Paralegal/Legal Assistant Program

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Program
Open Houses

Virtual Open House

Monday, December 12th
6:00 – 7:00PM
Live on ZOOM

After registering using the button below, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

REGISTER HERE

In-Person Open House

Tuesday, January 3, 2023
6:30 – 7:30PM.
in the OFC Law Library

Register by using the button below. The Oak Forest Center (OFC) is located at 16333 S. Kilbourn Ave. in Oak Forest, IL.

REGISTER HERE

These Open Houses will showcase this profession which offers a wide-open job market and excellent income potential.

Visit Our Paralegal Program LinkedIn Page

For more information, please contact Ms. Becky Hougesen Walters, J.D.

Thinking about a Legal Office Assistant program elsewhere?
Not all programs are created equal.

SSC has the only American Bar Association (ABA) approved paralegal program in the south suburban Chicago region, giving graduates a huge advantage when entering the workforce.

89%

of SSC Graduates from August, 2021 to March, 2022 were working in the Legal field within six months of graduation.

$56,230*

2021 Median pay according to *BLS.

14%

Growth according to the 2021-31 Job Outlook, much faster than average.

What is a Paralegal?

What is Unique About the Paralegal Program?

Why Did You Enroll in the Paralegal Program?


Complete This Program Online!

Starting this fall semester, South Suburban College offers fully online programs with various benefits. Students in this program can take advantage of classes that fit their schedules and study from anywhere with internet access. Taking this program can lead to a new career, advancement within a current field or improved technical skills in a virtual world.


NOTE: Students are required to take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.

 
American Bar Association (ABA) Approval LogoThe AAS degree can be completed in four (4) semesters if you begin the program in the Fall semester. The certificate program can be completed in three (3) semesters if you begin the program in the Spring semester. To ensure the quality of instruction, all of our program instructors are lawyers or judges.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the program is to:

  1. To provide a strong, flexible program for the quality education for the training of occupationally competent paralegals/legal assistants through a curriculum that provides a balance of legal theory, practical skills, and practical experience resulting in highly trained paralegals qualified to work under the supervision of an attorney in a variety of legal and law-related environments.
  2. We also seek to promote both the paralegal profession generally as well as the professionalism of paralegals/legal assistants with the result of increasing the ways paralegals/legal assistants can be of service to the legal profession.

Program Objectives

  1. Demonstrate effective legal knowledge and practical skills necessary to perform substantive legal work under the direction of an attorney.
  2. Demonstrate appropriate paralegal skill development and professionalism through practical experience.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of ethical responsibilities in the legal profession.
  4. Analyze and synthesize clearly complex information, both in writing and verbally, in an organized and logical manner.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the technology necessary to meet employer needs.
  6. Articulation of the paralegal role in the delivery of legal services to the public.
  7. Maintain equality of opportunity in the educational program without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race, color, religion, disability, national origin, or sex.

Admission Requirements

Forward all high school and college transcripts directly to the Office of Admissions and Records. A person can take paralegal classes without being in the paralegal program. However, a person must be in the paralegal program in order to take any of the legal research and writing classes and the internship class. To be accepted into the Paralegal program, students must have a high school diploma or HSE/GED® and must complete the following: an application for admission to the program, successfully complete ENG 101, PLA 101 and BLW 201 with a grade point of 2.66, complete a resume, submit three letters of reference and copies of all college transcripts to the Program Coordinator. Upon completion of the above requirements, schedule a personal interview with the Program Coordinator.

Application Package

If you have met the above requirements for admission and wish to apply to the Paralegal/Legal Assistant program, present a completed application package to the program coordinator at the time of your interview.
Forward all high school and college transcripts directly to the Office of Admissions and Records. A person can take paralegal classes without being in the paralegal program. However, a person must be in the paralegal program in order to take any of the legal research and writing classes and the internship class.

Program Acceptance Requirement

Students must be accepted into the Paralegal Program prior to registering for PLA 203, Legal Research and Writing I or PLA 205, Legal Research and Writing II, and also PLA 204, Internship I.

NOTE: Paralegals may not provide Legal Services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
 

Paralegal/Legal Assistant AAS Degree (PLA.AAS)

Students must complete ALL Paralegal (PLA) and Business Law (BLW) course requirements with a grade of “C” or better. Students enrolled in the AAS Program must successfully complete PLA 101, BLW 201 & ENG 101 with a cumulative GPA of 2.66 or better, provide the Coordinator with a resume, and an application to be formally admitted into the Program.
 

Overview for College Success CREDITS
OCS 121 Overview for College Success 1
General Education
ENG 101 Composition and Rhetoric 3
SPE 108 Oral Communication 3
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
GROUP II Select from Humanities Electives
Students earning an Associate degree must meet the requirement for coursework on improving human relations as defined in Public Act 87-581.
3
GROUP IV
 
GROUP V
Select a Mathematics Elective
OR
Select a Physical and Life Science Elective
3
Program Requirements
PLA 101 Fundamentals of Paralegalism
Courses must be taken before application can be made for Program admittance
3
BLW 201 Introduction to Business Law
Courses must be taken before application can be made for Program admittance
3
PSC 101 American National Government 3
PLA 203 Legal Research and Writing I
Students must be formally admitted into the Program prior to enrolling in PLA 203.
3
PLA 201 Evidence and Investigation 3
PLA 103 Law Office Technology 3
BLW 202 Intermediate Business Law
This course must be taken before serving PLA 204. BLW 202 and PLA 205 may be taken concurrently with PLA 204.
3
PLA Select a program elective. 3
PLA 205 Legal Research and Writing II
This course must be taken before serving PLA 204. BLW 202 and PLA 205 may be taken concurrently with PLA 204.
3
PLA 202 Litigation 3
PLA Select a program elective. 3
PLA 204 Internship I
BLW 202 and PLA 205 may be taken concurrently with PLA 204.
Students must have been accepted into the Program and have had an interview with the Program Coordinator before signing up for an internship.
3
PLA Select a program elective. 3
PLA Select a program elective. 3
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
PHL 101
 
PHL 102
Introduction to Philosophy
OR
Introduction to Ethics
Either PHL 102 or PHL 102 will satisfy the Humanities requirement.
3
Minimum for Degree: 60

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Program Electives

Four program electives are required. Two of four program electives must be PLA specialty courses.

PLA 207 Real Property Practice 3
PLA 208 Law of Family Relations 3
PLA 209 Estate Planning and Probate 3
PLA 210 Criminal Law for the Paralegal 3
PLA 211 Alternative Dispute Resolution 3
PLA 212 Elder Law 3
PLA 213 Topics in Law 3
BLW 203 Legal Environment of Business 3
BLW 204 Cyberlaw, Legal Issues in Cyberspace 3

 

Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate (PLA.CERT)

Gainful Employment Information
Approved by the American Bar Association, the Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate program is a 39 credit generalist program which prepares students to work in a variety of legal environments including civil and criminal litigation, insurance, banking, public and governmental agencies, law offices and corporate legal departments. Emphasis is placed on the development of core skills in legal research techniques including: compilation and analysis of data, understanding legal vocabulary; preparation of legal documents, and management of a law office. Hands-on experience is gained through an internship in a legal or law-related setting. South Suburban College’s Paralegal Certificate is structured to help you meet your goals. Courses are offered primarily at night. Some courses may also be taken online. A student who is able to successfully complete the Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate will have done so after demonstrating adequate skills in each of the following competencies:

  • knowledge of the various functions and roles of a paralegal;
  • knowledge of the ethics and professional responsibility of attorneys and paralegals;
  • knowledge of legal terminology;
  • knowledge of the various court systems;
  • knowledge of evidence and investigations;
  • proficiency in manual and computerized legal research;
  • proficiency in legal writing and analysis;
  • knowledge of technology used in the law office;
  • successful completion of an approved internship;
  • an appreciation and understanding for the importance of continuing legal education; and
  • ability to apply paralegal skills in potential areas of practice, such as but not limited to:
    • Alternative dispute resolution,
    • civil and criminal litigation,
    • domestic relations,
    • probate and estate planning,
    • real estate,
    • contracts and commercial transactions, and
    • legal research and writing

PLA Certificate Program Admission Requirements

The paralegal/legal assistant certificate program is open to any person possessing at least a baccalaureate or an associate of arts degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. Forward all High School or HSE/GED®, and college transcripts directly to the Office of Admissions and Records. A person can take paralegal classes without being in the paralegal program.

However, a person must be in the paralegal program in order to take any of the legal research and writing classes and an internship class. To be accepted into the Paralegal program, students must complete the following: an application for admission to the program, successfully complete PLA 101 and BLW 201 with a grade point of 2.66, complete a resume, submit three letters of reference and copies of all college transcripts to the Program Coordinator. Upon completion of the above requirements, schedule a personal interview with the Program Coordinator.

NOTE: Paralegals may not provide Legal Services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

Program Objectives

  • Demonstrate effective legal knowledge and practical skills necessary to perform substantive legal work under the direction of an attorney.
  • Demonstrate appropriate paralegal skill development and professionalism through practical experience.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical responsibilities in the legal profession.
  • Analyze and synthesize clearly complex information, both in writing and verbally, in an organized and logical manner.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the technology necessary to meet employer needs.
  • Articulation of the paralegal role in the delivery of legal services to the public.
  • Maintain equality of opportunity in the educational program without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race, color, religion, disability, national origin, or sex.

Program Acceptance Requirement

Students must complete all Paralegal (PLA) and Business Law (BLW) course requirements with a grade of “C” or better. Students enrolled in the Certificate Program must successfully complete PLA 101 & BLW 201 with a cumulative GPA of 2.66 or better, provide the Coordinator with a resume, and an application to be formally admitted into the Program.

Students must be accepted into the Paralegal Program prior to registering for PLA 203, Legal Research and Writing I or PLA 205, Legal Research and Writing II, and also PLA 204, Internship I.

These clusters are offered by way of guidance; the ultimate decision what to take is the student’s. Also, the student should note that certain classes (PLA 203 and PLA 205 for example), are only offered once per year and should plan accordingly.

Overview for College Success
OCS 121 Overview for College Success 1
Cluster 1
BLW 201 Introduction to Business Law
This course must be taken before an application can be made for program admittance.
3
PLA 101 Fundamentals of Paralegalism
This course must be taken before an application can be made for program admittance.
3
PLA 202 Litigation
This course must be taken before serving PLA 204. BLW 202 and & PLA 205 may be taken concurrently with PLA 204.
3
PLA Select a program elective. 3
Cluster 2
PLA 203 Legal Research and Writing I
Students must be formally admitted into the Program prior to enrolling in PLA 203.
3
PLA 201 Evidence and Investigation
This course must be taken before serving PLA 204. BLW 202 and & PLA 205 may be taken concurrently with PLA 204.
3
PLA 103 Law Office Technology
This course must be taken before serving PLA 204. BLW 202 and & PLA 205 may be taken concurrently with PLA 204.
3
PLA Select a program elective. 3
PLA Select a program elective. 3
Cluster 3
PLA 205 Legal Research and Writing II
This course must be taken before serving PLA 204. BLW 202 and & PLA 205 may be taken concurrently with PLA 204.
3
PLA 204 Internship I
Students must have been accepted into the Program and have had an interview with the Program Coordinator before signing up for an internship.
3
BLW 202 Intermediate Business Law 3
PLA Select a program elective. 3
Minimum for Certificate: 39