What skills do students learn in this program?
The knowledge and skills emphasized in the Paralegal Studies associate degree program include ethical obligations; research in state and federal law; legal correspondence preparation; family law matters; basic concepts of real property law, criminal law and procedure, civil litigation, tort law, substantive contracts, commercial law and business organizations; and wills, trusts, administration and probate. The program of study provides students with specialized legal knowledge and skills required to assist lawyers in the delivery of legal services. In addition to learning the basics of many types of law, paralegal students learn to analyze legal issues, to perform legal research, to draft many types of documents commonly used in legal settings, and to assist attorneys in many aspects of the practice of law. Paralegal students also learn many skills, such as time management and organization, that are transferable to all aspects of life.

What types of students thrive in the program and in this career field? Those who:

  • are very organized
  • possess good critical thinking skills
  • are able to analyze problems
  • have excellent written and oral communications skills

What types of jobs are available to graduates of this program? Where can they work?
Paralegals are employed in many different settings in addition to traditional law offices. Many government agencies, both state and federal, employ paralegals, as do insurance companies, banks and mortgage companies, and in the in-house counsel’s office of a wide variety of other businesses.

A graduate of the Georgia Piedmont Tech’s Paralegal Studies program should be able to:

  • Utilize appropriate legal terminology in written and oral communication
  • Produce legal documents
  • Apply legal concepts to factual situations
  • Conduct legal research
  • Compose a legal argument
  • Obtain employment and function as a contributing member of the legal team

Students enrolled in the Paralegal Studies AAS degree program must complete at least 25 percent of the legal specialty courses required for award of the degree or certificate at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. In addition, each student must complete a minimum of 10 percent legal specialty courses delivered through traditional classroom instruction. The Georgia Piedmont Tech Paralegal Studies Program will only accept legal specialty transfer credits from other ABA approved schools. The Georgia Piedmont Tech Paralegal Studies Program does not award any legal specialty transfer credit through examination or portfolios.

The goal of the Paralegal Studies Program is to train students in legal theory, analytical, communication and adaptation of skills. Paralegals shall not engage in the unauthorized practice of law as proscribed by the Official Code of Georgia, 15-19-51 and must work under the supervision and direction of an attorney in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia.