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Western Kentucky University

Paralegal Studies Program

Paralegal Studies Program

 The Associate of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies requires a minimum of 64 credit hours and is designed to be completed in four or five semester terms of full-time enrollment.

Paralegal Studies Program Admission and
          Minimum Grade Requirements

1. Student must be admitted to the University College of WKU pursuant to the policies of the College and Western Kentucky University, and students who have not met the pre-college curriculum requirements must complete these.

 2. Student will enter the University College as a Paralegal major seeking admission to the Paralegal Studies Program.

3. Before being admitted to the Paralegal Studies Program, student must complete these courses with a grade point average of at least 2.0:

  • PLS 190C - Introduction to the Paralegal Profession
  • ENGL 100C - Freshman English
  • OST 220C - Word Processing
  • POLS 110C - American National Government

4. Upon completion of prerequisites, student will meet with the Paralegal Studies advisor to submit an iCAP degree audit and Change of Major form. Student will be admitted to the program when the Change of Major form is filed.

 5. Student must take PLS 195C prior to or concurrent with all other Paralegal requirements. Students must complete PLS 293C prior to taking PLS 298C and PLS 299C.

 6. Student must complete the Paralegal Studies Program course requirements.

7. Student must maintain an overall grade point average of at lease 2.0 and receive no grade less than a C in general law and legal specialty courses to complete the Program.

Paralegal degrees will be awarded to those students who complete all requirements with an overall grade point average of 2.0 (out of 4.0) and receive a grade of "C" or better in all PLS general law and legal specialty courses.

 Credits from other accredited institutions of higher education may be transferred and applied toward the degree. An official transcript from each such college or university attended is required as a part of the admission process.

General law and legal-specialty course credits will be accepted only from paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association or programs in substantial compliance with the ABA guidelines as determined by the Director.

Paralegal Studies Program Objectives

  • To create, implement and maintain a strong, flexible program directed to the quality education of occupationally competent paralegals.
  • To provide a paralegal education program that leads to employment of its graduates by a wide range of employers.
  • To provide paralegals with a well-rounded, balanced education founded on a beneficial mix of general education, theory and practical courses stressing understanding and reasoning rather than rote learning of facts.
  • To support both federal, Kentucky and local Rules of Procedure and general principles of ethical legal practice, professional responsibility, the prohibitions against the unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers and the use and supervision of paralegals by lawyers.
  • To provide a program which instills respect for the legal profession and its foundations, institutions, and quest for justice.
  • To maintain equality of opportunity in the educational program without discrimination or segregation of the grounds of race, color, natural origin, gender, age, disability or economic need.

Educational Opportunities for Paralegals

Paralegals, also called Legal Assistants, work with lawyers in a wide range of professional settings and perform tasks that include legal research, legal writing and document preparation, information gathering, litigation support, legal technology support and office management.

Students will obtain practical experience working in a legal setting through the internship required prior to graduation.

Employment Opportunities for Paralegals

Paralegals, also called legal assistants, work with lawyers in a wide range of professional tasks. Employment opportunities are available for Paralegals in law firms, corporations, government agencies, businesses, real estate and banking.

Practice Restrictions

Paralegals shall not engage in the unauthorized practice of law as proscribed by Kentucky law and the Supreme Court Rules (SCR 3.130 [5.5]) and must be appropriately supervised by a lawyer to ensure the paralegal’s conduct is compatible with the professional and ethical standards of the practice (SCR 3.130 (5.3]).

This Program is approved
by the American Bar Association.

Paralegal Studies Program Curriculum

Prerequisites for Admission to Paralegal Studies Program

  • ENGL 100C Intro to College Writing 3 hours
  • POLS 110C American National Government 3 hours
  • OST 220C Word Processing 3 hours
  • PLS 190C Intro to the Paralegal Profession (F, Sp) 3 hours

Subtotal 12 hours

General Education and Other Courses

  • BUS 214C - Business Communication - 3 hours
  • BT 110C or ACCT 200C - Basic Accounting I - 3 hours
  • COMN 145C or COMN 161C - Fundamentals of Public Speaking or Business and Professional Speaking - 3 hours
  • Category B  - Humanities - (See catalog for courses, ENGL 200 suggested) - 3 hours
  • Math 109C or 116C -  Intermediate or College Algebra - 3 hours
  • BIO 110C or BIO 113C - Anatomy and Physiology or
    General Biology  - 3 hours
  • Elective Advisor approved course 1/2/3 hours
  • Students must choose ONE course from the following:
    • ECO150C/202C/203C - Intro to Economics or
      Micro or Macro Economics - 3 hours
    • GOV 100C - Intro to Political Science - 3 hours
    • HIS 119C - Western Civ to 1648 - 3 hours
    • HIS 120C - Western Civ since 1648 - 3 hours
    • PHIL 115C - Elementary Logic - 3 hours
    • PSYC 100C - Intro to Psychology - 3 hours
    • SOC 100C - Intro to Sociology - 3 hours
    • SOC 220C - Marriage and Family - 3 hours

Subtotal 22/23/24 hours

General Law and Specialty Courses

  • PLS 195C - Legal Research and Writing (F, Sp) -  3 hours
  • PLS 283C - Real Estate Law for the Paralegal - 3 hours
  • PLS 291C - Criminal Law for Paralegals (F, Su) - 3 hours
  • PLS 292C - Corporate Law (Sp) - 3 hours
  • PLS 293C - Civil Procedure (F, Sp) - 3 hours
  • PLS 294C -  Administrative Practice and Procedure (F) - 3 hours
  • PLS 295C - Estate Planning and Administration (F) - 3 hours
  • PLS 296C - Family Law (F) - 3 hours
  • PLS 298C - Advanced Legal Research and Writing (F, Sp) - 3 hours
  • PLS 299C - Internship in Paralegal Studies (F, Sp, Su) - 3 hours

Subtotal 30 hours

Total Hours in the Program 64/65/66 semester hours

To Request Information about the
Paralegal Studies Program

Contact Julie Shadoan, the Program Director of the Paralegal Studies Program, for an application packet, additional information or for an appointment with a faculty advisor.

Professor Julie Shadoan, J.D.
Paralegal Studies Program Director
Professional Studies Department
University College, WKU @  South Campus
C179 South Campus
Click Here to Email Julie Shadoan

Professor Julie Shadoan.

Julie Shadoan, J.D.

Professor and Unit Leader
Paralegal Studies Program
TPH 223

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 Last Modified 9/24/14