• About Paralegal


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  • About Paralegal

    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.

    Department Benefits

    • MSUM's Paralegal Department is approved by the American Bar Association, and strictly meets their guidelines and criteria.
    • MSUM's paralegal majors are required to complete an internship to enhance knowledge and strengthen their marketability. Internships for MSUM paralegal majors have included: private law firms; government law offices, such as a U.S. attorney's office; North Dakota and Minnesota Attorney General's office; the North Dakota Supreme Court; county attorney offices; political offices, such as a U.S. Senator's office; legal aid programs; social service agencies, such as the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center; and corporate legal departments.
    • MSUM has outstanding law library resources, housing major federal and state case reporters, digests, statutes, administrative codes, legal encyclopedias, loose-leaf services and other legal reference materials. MSUM maintains its law library under a joint agreement with the Clay County Bar Association. MSUM Paralegal students have access to Westlaw online research for their course work.
    • Practicing paralegals co-teach some courses with an attorney in their area of expertise, which provides students with a realistic view of the field.
    • Some faculty in the department maintain active law practices in addition to their teaching responsibilities, which provides students with a realistic view of the field.
    • Small class sizes enable faculty to have more direct contact, giving students the personal attention they deserve.
    • The Minnesota State Paralegal Association Moorhead (MSPAM) is a student professional organization designed to familiarize paralegal majors with the career they have selected and duties they will be performing.
    • Red River Valley Paralegal Association (RRVPA) is a local professional association of practicing paralegals. Any MSUM paralegal major is eligible for membership in RRVPA and MPA. MSPAM has one member elected as a liaison with RRVPA.

    Students Succeed at MSUM

    Paralegal students at MSUM are involved in many activities beyond their classes and studies. Some examples:

    • Minnesota State Paralegal Association Moorhead involves students in activities such as: guest speakers, resume and job search workshops, scholarship awards, social events, and community volunteer work.
    • Red River Valley Paralegal Association (RRVPA) and Minnesota State Paralegal Association offers students a membership and the opportunity to attend seminars.
    • Paralegal students become involved with community through volunteer services, such as Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots, food banks, Courtwatch for Rape and Abuse Center, homeless shelters, and clothing and food drives for the needy.
    • Students who meet high academic standards are invited to join Lambda Epsilon Chi, a national honor society for paralegal students.


    Disclaimer: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except where authorized by law.