Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
Paralegals work in all facets of the legal system--in large and small law firms, in courtrooms, in government, and in corporate legal departments. Attorneys recognize the valuable contribution paralegals make in increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the legal system. Accordingly, paralegals perform legal research, conduct interviews, draft documents and complete many tasks critical to the efficient operation of law offices. It should be noted that paralegals cannot give legal advice or represent a client in a court of law or engage in other forms of unauthorized practice of law.
The Institute for Legal Studies at Sullivan University began in 1979 and offers programs of study that lead students to challenging and rewarding careers as paralegals. Most paralegal courses are taught by attorneys who not only understand the complexities of the law, but who can also instruct students on the practical skills needed to be paralegals.
In addition, the legal reference section of the Sullivan University Library and Learning Resource Center provides access to law books, materials, and computerized databases such as LexisNexis® and Westlaw® that enhance the learning potential of all students. All Paralegal Studies programs are approved by the American Bar Association.
To effectively and efficiently educate students for employment as paralegals and to assist graduates in finding viable employment in the legal field.
- Graduates of the Institute for Legal Studies Will Possess Nine Competencies. The Ability to:
- Identify & assess ethical & professional responsibility issues
- Define & use legal terminology
- Differentiate federal & state court structure & procedures
- Conduct factual investigations in an organized manner
- Conduct legal research in an organized manner
- Analyze & interpret the law in an organized manner
- Prepare legal documents, including pleadings, memoranda, & legally operative forms
- Demonstrate strong communication & interpersonal skills appropriate for the legal field
- Use legal technology & determine its impact on the practice of law
*Advanced competencies in these areas are required of Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Degree graduates.
- There are a limited number of paralegal programs in the country that are approved by the American Bar Association. Sullivan is one of them.
- The Paralegal Studies curriculum emphasizes practical skills development-- such as legal research and writing--that is grounded in a firm understanding of litigation, corporate law, real estate law, estate planning, and more.
- Our program's stature within the legal community is fostered through our involvement with the Kentucky Paralegal Association and local paralegal associations in Louisville and Lexington, giving our students and graduates an advantage.
- Students can draw on the expansive legal reference section within the Sullivan University Library and Learning Resource Center for their studies and research and also access our LexisNexis® and Westlaw® databases.
Paralegal Studies students should possess the following qualities:
- Writing or communication skills needed day to day; professional business and legal writing skills are a must
- Personality traits/soft skills the industry looks for:
- High personal standards
- Positive work ethic
- A need to know
- An ability to collect, organize, review, evaluate and draw conclusions
- Dedication to continuing education and skill development
- Being a self-starter
- Technical/hard skills used:
- Electronic research skills
- Organizational skills
- Ability to conceptualize
- Ability to priortize
- Time management skills
- Research skills
- Document drafting skills
- Computer skills
Length: 18 months beyond Associate Degree
Time length for program completion will vary depending upon the number of courses taken per term, development courses when required, transfer credit accepted, lack of continuous enrollment, etc.
Associate Degree or equivalent (see Undergraduate Admissions section for a description of Sullivan's 2 + 2 programs)