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Paralegal Program

Tieranny Decuir, Program Coordinator
Student Center, Office 415
(409) 984-6348

Doneane Beckcom, J.D., Adjunct Instructor
Umphrey Industrial Technology Center, Office 201B
(409) 984-6381

Michelle McPherson, Adjunct Instructor
Umphrey Industrial Technology Center, Office 201B
(409) 984-6381

Program Description

The paralegal profession is one of the fastest-growing career fields in Texas and the United States. Law firms are not the only businesses using the services of paralegals. Corporations and government agencies now extensively hire paralegals. A trained paralegal serves a lawyer in the same way a nurse practitioner assists a doctor. The paralegal performs duties previously done only by a professional, including drafting documents, preparing for trial, interviewing clients and witnesses and conducting legal research. Paralegals (legal assistants) are not attorneys and are prohibited from the practice of law. Paralegals work under the supervision of attorneys.

Lamar State College-Port Arthur offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal. Program courses cover a broad range of topics involved in the legal profession, including civil litigation, criminal law, family law, personal injury law, legal document preparation, and legal research and writing. Students also learn about wills, trusts, and probate administration. The Paralegal Program provides graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in the career field.

The Paralegal Program at Lamar State College-Port Arthur is approved by the American Bar Association, a recognition that is considered to be a mark of distinction. The college has one of the few ABA-approved programs in the region extending through the Houston area.

Transfer of courses is limited to 5 of the 10 paralegal (WECM) courses. Transfer students are required to enroll in at least 3 of the 6 required legal specialty courses at Lamar State College Port Arthur, which must include the capstone course, LGLA 2388 Internship.

NOTE: Students transferring paralegal/legal studies classes to Lamar State College Port Arthur must conform to the program’s ABA-approved degree. The following courses: LGLA 2388 Internship, LGLA 1401 Legal Research & Writing, and LGLA 2433 Legal Document Preparation will be evaluated to ensure that the courses were taught in a traditional (or synchronous manner). If the courses meet the guidelines, then transfer credit will be given; however, if the courses do not meet the guidelines, students will have to take the specified courses at Lamar State College Port Arthur.

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