Paralegals, also called legal assistants, work in law offices in a variety of positions related to the legal profession. Activities that paralegals may be involved with include: legal research, client contact, factual investigation and drafting of documents. While final responsibility for their activities rests with the supervising lawyer, paralegals usually have important responsibilities that require they have a strong background of specialized instruction such as that offered by Minnesota State University Moorhead. MSUM is one of only three universities in Minnesota to offer a four-year paralegal degree. Local attorneys and occupational resources report that employers clearly prefer to hire paralegals with the more comprehensive education provided through a four-year program.
To earn the Bachelor of Science degree, MSUM's paralegal majors must complete a core program of at least 12 courses, plus an internship. A year-long sequence of legal research and writing is the foundation of the core. In addition to the core and internship, students must complete a series of courses in at least one of four major areas:
Paralegal students at MSUM are involved in many activities beyond their classes and studies. Some examples:
Natasha Smith talks about her experience