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Develop the skills and knowledge you need to begin your career in law in as little as 70 weeks by attending day or evening classes.* With classes starting every five weeks, you’ll never have to wait long to start your paralegal education at Vista College.

What Does a Paralegal Associate of Applied Science Involve?

  • Filing case documents
  • Taking witness statements
  • Preparing briefing notes
  • Attending court hearings

The primary responsibility of a paralegal is to support a lawyer, which means a paralegal’s work varies greatly depending on the kind of law the attorney practices and his or her level of expertise.

With a paralegal AAS Degree, you will be able to successfully prepare legal documents, briefs, pleadings and contracts. You will also be able to perform legal research to help attorneys prepare a case. In essence, you will be the invaluable “right hand” that attorneys need to serve the best interests of their clients.


*Successful, Full-time enrollment is required to achieve stated completion dates.

Course # Course Title Credits
PL100 Introduction to Law and Paralegal Studies 6.5
PL101 Office Procedures & Practices 6.5
PL102 Probate Administration & Estate Planning 6.5
PL103 Tort Law 6.5
PL104 Family Law * 6.5
PL105 Real Estate * 6.5
PL106 Criminal Law * 6.5
PL107 Technology in the Law Office * 6.5
PL208 Legal Writing & Analysis * 6.5
PL209 Civil Litigation * 6.5
PL210 Contract Law 6.5
GE201 Introduction to College Mathematics 9
GE202 Introduction to Computer Science 4.5
GE203 Introduction to Psychology 4.5
GE206 English Composition I 4.5
GE207 English Composition II * 4.5

Introduction to Law and Paralegal Studies


This course gives a general overview of the legal system and the role of the paralegal within the system with regard to structure of the court system, administrative agencies, private law firms, and the public sector.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Office Procedures & Practices


This course focuses on the day-to-day operations of a legal office. Ethical principles relating to paralegals including the unauthorized practice of law and client confidentiality are addressed. Correct procedures used by paralegals in a legal setting will also be included.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Probate Administration & Estate Planning


This course introduces students to wills, trusts, and intestacy and gives an analysis of estate administration and accounting. The student will learn to interview clients and obtain information for drafting documents.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Tort Law


This course is designed to give students general knowledge and understanding of the legal principals of tort law such as negligence, strict liability, intentional torts, and the various forms of damages.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Family Law


This course introduces family law practice principles relating to marriage, divorce, annulment, custody, support, adoption, name change, guardianship, paternity, and other aspects of family law.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Real Estate


This course is an introduction to Real Estate law covering topics such as property rights, principles of land ownership, sale, financing and conveyance, contracts, liens, mortgage financing, deeds, mortgages or deeds of trust, settlement concepts, leasing and other property concepts.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Criminal Law


This course surveys basic principles of criminal law including rights of the accused, certain constitutional issues, and the relationship of practices of the law office with those issues.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Technology in the Law Office


This course provides an introduction to computer hardware and software fundamentals, including an overview of traditional law office software, specialty law office and case management software, and litigation support software. Methods for learning and keeping current with software updates and changes will be explored.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Legal Writing & Analysis


This course focuses on the enhancement of legal writing skills and advanced legal research. Emphasis is placed on the preparation of appellate briefs, pleadings, interoffice memoranda, and other formal documents and reference citations in legal libraries as well as drafting legal memoranda.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Civil Litigation


This course focuses on the principles of litigation, the organization of the court system, and prepares them to interview clients and witnesses, draft legal documents, and prepare materials for discovery and trials.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Contract Law


This course examines the principles of contract law. Contract litigation is also covered in this course. Each presented rule of law is explained through theory, example, and exercises that actively involve students. Students will also draft various types of contracts using basic contract provisions and drafting techniques.

6.5 credits
45 theory hours
45 lab hours

Introduction to College Mathematics


Introduction to College Mathematics covers basic math topics such as solving for whole numbers and equations, understanding proper and improper fractions, converting decimals and figuring percentages. Other topics covered include calculating simple interest, annuities, loan amortization, checkbook reconciliation, and business statistical problems such as mean, median and mode.

9 credits
90 theory hours

Introduction to Computer Science


This course introduces various information and communications technologies and explains how information systems are used to solve problems.

4.5 credits
45 theory hours

Introduction to Psychology


This course includes the study of the theories and concepts of psychology including the scope of psychology, biological foundations and the brain, sensation, perception, motivation, personality, learning/memory, emotion, states of consciousness, personality theories, cognition, life-span development, and applied psychology.

4.5 credits
45 theory hours

English Composition I


This course introduces students to critical reading and writing, research techniques, citation and documentation formats, as well as the use of correct grammar and sentence structure to communicate effectively.

4.5 credits
45 theory hours

English Composition II


This course builds on the skills learned in English Composition I. It develops written communication skills with an emphasis on the use of the writing process, the analysis of readings, and the practice of writing for personal and professional applications.

4.5 credits
45 theory hours

When you earn a Paralegal Associate of Applied Science Degree, you’re giving yourself the chance to have a fulfilling career in a law office or corporate legal department. With your Associcate Degree, you’ll be able to seek work under the tutelage of an attorney who specializes in criminal law, family law, civil litigation, contract law, estate planning, or another area of the law.

You’ll Learn How To:

  • Outline legal documents
  • Prepare legal briefs
  • Draft contracts
  • Transcribe depositions and statements
  • Perform legal research

Paralegal Associate of Applied Science

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