Degrees and Certificates

Why Choose This Program

Are you someone who enjoys writing, researching, finding resouces, advocating for others, and/or working independently? The Paralegal AS at SCTCC prepares you for a rewarding career. This role is critical to the support of attorneys and judges in law firms, the courts as well as federal, state, and local government agencies, corporate legal departments and other organizations. 

You’ll study many key topics that will contribute to your success. How’s this for a list: state and U.S. legal systems, constitutional law, family law, legal research and writing, wills, trusts and estate administration, real estate law, contract law and business formation, and litigation.

Now, let’s talk about opportunities. Practice areas where a paralegal degree could be utilized include: environmental law, immigration law, elder care, animal law, civil rights, international law, intellectual property, media law, administrative law, employment law, family law, medical law, and criminal law - the possibilities are endless.

Looking for meaningful work? Look into a paralegal career today.

Skills Acquired

  • Conducting legal analysis
  • Conducting legal research (including familiarity with Westlaw)
  • Drafting legal documents, such as legal correspondence, research memoranda, pleadings, and motions, wills, and contracts
  • Calendaring
  • Client and witness interviewing
  • Reading cases and writing case briefs
  • Learning substantive and procedural law
  • Conducting legal investigation
  • Formatting legal citations
  • Applying legal ethics

A paralegal or legal assistant is someone employed by an attorney, law organization, governmental agency or corporation to do legal work.  Basically, a paralegal is a lawyer’s assistant.  Part of a paralegal’s duties can include performing legal research, drafting documents, assisting lawyers to prepare for trials, and maintaining and organizing files.  The paralegal performs independent work which is supervised by an attorney.  There are many areas of law in which a paralegal can work.   Most likely, criminal and family law come to mind, but there are many other areas of the law.  For example, real estate, education, elder, corporate, intellectual property, and environmental law to name a few.

Paralegals and graduates do not practice law or give advice unless permitted by law.

Career Choices

We prepare you to meet the challenges of being a paralegal by offering job shadowing and internship opportunities.

The traditional areas of employment are law firms, corporations, government (local, state, or federal) and non-profit organizations.

With your Paralegal degree, you can work in non-traditional areas, such as real estate management, alternative dispute resolution and mediation, legal technology, the financial sector, and human resources. Possible careers are:

  • Claims examiner for insurance company
  • Litigation support specialist
  • Loan coordinator for bank
  • Real estate agent or broker
  • Title examiner, abstractor, and researcher

Job Growth

There is a 10.4% projected job growth from 2012 to 2022 for paralegals in Minnesota.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development:

Clubs & Organizations

  • Legal Support Careers Club
  • Minnesota Paralegal Association (student membership)

Accreditations & Credentials

Member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAFPE).

Contact Us

Chyara Smith Stopp, J.D., LL.M.
Phone: 320-308-5903

Related Links

2015 Placement Rate
Central MN Average Hourly Wage

Other Information

The following links to non-SCTCC websites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement: