News Release

For media information, contact:
Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


DeKalb Technical College Paralegal Studies Program Receives American Bar Association Approval

Covington - September 29, 2011

The Paralegal Studies program at DeKalb Technical College (soon to be Georgia Piedmont Technical  College) has been granted approval by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association (ABA), a distinction that is enjoyed by fewer than 25 percent of all paralegal programs in the United States. The process of approval mirrors that required of all law schools in the State of Georgia.

"The Paralegal Studies program at DeKalb Technical College began the self-evaluation process in 2006 and worked with the Standing Committee staff to create an educational environment that complies with Guidelines established more than 30 years ago. The Approval Process Manager and the Educational Consultants helped with the development of curriculum, instructor education and program management," said Virgil Costley, director of the Paralegal Studies & Criminal Justice department at DeKalb Technical College.

The principal objective of the American Bar Association program of approving paralegal education programs that meet ABA Guidelines is to foster high quality paralegal education, training and the development of educational standards. The Standing Committee on Paralegals and Approval Commission carry out this objective through an intensive review and on-site evaluation of such programs. The guidance and direction of the ABA through the Standing Committee and its Approval Commission has led to the development of superior paralegal education programs designed to raise the competence of those individuals who assist lawyers in the delivery of legal services.

"We are hoping our ABA Approval will attract better and more qualified students to our Paralegal Studies program at DeKalb Technical College – especially since employers in large urban cities like Atlanta prefer to hire paralegals from ABA Approved schools," said Kye Haymore, Paralegal Studies instructor. "ABA Approval is a mark of excellence within the legal profession. Graduates from ABA approved programs relay to employers a high level of education, training, and confidence. ABA approved schools provide employers an assurance that the paralegal has received the necessary training to be a competent hire because they were trained under nationally established standards," Melissa James, Paralegal Studies student, said. 

The Paralegal Studies program at DeKalb Technical College is designed to prepare students for employment in a variety of paralegal positions in today's legal systems. The knowledge and skills emphasized in this program include ethical obligations; research state and federal law; legal correspondence preparation; family law matters; basic concepts of real property law, criminal law and procedure, civil litigation, tort law, and substantive contract law; and wills, trusts, and probate. 

"I enjoy knowing that my education meets the high standards of the American Bar Association. There are not many schools in the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta area that offer such accreditation; therefore I will stand out above other graduates on the job market," said Catherine Lasinski, Paralegal Studies degree program student.

DeKalb Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, promotes a student-centered environment for lifelong learning and development, encompassing academic and technical education for employment in a global community.  Effective October 1, 2011, DeKalb Tech will become Georgia Piedmont Technical College. The college has nine centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale, and Morgan counties. DeKalb Technical College currently has more than 5,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes.  Academic and Technical programs at DeKalb Tech cover more than 120 different occupations.  For more information, visit our website at

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About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is one of the top technical colleges in Georgia. As a student-centered institution, GPTC prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing, global economy. In August 2016, Georgia Piedmont was ranked among the top ten technical colleges in terms of enrollment by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. GPTC’s graduation rate is more than 74.3 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 98.7 percent placement rate. With nearly 4,000 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is among the largest in the state. The college has 12 learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1176, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.