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COC Paralegal Studies program receives American Bar Association OK

Posted: February 10, 2010 12:11 p.m.
Updated: February 10, 2010 12:19 p.m.
 
This week, the American Bar Association's (ABA) House of Delegates took action to award full approval to the College of the Canyons Paralegal Studies program.

With the House of Delegates' decision, the COC Paralegal Studies program becomes the only ABA approved program of its kind in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys - and one of approximately 30 such programs in the state.

"College of the Canyons is pleased to offer another career training option at a time when many people are looking to upgrade their skills and be equipped for success in a new field," COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook said.

"This program is another example of our ongoing commitment to create more options for students to help them achieve their goals and secure well-paying jobs that will lead to further career advancement," she said.

The principal objective of the ABA paralegal education program approval process is to foster a high quality of paralegal education and training standards.

The approval process consists of several stages including the preparation of a self-evaluation report and supporting documents, review by educational consultants, an onsite evaluation of all program operations to verify that they operate in compliance with ABA guidelines and consideration by the Standing Committee on Paralegals & Approval Commission.

Once a program is approved it is required to submit ongoing interim reports to ensure that it continues to comply with ABA guidelines.

Paralegal programs that successfully complete the evaluation process are approved for a period of seven years, before having to reapply.

"The ABA only approves of programs that are dedicated to the highest quality of education and which provide graduates with the tools to become successful paralegals," said Nicole Lucy, chair of the COC Paralegal Studies department. "We are honored to be recognized as being worthy of ABA approval and excited to know that our graduates will now enjoy even greater employment opportunities as a result of completing an ABA approved program."

The College of the Canyons Paralegal Studies program prepares students for positions as paralegals, while operating with a broader goal to improve the accessibility, quality and affordability of legal services throughout the community.

Students who complete the 30 units needed to obtain an associate degree in paralegal studies from COC will receive:

* A broad-based understanding of the American legal system and the practice of law in California.

* The skills and knowledge needed to work as a paralegal in civil litigation law firms.

*  An understanding of and appreciation for the ethical rules and regulations applicable to paralegal and other legal professions.

*  A balanced education based on the integration of legal theory and practical course work.

*  Strong written and oral communication skills and the tools necessary to begin a career in the highly respected and well-paid paralegal industry.

* The opportunity to gain real-world paralegal work experience in a variety of potential employment settings through the college's Cooperative Work Experience Education (CWEE) department.

The College of the Canyons Paralegal Studies program is designed for students who are working professionals, with classes primarily offered in the evenings at both the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses.

"With the industry need expected to continue to grow in the coming years, now is the perfect time to begin thinking about a career as a paralegal," Lucy said.

For more information about the College of the Canyons paralegal studies program please visit canyons.edu/departments/parlgl/ or contact Nicole Lucy at (661) 362-5377.

This story is posted in The Signal's SCV Raw section. Click here for more information about SCV Raw.

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