Paralegal

A paralegal performs specifically delegated legal work for which a lawyer is required. This exciting and challenging occupation is among the fastest growing, and the U.S. Department of Labor tells us the trend will continue. Our paralegal program, which is offered exclusively online, provides the course work and experience to prepare you for employment as a paralegal or legal assistant. You will get a basic orientation and academic exposure to a variety of subjects, including legal research and drafting, civil litigation, real estate law, wills and estate planning, family law, and legal ethics. You will complete an internship in a law office. There are also elective courses in criminal law, evidence, bankruptcy, and constitutional law.

A two semester, 32-credit Paralegal Studies certificate program has been developed for students with baccalaureate degrees who would like to pursue a paralegal credential to enhance their employment and professional opportunities.

The degree may be completed in two or three semesters if you have prior college credits or a prior degree. Contact the program chair for more information.

Online Program

The entire program can be completed online, and the paralegal courses are offered exclusively online. These courses are asynchronous so they do not require any specific meeting times. The program may be commenced in any semester.

Careers on Career Coach

Paralegals work for attorneys, corporations, federal, state, and local governments’ court systems, or community legal services. Specializations include real estate, criminal law, estate planning, family law, labor law, litigation, and corporate law. Related occupations include adjudicators, abstractors, patent agents, title examiners, escrow officers, government hearing officers, appeals referees, contract checkers, and legal investigators.

Select a career below to connect to Career Coach and find information about that career including median salary and job postings.

Explore more career options: A.A.S. | Post-Bachelor's Paralegal Studies Certificate

Program Chair

Faculty-Bob Sarachan

Robert Sarachan

Professor, Paralegal

Read more

Transfer Options

Although the curriculum of this program is not designed primarily for transfer, many graduates have continued their education at four-year institutions. Graduates have successfully transferred to:

  • Binghamton University
  • SUNY College at Brockport
  • SUNY College at Canton
  • Cornell University
  • SUNY College at Cortland
  • Empire State College
  • Hilbert College
  • Syracuse University
  • Utica College
  • Wells College

Degree Requirements

A.A.S.
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 63 credits

Fall Term 1

ACCT101, Principles of Accounting I, 4 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENGL100, Academic Writing I, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARA101, Introduction to Paralegalism, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PSYC103, Introduction to Psychology, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ECON101, Introduction to Economics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ECON120, Principles of Microeconomics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ECON121, Principles of Macroeconomics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi

Spring Term 1

BUAD201, Business Law I, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENGL101, Academic Writing II, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARA130, Legal Research and Drafting, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
SOCI101, Introduction to Sociology, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
ASTR@
BIOL@
CHEM@
CSCI160, Computer Science I, 3 cr.
CSCI165, Computer Science II, 3 cr.
CSCI205, Computer Science III-Data Structures, 3 cr.
ENVS101, Introduction to Environmental Science, 3 cr.
ENVS102, Technology and the Environment, 3 cr.
ENVS116, Soil Science, 3 cr.
ENVS141, Agroecology, 3 cr.
ENVS202, Integrated Pest Management, 3 cr.
GEOL@
METR@
PHSC@
Use Schedule Search for electives

Fall Term 2

PARA205, Civil Litigation & Procedure, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARA215, Family and Domestic Relations Law, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ENGL102, Approaches to Literature Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENGL103, Report Writing Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
MATH1@
MATH2@
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
@
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 2

ENGL204, Interpersonal Communication, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARA210, Real Estate/Property Law, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARA220, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARA230, Paralegal Internship, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARA231, Paralegal Seminar, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi


SUNY General Education & Tompkins Cortland Liberal Arts courses

Note: The @ symbol represents any course number or discipline. For example, BIOL @ means any course with a Biology course prefix. An @ alone means one course in any course discipline with any course number.

Degree Requirements

Certificate: Paralegal Studies
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 32 credits

Note: A minimum grade of C is required in all courses.

Note: For any credits waived, another course must be substituted, chosen with the approval of the program chair.

Note: PARA/PARC Electives: Students should select an elective course from a subject area in which they intend to seek employment or have a special interest. PARA 206 - Special Education Law and Advocacy, PARC 213 - Constitutional Law, PARC 216 - Legal Aspects of Evidence, PARC 225 - Criminal Law and Procedure, PARC 226 - Bankruptcy, or BUAD 202 - Business Law II can be taken to satisfy these requirements. With advisor permission, a student can choose a relevant non-PARC class in place of a PARA/PARC Elective.

Note: To be admitted to this program, a student must have already earned a baccalaureate degree.

Fall Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15
BUAD201, Business Law I, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARC101, Introduction to Paralegalism, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARC130, Legal Research and Drafting, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARC205, Civil Litigation & Procedure, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARC215, Family and Domestic Relations Law, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi

Spring Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 18
PARC210, Real Estate/Property Law, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARC220, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARC230, Paralegal Internship, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
PARC231, Paralegal Seminar, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
A minimum grade of C is required in the PARC Electives.
BUAD202, Business Law II, 3 cr.
PARA206, Special Education Law & Advocacy, 3 cr.
PARC213, Constitutional Law, 3 cr.
PARC216, Legal Aspects of Evidence, 3 cr.
PARC225, Criminal Law and Procedure, 3 cr.
PARC226, Bankruptcy, Collections and Foreclosure, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
A minimum grade of C is required in the PARC Electives.
BUAD202, Business Law II, 3 cr.
PARA206, Special Education Law & Advocacy, 3 cr.
PARC213, Constitutional Law, 3 cr.
PARC216, Legal Aspects of Evidence, 3 cr.
PARC225, Criminal Law and Procedure, 3 cr.
PARC226, Bankruptcy, Collections and Foreclosure, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives


SUNY General Education & Tompkins Cortland Liberal Arts courses

Note: The @ symbol represents any course number or discipline. For example, BIOL @ means any course with a Biology course prefix. An @ alone means one course in any course discipline with any course number.

Degree Requirements

Microcredential: Special Education Advocacy*
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 12 credits

A microcredential is a for-credit defined set of courses that take less time to complete than a degree or even a certificate! Microcredentials are typically designed to teach specific, in-demand skills in collaboration with local employers or job needs.

Microcredentials offer a valuable career credential upon completion, and courses can also be applied to an exiting degree or certificate program.

* Please contact admissions. Financial aid restrictions apply. Student must complete 50% of microcredential coursework at TC3 to earn credential.

Direct Support Professionals work with individuals with physical and/or intellectual challenges to become more integrated into their environments and communities. The Special Education Advocacy Credential requires completion of four courses:

Special Education Advocacy

 Total Credits: 12

ENGL100, Academic Writing I, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA101, Introduction to Paralegalism, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA130, Legal Research and Drafting, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PARA206, Special Education Law & and Advocacy, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi