9 courses plus 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

 

Admission

 

Anyone over the age of twenty-one years who graduated from an accredited high school, completed the General Educational Development Test (GED) successfully, or who has successfully completed some work in an accredited institution of higher learning may apply for admission to Metropolitan.  Application to the undergraduate program includes the following:

1.  Application with non-refundable fees

2.  Official transcripts from high school or the GED.

3.  Official transcripts from previous colleges attended.

4.  Brief description of educational and career goals.

5.  Professional résumé.

6.  A pre-admission interview with a counselor.

 

For more information:

Call: 202-319-5256 · E-mail: metropolitan@cua.edu · Visit: http://metro.cua.edu

 


[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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