Mission & Paralegal Brochure
Approved by the American Bar Association since 1978, the Inver Hills Community College Paralegal Program mission is to:
- develop graduates who are prepared to assume the general and ethical responsibilities of paralegals or legal support professionals, and
- offer quality, practical coursework (traditionally or partly online) that includes a paralegal internship.
For Students WHO DESIRE a college degree:
Degree: Associate in Science
Length: 2-year curriculum (22 months or longer if the student desires) – 60 credits
For Students WITH a prior college degree:
Certificate: Postgraduate Paralegal Certificate
Length: 18 month curriculum or longer if the student desires – 30 credits
The Paralegal Program prepares graduates to work under the supervision of attorneys in civil, criminal, and family law, as well as litigation, probate and estates, real estate, and business organizations areas.
Graduates are trained to:
- Apply and interpret the law and legal procedures in rendering direct assistance to lawyers,
- Conduct competent legal research, writing, and communication,
- Prepare legal documents,
- Analyze procedural and substantive legal problems,
- Interview clients and witnesses,
- Investigate and manage cases, and
- Demonstrate technological skills and familiarity with computerized databases.
Paralegals and graduates do not practice law or give legal advice unless permitted by law.
Our Paralegal Program’s vision is to:
- embrace and support intercultural competency by encouraging all people to enroll, learn, and teach in our program,
- offer access and flexibility for all learners through hands-on, practical teaching methods, mentorship, and alternative course delivery methods, and
- gain up-to-date advice and collaboration with our paralegal advisory board, faculty, legal professionals and community.
American Bar Association (ABA) Approved
The Inver Hills Community College Paralegal Program has received American Bar Association approval since 1978. Our ABA approval is very important to us! Out of approximately 1,200 paralegal programs across the U.S. only about 267 programs are approved by the ABA. Attorneys, paralegals, legal administrators, employers and recruiters all respect the ABA and its stringent guidelines for competent paralegal education, and look to our program to fill their employment needs for paralegals and legal support professionals.
Note: Students must take at least nine (9) semester credits of legal specialty courses through traditional live classroom instruction under American Bar Association Guidelines.
The goals of our Paralegal Program are to:
- Provide a quality paralegal program (traditional and partly online) that will enhance occupational competence,
- Recruit paralegal students and faculty from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and
- Encourage students’ completion of the program.
Paralegal students who complete the required curriculum qualify for an:
- Associate in Science degree
- Post-Graduate Paralegal Certificate (prior degree required)
- ABA approved practical training.
- Assistance with preparation for job search and employment opportunities including access to a secure job web site.
- Education to work as paralegals or legal specialists, judicial assistants, legal or case assistants, case managers, contract administrators or managers, litigation specialists, contract specialists or analysts, conflict information specialists, case clerks, legal researchers, lien clerks, title researchers or as other law-related employees.
- Degree credits that allow students to transfer to Hamline University, Metropolitan State University, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota or Concordia University to earn a bachelor’s degree.
- Excellent preparation that will allow a student to set a path to obtain a law degree.
Criminal Offense Notice
If you have been arrested, charged, or convicted of any criminal offense, you should investigate the impact that the arrest, charge or conviction may have on your chances of employment in the field you intend to study or your chances to obtain federal, state, and other higher education financial aid.
Obtain Computer Skills Independently
It is strongly recommended that paralegal students obtain computer skills independently as these classes are not part of the program. However, students will earn the National Society of Legal Technology Certificate as part of their Paralegal Internship coursework, and be required to use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the paralegal classes. The ability to use the keyboard and word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software are basic skills needed in the paralegal profession. Feel free to plan early with a counselor or program director.
Individualized Professional Studies (IPS) degrees
Individualized Professional Studies (IPS) degrees taken through the Adult Success through Accelerated Programs (ASAP) at Inver Hills Community College are not part of the Paralegal Program and are not approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Inver Hills is a member of the Minnesota State system and an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer and educator.