No. There are 4 core classes that will remain traditional in the classroom. As an ABA-Approved program, we must ensure completion of 10 hours of coursework in the traditional format. The 4 courses that will be taught in the classroom are: 

  1. Introduction to Law and the Legal Professions (LGLA 1307)
  2. Interviewing & Investigating (LGLA 2305)
  3. Civil Litigation (LGLA 1345)
  4. Legal Research & Writing (LGLA 1301)

All courses required for the degree are offered at night or online. Most of our students work full time and take classes at night, so the program is designed to accommodate those students. Most courses meet from 5:30 to 6:45 or 7:00 to 9:45.

Including tuition, books, and fees, it will cost about $7,000 from start to finish.

Yes. We have internship opportunities for our students every semester with Legal Aid, CASA and the Innocence Project of Texas. These internships are unpaid, and the student must volunteer 120 hours over the course of the semester to earn credit for the Internship. We also have opportunities with the County Attorneys Office when there is need.  

Students often find gainful employment working for attorneys as secretaries, file clerks, runners before completing their studies and can earn credit that way, too.

The Practicum course, LGLA 2266 is offered in Spring, Summer and Fall.

The Certificate is only available for students that already have a college degree and consists of only 8 law-related courses.

Yes. There are jobs in Amarillo and all over the state for professional candidates with computer and writing skills. Starting pay depends on education, experience and skills but ranges from $25,000 to $40,000 a year.

Simply put, assist attorneys. Typical duties include drafting documents, organizing files, interviewing witnesses, investigating claims, and anything else that may need to be done for a client. Paralegals CANNOT practice law under any circumstances, even under the supervision of an attorney. The Unauthorized Practice of Law includes giving legal advice, setting legal fees, accepting cases, negotiating settlements and representing clients in court. Only licensed attorneys can do these things.

Yes. Paralegal students in Amarillo are quite lucky, as there are 2 very active professional organizations that both have student memberships TPPA and NALS of Amarillo. Also, the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas has student memberships.

Yes. The Legal Society of Amarillo College is open to any student interested in the law. In November 2012, 11 students went to Washington, D.C.

As is the answer with most legal questions it depends.

Most of our students work full time and can only take 2-3 courses each semester. If someone starts the program with no college credits, it usually takes 3-5 years. There are 23 courses to complete, and so if a student takes 3 courses each Spring and Fall and 2 courses each Summer, it will take 3 years.

A student going full-time could complete the entire Associates degree in 2 years and the Certificate in 1 year.

No. Currently, certification for paralegals is completely voluntary in every state.

There are numerous opportunities for our graduates to become certified, and our program is designed to help prepare our students for the certification exams. Becoming a certified paralegal has obvious benefits, yet only a small percentage of paralegals choose to become certified, which should give our graduates who choose to sit for one of the exams an advantage when searching for a job. There are currently 3 certification options for paralegals in Texas:

  1. National Association of Legal Assistants CP or CLA (CLAS)
  2. National Federation of Paralegal Associations PP or RP
  3. SBoT, PD Board Certified in a Legal Specialization