Overview

The degree of Associate in Science with a major in Paralegal Studies will be awarded upon successful completion of all program requirements.

The Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies, approved by the American Bar Association, will prepare students to perform effectively in today’s legal and business communities. This program is an expanded version of the Certificate Program. Both programs are approved by the American Bar Association. The Degree trains students for professional status as lawyers’ assistants in banks, corporations, government agencies, insurance companies, and law firms. The program provides students with a broad-based academic curriculum, which emphasizes the skills, substantive knowledge and ethics a paralegal needs to assist lawyers effectively. Graduates may either enter the work force directly after graduation or continue their education at a four-year institution.

The Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Most major field courses, however, are offered in the evenings at this time. The general education courses are offered both days and evenings.

The work of the paralegal requires discretion and independent judgment. A paralegal always works under the supervision and direction of an attorney. Even though a paralegal can perform many of the tasks which have otherwise been performed by attorneys, a paralegal may not give legal advice, represent a client in court or otherwise engage in the practice of law.

NHTI graduates will be exposed during their course of studies to the legal system and the role of paralegals within the profession, the ethical rules governing lawyers and paralegals, and the operation of a law office. Through the course sequence in the Degree, NHTI’s graduates will be:

  • able to assist in most aspects of legal research, and in the preparation of clear and concise legal writings, on a topic of their choosing;
  • introduced to Lexis/Nexis;
  • able to assist in virtually all phases of litigation and real property transactions;
  • able to assist in the formation, daily administration and dissolution of a corporate entity;
  • able to assist in the planning and administration of a decedent’s estate;
  • prepared to assist in the drafting of pleadings and in the completion of preliminary research in the area of family law;
  • exposed to the various elements of New Hampshire criminal practice and procedure.

Specific Admission Requirements

  1. Interview with department chair; interviews will be scheduled by the department chair once applications are complete.
  2. Two confidential letters of reference.
  3. Two-hundred word essay regarding reasons for choosing the Paralegal Program (used to help evaluate writing skills).

Note: Applicants should be aware that all associate degree programs at NHTI require successful completion of at least one semester of college level mathematics. Therefore, the college strongly recommends that all applicants successfully complete high school Algebra I with a grade of “C” or higher prior to admission. Those students whose placement testing does not demonstrate readiness for college level mathematics may require more than two years to complete their degree.

Internship Considerations

NHTI has developed excellent practicum opportunities for our students to foster hands-on learning while simultaneously receiving credit. Nonetheless, the college’s first priority must be to ensure that patients/clients/children/families are not placed in jeopardy by students during learning experiences. Therefore, students in internship, externship, practicum, service learning, and clinical experiences must demonstrate sufficient emotional stability to withstand the stresses, uncertainties and changing circumstances that characterize patient/client/child/family responsibilities. Furthermore, the student is expected to have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment, accept direction and guidance from a supervisor or faculty member, and establish rapport and maintain sensitive interpersonal relationships and confidentiality with employees, customers, and/or patients/clients/children and their families.

Character Expectations

Applicants should be aware that background checks are completed by potential employers prior to obtaining any position with arrest or detention powers, and typically, even before being accepted for an internship. Applicants who have been in difficulty with the law may not be employable, or even eligible for an internship. Because future goals may be compromised, applicants are advised to discuss any concerns with the Department Chair.

Paralegal Studies Degree

FIRST YEAR

Course NumberCourse TitleCLLABCR
Fall Semester
 ENGL 101CEnglish Composition404
 IST 102CPC Applications303
#PLGL 106CIntroduction to Legal Studies303
#PLGL 107CContracts and Torts303
 PSYC 105CIntroduction to Psychology303
 16
Spring Semester
 ACCT 101CAccounting I303
 ENGL 120CCommunications or 
 ENGL xxxCEnglish Elective3-403-4
 MATH 124CCollege Algebra404
#PLGL 110CLitigation and Trial Preparation303
#PLGL 225CLegal Research and Writing+324
 17-18

SECOND YEAR

 ACCT 102CAccounting II303
 PHIL 242CContemporary Ethical Issues303
#PLGL 221CReal Estate303
#PLGL 251CProbate Estates and Trusts303
#PLGL 262CCriminal Law and Procedures303
 15
Spring Semester
 FL xxxCForeign Language or30-23-4
 XX xxxCGeneral Education Elective303
#PLGL 231CBusiness Organizations & Bankruptcy303
#PLGL 242CDomestic Relations Law303
#PLGL 270CInternship/Seminar093
 XX xxxCLab Science Elective*324
 XX xxxCSocial Science Elective**303
 19-20
TOTAL CREDITS67-69

# Indicates major field courses.
* BIOL 100C, CHEM 100C and PHYS 100C do not meet this requirement.
** Any course with a prefix of ANTH, ECON, HIST, POLS, PSYC or SOCI (except HIST 104C and HIST 105C).
+ A $125 fee will be assessed for all students taking PLGL 225. This fee will cover costs associated with ABA dues, Lexis/Nexis, and UNH School of Law Library.

CL – Number of lecture/classroom hours per week for the course
LAB – Number of simulation laboratory, laboratory or clinical hours per week for the course
CR – Number of credit hours for the course

55-60%

of students qualify for financial aid