Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate (PLA.CERT)

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 through distance learning or online. A student who is able to successfully complete the Paralegal Program will have done so after demonstrating adequate skills in each of the program competencies.

PLA Certificate Program Admission Requirements

The paralegal/legal assistant certificate program shall be open to any person possessing a baccalaureate or an associate of arts degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. Forward all High School or High School Equivalency (HSE), 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 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.

Transfer of Legal Specialty Coursework

A maximum of 9 credit hours of legal specialty (PLA) courses may be transferred into the program from an ABA approved program. These courses must be substantially similar to an existing South Suburban College course and the awarding of this credit must be pre-approved by the paralegal program coordinator.

Cluster 1 Credits
PLA 101 Fundamentals of Paralegalism [1] 3
PLA 201 Evidence and Investigation [2] 3
PLA 202 Litigation [2] 3
PLA 103 Law Office Technology 3
BLW 201 Introduction to Business Law [1] 3
Cluster 2 Credits
PLA 203 Legal Research and Writing I [3] 3
BLW 202 Intermediate Business Law [2] 3
PLA 204 Internship I [3] 3
PLA Program Elective 3
PLA Program Elective 3
Cluster 3 Credits
PLA 205 Legal Research and Writing II [1] [2] 3
PLA Program Elective 3
PLA Program Elective 3
Minimum for Certificate: 39
Program Electives (4 Required); 2 of 4 program electives must be PLA specialty courses (PLA 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213) Credits
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 Resolutions for the Paralegal 3
PLA 212 Elder Law 3
PLA 213 Topics in Law 3
BLW 203 Legal Environment of Business [3] 3
BLW 204 Cyberlaw, Legal Issues in Cyberspace 3

  1. Courses must be taken before application can be made for Program admittance.
  2. Courses must be taken before serving Internship. PLA 205 may be taken concurrently with PLA 204.
  3. Students must have been accepted into the Program and have had an interview with the Coordinator before signing up for these courses.

Students must complete ALL Paralegal (PLA) and Business Law (BLW) course requirements with a grade of “C” or better.

For more information contact Jason M. Cieslik, J.D., Paralegal/Legal Assistant, (708) 596-2000 ext. 2579, Room 3457, Main Campus.