Minor in Paralegal Studies
The minor in paralegal studies, offered by Cumberland School of Law, offers students from a variety of majors an opportunity to explore an interest in the legal field at the undergraduate level. The program is approved by the American Bar Association and provides students with substantive legal knowledge and the practice skills necessary for employment as a paralegal or related positions. Courses within the 22-semester credit hour program complement many majors and provide early exposure to a broad scope of legal practice areas. This minor is also ideal for students contemplating law school.
I completed the paralegal program and worked as a paralegal before starting law school. That experience not only helped me to realize definitively that I wanted to become an attorney, it also gave me an advantage in my first year classes. Sharidan Hollis, Paralegal Certificate ’13, Cumberland School of Law JD ‘17
Paralegals are professionals trained in both the substance of law and in legal procedure who use that knowledge and those skills to provide a broad range of legal services under the supervision and direction of an attorney. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
The minor in paralegal studies is approved by the American Bar Association. Samford University was initially approved by the ABA to provide paralegal education in 1978, making it the oldest such program in the state of Alabama. The program enjoys an outstanding reputation in the Birmingham legal community and beyond.
The courses provided me with excellent working knowledge of the paralegal field. Because of the wonderful instructors and staff, I felt confident interviewing and beginning my first job as a paralegal. Bobi Ezell, Paralegal Certificate ‘14
The minor in paralegal studies prepares students for rewarding careers as paralegals or legal assistants to attorneys in private, public and corporate settings. Graduates may work in a variety of legal settings, including traditional law firms, financial institutions, hospital and corporate legal departments and government and administrative agencies. Many program graduates ultimately apply to law school and leverage the substantive law and practical skills learned in the paralegal studies program for an early advantage in the first year of law school.
Salary and Employment Information
Useful Links about the Paralegal Profession
- National Association of Legal Assistants
- Typical Paralegal Duties from the National Association of Legal Assistants
- Paralegal Career Information from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals
- NFPA explanation of certified vs. certificated vs. licensed
- Comparison Chart of National Level Certification Exams (from NFPA)