You’ve heard the jokes about the world having too many lawyers. The great thing about lawyers is that they need help from paralegals, an exciting and expanding field that could be the perfect career for you.
Although lawyers are responsible for giving legal advice and presenting cases in court, they delegate many tasks to paralegals. One of the most important jobs is helping lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials and corporate meetings. Paralegals investigate the facts of cases to be sure that all relevant information is considered. They identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles and other materials that are relevant to cases. They analyze and organize the information they find and write reports that attorneys use to decide how cases are handled.
Paralegals prepare legal arguments for lawsuits, draft pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits and help attorneys during trials. They help draft contracts, mortgages, separation agreements and trust instruments. Paralegals help prepare tax returns and plan estates.
Most paralegals work for law firms, corporate legal departments and government offices. They may work in different areas of the law, including litigation, personal injury, civil rights, corporate law, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, labor law, bankruptcy, immigration, family law, and real estate. As law becomes more complex, paralegals respond by becoming more specialized.
In the next few years, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that many law firms and employers with legal staffs will hire more paralegals to keep costs down and the availability of efficient legal services up.
Entry-level salaries for paralegals in Denver are between $30,000 and $40,000 per year. Experienced paralegals and those with an associate or bachelor’s degree earn more – often between $40,000 and $60,000 per year.
You can earn a Paralegal certificate from CCD in as little as two or three semesters. CCD offers you the option of concentrating your certificate on different legal specialties. Credits you earn toward your certificate apply toward a degree if you decide to pursue one. With an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal, you will be prepared for entry-level employment as a paralegal. If your goal is to go on and pursue a bachelor’s degree, the Associate of Applied Sicience Transfer (AAS) degree is the way to go.
CCD has a transfer agreement with the University of Colorado at Denver (UC Denver) – also on the Auraria Campus. Students who earn their Associate of Applied Science Transfer degree in Paralegal at CCD can transfer the credits they earned and enter UC Denver as juniors in either Sociology or Political Science in the University’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences or Criminal Justice in the University's School of Public Affairs.
Gainful Employment Information
The US Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." (Click here for more information). The information provided here is the best available to us but represents one year’s data only, however, we hope that this information is helpful to our current students and to prospective students as they make their career and educational choices.
Click here for CCD’s Gainful Employment Occupation, Placement Rate, On-Time Completion Rate, Average Program Tuition & Fees, and Average Program Median Loan Debt data.
Gainful Employment Information