Jul 17, 2024  
Catalog 2023-2024 
Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Paralegal Studies Certificate

Location(s): Catonsville, Essex, Online

Important Information

Short Description

The certificate in Paralegal Studies is designed for students who already have an associate or baccalaureate degree in another field, and would like to start a career as a paralegal. Students without a degree are encouraged to enroll in the Legal Studies A.A.S. degree program.

Type of Credential

Credit Certificate

Program Code


Contacts and Additional Information

Department Chair/Coordinator:
CCBC Essex, Donna S. Mandl, J.D.
443-840-3477 or dmandl@ccbcmd.edu

Program Coordinator:
CCBC Catonsville, Shaun Koenig, J.D.
443-840-4205 or skoenig@ccbcmd.edu

Additional Information:


CCBC cannot confirm whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in states other than Maryland. If you plan to apply for licensure in a state other than Maryland, contact that state’s licensing board to determine whether the CCBC course or program meets requirements for licensure in that state. If you need assistance finding contact information for your state, click here .

Semester Sequence

This is a suggested full-time schedule for a student who has completed any developmental course work and has no transfer credits.

Semester 1*

Courses Needed for This Program*

Program Requirements and Electives - 30 Credits

Total Credits Required for Certificate: 30*


*Students are not required to take ACDV 101  in their first semester at CCBC since possession of a two-year or four-year degree is needed for admission into this program.

**The American Bar Association requires that students complete 18 credits in legal specialty coursework of which 9 credits of instruction in legal specialty courses must be through synchronous instruction. Also, students who want to transfer in legal specialty classes from other institutions should refer to the Transfer Credit Policy for additional information.

NOTE: The Legal Studies courses were formerly designated as PALG.

Program Description

The certificate in Paralegal Studies is designed for students who already have an associate or baccalaureate degree in another field, and would like to start a career as a paralegal. Students without a degree are encouraged to enroll in the Legal Studies A.A.S. degree program.

This American Bar Association-approved program provides students with the essential knowledge and skills to find employment as a paralegal. According to the American Bar Association, “[a] paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”

Graduates of this program will possess a knowledge of the jurisdiction and function of legislative, judicial, and administrative bodies; the structure of the court system; and the roles of attorneys and paralegals as they pertain to the legal system. They will be knowledgeable in a variety of fields, including but not limited to: estate administration, personal injury law, civil litigation, contract law, family law, criminal law and business organizations. They will possess the basic research and writing skills that apply to these fields. This combination of knowledge and skills will enable the graduate to fully assist the lawyer in the practice of law.

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this certificate, students will be able to:

  1. recognize the impact that laws, rules and regulations have on society, businesses and individuals;
  2. analyze and apply legal concepts, terminology and procedures necessary to the practice of law and to a variety of legal specialty areas;
  3. research, analyze and communicate, orally and in writing, as paralegal professionals using relevant, current legal authority;
  4. demonstrate mastery of analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills;
  5. identify, interpret, and independently apply principles of legal ethics and professional responsibility, including identifying situations that may result in the unauthorized practice of law;
  6. utilize legal theory and practical skills to competently assist lawyers in the provision of legal services; and
  7. apply computer-based and cloud-based technologies relevant to the profession.


General Education Policy

The certificate in Paralegal Studies is designed for students who have an A.A., A.S., A.A.S.*, or baccalaureate degree in another field and would like to start a career as a paralegal. Previous degree must have at least 18 semester credits of general education course work and must meet certain requirements for writing proficiency, oral communication skills, and breadth of study.

* A.A.S. students must consult the Department Chair.

Transfer Credit Policy

It is the policy of the Legal Studies program to accept legal specialty transfer credits from accredited institutions, subject to the following provisions.

Degree and certificate students must complete a minimum of 12 legal specialty credits at CCBC.  CCBC will accept a maximum of 75% of the program credits for a degree or certificate through transfer or other types of prior learning assessments. Courses completed by portfolio or credit by examination will not be considered for transfer as legal specialty courses. Students must complete a minimum of 25% of their coursework at CCBC, of which a minimum of 12 credits must be CCBC legal specialty credits. 

Consideration for transfer credit will only be given to courses in which the student earned a grade of “C” or better.  For legal specialty courses completed in any format other than traditional face to face instruction, acceptance of transfer credits will also be subject to Department Chair verifying that the student has or will be completing a minimum of 9 credits of legal specialty coursework through synchronous instruction. 

Students seeking to transfer legal specialty credits must meet with the Legal Studies Department Chair.  The student must provide an official transcript listing the legal specialty course, the date the course was taken, the grade earned, and the number of credits received for the course.  The student must also provide a catalog description and/or a course syllabus, which indicates the format in which the course was taken (accelerated, traditional, hybrid, online, independent study, etc.), and be able to discuss the goals and objectives completed during the course.  The length of time between when a legal specialty course was completed and the date a student is requesting transfer of the credit to CCBC will be a factor used by the Department Chair in deciding whether or not to accept the legal specialty credits. 

If it is determined that the course is sufficiently similar to a legal specialty course in the CCBC program and all of the foregoing requirements are met, the Department Chair will notify the CCBC Records and Registration Office to accept the transferred course as a substitute for the legal specialty course.  Final decision on the acceptance of transfer credit for legal specialty courses is made by the Legal Studies Department Chair. Credits earned for prior learning or by examination will not be accepted for transfer of legal specialty credits. 

The following courses are considered legal specialty courses: LGST 103 , LGST 104 , LGST 108 , LGST 201 , LGST 202 , LGST 203 , LGST 205 , LGST 206 , LGST 207 , LGST 208 LGST 209 , LGST 217 , LGST 225 , and LGST 230 .

The Legal Studies transfer credit policy is subject to change without notice due to changes in requirements from the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals.  For the most recent transfer credit policy, please contact the Department Chair, Donna S. Mandl, dmandl@ccbcmd.edu.