Paralegal Studies

College of Rural and Community Development
Community and Technical College

AAS Degree; Minor

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Minimum Requirements for Degree: 61 credits

The paralegal studies program trains students for employment as paralegals to help deliver legal services under the supervision of a practicing lawyer, and provides continuing education and upgrading of skills for paralegals already employed. The program also offers practical law-related topics for UAF students whose main focus is in other areas of study, such as political science and justice.

Paralegals and legal assistants are not authorized to provide direct legal services to the public. However, they are qualified to perform rudimentary legal research and produce drafts of letters, office memoranda, pleadings, contracts, wills and similar documents. Paralegals conduct client and witness interviews, engage in basic fact-finding and investigation, and assist in trial preparation and discovery. At all times they remain cognizant of the ethical responsibilities owed by the supervising lawyer to clients, other lawyers and the court system.

The paralegal studies program does not train lawyers or legal administrators. The associate degree is approved by the American Bar Association. The minor is not designed to prepare students to work as paralegals and is not approved by the American Bar Association.

Major -- AAS Degree

  1. Complete ENGL F111X with a grade of C or better prior to admission to the program.
  2. Complete the general university requirements.
  3. Complete the AAS degree requirements.
  4. Complete the following:*
    PLS F102--Introduction to Paralegal Studies.--3 credits
    PLS F105--Introduction to Paralegal Ethics--2 credits
    PLS F201--Practical Paralegal Skills--3 credits
    PLS F210--Civil Procedure--3 credits
    PLS F260--Computers in the Law Office--3 credits
    PLS F280--Legal Research and Writing for Paralegals--3 credits
    PLS F285--Advanced Legal Writing--2 credits
    PLS F299--Paralegal Studies Internship--3 credits
    PS F101--Introduction to American Government (3)
         or JUST F110--Introduction to Justice (3)--3 credits
  5. Complete either:
    PS F303--Politics and the Judicial Process (3)
         or PS F300X--Ethics and Society (3)
         or JUST F300X--Ethics and Justice (3)--3 credits
  6. Complete either:
    PS F435W--Constitutional Law I: Institutions and Government Powers (3)
         or PS F436--Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (3)
         or JRN F413--Mass Media Law (3)--3 credits
  7. Complete five of the following:*
    PLS F203--Torts--3 credits
    PLS F213--Criminal Law for Paralegals--3 credits
    PLS F215--Contracts/Real Property--3 credits
    PLS F240--Family Law--3 credits
    PLS F242--Employment and Administrative Law for Paralegals--3 credits
    PLS F250--Probate Law--3 credits
    PLS F275--Business Organizations--3 credits
    PLS F293--(special topics course)--3 credits
  8. Minimum credits required--61 credits

* Students must earn a C- grade or better in each PLS, PS, JUST or JRN course.

Note: Students interested in the paralegal studies degree should consult the program coordinator before enrolling in paralegal courses. Transfer credits for paralegal courses completed at other institutions are subject to approval by the program coordinator. No more than 15 credit hours of paralegal courses completed at other institutions will be applied toward completion of the AAS degree in paralegal studies at UAF.


  1. Complete the following:
    PLS F102--Introduction to Paralegal Studies--3 credits
    PLS electives--12 credits
  2. Minimum credits required--15 credits