The Blue Ridge paralegal studies program provides opportunities for students interested in law. Professors instruct the principles and practices essential for success in a variety of legal environments. A hands-on, practical approach teaches students the fundamentals of research and writing, legal assisting, government operations, document processing, and computer applications. The Blue Ridge paralegal studies degree prepares students for the workplace, the National Certified Legal Assistant/Certified Paralegal Exam, or for continued study at a four-year institution.
The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies is a program designed to provide students with a balance between theory and practice, enabling graduates to step immediately into opportunities in this growing area of the legal community. The program is designed to prepare individuals for employment at all levels of the law-administration, trial, appellate, and government.
Students completing the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies will:
- Understand and be able to function within federal and state legal systems.
- Possess the basic skills of writing, reading for information, Critical Thinking & Learning, and applied mathematics necessary to be successful in the Paralegal field.
- Successfully complete entry level or pre-employment examinations for state institutions
- Successfully obtain employment or promotion within the paralegal field including but not limited to: law offices, investigator, claims analyst compliance officer, and legal advocate
Students in the Paralegal Program are subject to the Community and Technical College’s requirements for admissions, basic skills testing, and appropriate course placement, including mandated developmental courses, which are not counted toward completion of the program. Blue Ridge CTC Catalog requirements regarding academic standards, student conduct, and graduation procedures also apply.
Graduates excel in a variety of entry-level settings, including law firms, federal/district courts, prosecutors’ offices, public defenders’ offices, juvenile court, and federal agencies. The average starting salary for legal assistants and paralegals ranges from $24,000–$28,000 in the four state area, and upwards toward $40,000–$60,000 in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore metro area.
Note: All salary estimations are based on current position and educational trends. Blue Ridge and The School of Business and Information Technology cannot guarantee that the projections given will be the salaries students or graduates will ultimately receive.