Requirements & Competencies

Paralegal Associate of Science Degree

Program Entry Requirements

Before entering the program, you must:

  • Complete an application
  • Satisfy the assessment requirement
  • Attend any required information/registration session. Students may start any term.
  • Students entering the program need satisfactory computer skills as demonstrated by successful completion of CSC 105 Computer Essentials or other evidence to be approved by the program chair.

» Computer Literacy Statement

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete the standard core requirements for the degree, plus the Paralegal required courses and options, maintain a 2.0 grade point average, and receive a grade of "C" or above each PRL course work.

Students must meet the following general requirements for an Associate of Science degree:

  • Satisfactory completion of the standard core requirements for the Associate of Science degree.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 12 semester credit hours of legal specialty (PRL) course work at DMACC in a format where all required seat time is delivered face to face.

Paralegal Certificate of Specialization

Program Entry Requirements

Before entering the program, you must:

  • Complete an application
  • Satisfy the assessment requirement
  • Attend any required information/registration session. Students may start any term.
  • Students entering the program need satisfactory computer skills as demonstrated by successful completion of CSC 105 Computer Essentials or other evidence to be approved by the program chair.

» Computer Literacy Statement

Students must have a baccalaureate or an academic associate degree (Associate in Arts - AA or Associate in Science - AS). Students with associate degrees in non-academic areas (Associate in Applied Science - AAS or an Associate in General Studies - AGS) are not presumed to have met the requirements. To qualify, AA and AS degrees must include 18 semester credits or equivalent of general education course work. General education course work must include at least three disciplines, such as social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, foreign language, and English.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete the standard core requirements for the degree, plus the Paralegal required courses and options, maintain a 2.0 grade point average, and receive a grade of "C" or above in each PRL course work.

Students must meet the following general requirements for an Associate of Science degree:

  • Satisfactory completion of the standard core requirements for the Associate of Science degree.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 12 semester credit hours of legal specialty (PRL) course work at DMACC in a format where all required seat time is delivered face to face.
  • Maintain a "C" (2.0) grade point average and receive a grade of "C" or above in all PRL course work.

Transfer Policy

Transfer Credit for Paralegal (PRL) Courses

  1. At Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) transfer credit for Paralegal courses will be awarded by the Registrar's Office with review and approval by the program chair of the Paralegal Program. Paralegal courses have the "PRL" acronym. Credit will be awarded on a case-by-case basis for courses that are substantially similar to DMACC courses. Each course must meet the following minimum criteria:
    1. The course must have been completed at an American Bar Association, ABA-approved program.
    2. The course must have incorporated the same or similar topics and assignments as the PRL course sought to be credited as evidenced by a catalogue description, detailed syllabus and/or other course reference file.
    3. The student must have earned a grade of "C" or better in the course.
    4. The course must have an educational value of at least 3 college semester credit hours.
    5. The course must have been delivered in a format where all required seat time is delivered face to face. That is, the course may not have been offered in an online format, as credit through work experience or by other nontraditional means.
  2. No more than 22 semester credit hours of Paralegal specialty (PRL) courses earned through transfer credit may be applied toward graduation from the Paralegal Associate of Science (AS) degree and from the Paralegal Certificate of Specialization. Students must complete a minimum of 12 semester credit hours of legal specialty (PRL) course work at DMACC in a format where all required seat time is delivered face to face.
  3. To request credit for Paralegal (PRL) courses students need to submit the following:
    1. Students must request that an official transcript(s) be sent directly from the institution(s) attended to the Admissions Office at DMACC.
    2. Students must provide the program chair for the Paralegal Program with a list of courses completed and, for each course, the PRL course name and number for which they are requesting credit.
    3. Students must provide the program chair with the official course description for each course and documentation that further describes the course content and delivery method of the course in the form of the syllabus, course outline, course competencies or other documentation from the college/university that offered the course.
  4. The program chair for the Paralegal Program will work with the staff from the Registrar's Office to determine the PRL courses that will transfer into DMACC and apply toward the academic awards that students plan to pursue. Students will be notified in writing which courses are accepted by DMACC. The appropriate transfer credit will be entered on students' permanent records. Supportive documents will be stored as part of the students' permanent records.

Skills and Abilities Needed:

  • Good reading skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Strong technical writing skills
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Basic Computer Skills

 

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