Paralegal Studies

What can I do with a degree/certificate in Paralegal Studies?

Paralegals work with attorneys to provide legal services to clients.  Paralegals may: draft legal documents, correspondence, and reports;  investigate, research, analyze and organize case information; assist with legal research, and perform office support tasks in a legal office. 

Paralegals work in a variety of settings in addition to law offices, such as financial institutions, real estate and title offices, corporations, investigative agencies, and law libraries. Paralegals do not give legal advice or act in the place of an attorney.

In many firms and agencies a paralegal may fulfill the duel responsibilities of paralegal and legal secretary.  Paralegals must be well-organized and knowledgeable about laws and procedures of their specialty, skilled in helping people in stressful situations, and respectful of confidentiality.

What is the Paralegal Studies program?

The Paralegal Studies program provides students with the knowledge and skills for entry into paralegal careers in any of the settings listed above. WCC offers an Associate in Science Degree in Paralegal Studies (90-94 Credits) that prepares students for challenging career opportunities.

The certificate option (47-52 credits) is designed for baccalaureate degree holders. The certificate can be completed in one year and will be awarded to students upon completion of all certificate requirements and evidence of having earned a Bachelor’s Degree. Click here for Gainful Employment details.

Effective Fall 2014

Whatcom's Paralegal Studies curriculum was recently aligned to the standards outlined by the Washington Supreme Court. With both the degree and certificate options, students may pursue a general paralegal studies path or choose to specialize in Family Law.

Career & Salary Outlook

In Whatcom County, paralegals may start between $14.25 and $17.41 per hour; the median hourly wage is $22.54.

Sources: WA State Employment Security Department, September 2013; Washington Occupation Information System, 2013.

Career Pathways: A visual roadmap to help you reach your career goals.

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