The University of South Carolina will soon expand the availability of its Paralegal Studies Certificate Program to the Charleston area with courses offered at the Lowcountry Graduate Center.
“Our six-month program is ideal for individuals looking for a fast track into a career as a paralegal,” said Kate Shelton, the university’s director of continuing education and conferences. “While challenging and extensive, we provide all of the resources you will need to succeed.”
This program initially will be offered via 2-way video with instructors based in Columbia, with the potential for the courses to be taught in person as the number of students enrolled in North Charleston grows. Each course conveniently is offered during the day on Saturday so that students can maintain a personal and professional work-life balance while attending classes. Course topics include Introduction to Law, Torts and Personal Injury, Legal Research and Writing, Civil Litigation, Contract Law and Family Law.
A recent workforce supply and demand analysis provided by the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce indicates that there is a shortage of trained paralegals and legal assistants in the Lowcountry, with almost half of these available positions going unfilled. Nationwide the paralegal field is projected to grow 18 percent over the next decade.
Admission to the program requires a four-year undergraduate degree or four years of professional work experience. “Our informal research in the area indicates that law firms prefer for their paralegals to have an undergraduate degree because of the communications and critical thinking skills that this level of education provides,” said Nancy Muller, director of the Lowcountry Graduate Center.
The Paralegal Studies Certificate program joins the graduate level degrees offered by the university at the Lowcountry Graduate Center, including a Master of Science in Engineering Management and a Master of Social Work.
The university’s Office of Continuing Education and Conferences supports the university’s mission of outreach and engagement by providing professional education, personal interest, youth and teen pre-university programs and conference and event services. The university offers valuable professional education that can launch a new profession or enhance an existing one with classes designed to fit the needs of busy professionals where the learning environment is interactive and collaborative.
Due to low enrollment, the Paralegal Studies Certificate will not be offered at the Lowcountry Graduate Center. To learn more about other available options for enrolling in this program, including online courses, visit the University of South Carolina’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program page.