Associate of Applied Science, Paralegal Studies

The American Bar Association defines a paralegal as a person "who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." The Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies provides students with the specialized skills and knowledge to build a career performing substantive legal work under the supervision of a lawyer, in accordance with American Bar Association standards, or to work in a variety of public service and government agencies where familiarity with government regulation and legal processes is required. The program is approved by the American Bar Association.

The Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies is coordinated with the Bachelor of Arts Legal Studies. Students obtaining the Associate degree may apply their core courses and general education credits toward completion of the baccalaureate degree.

Note: Students obtaining a degree are not authorized to provide direct legal services to the public. The program offers training for paraprofessionals who are authorized to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney. The program does not train lawyers.

Students who complete this program will:

1. Produce superior university-level written documents and oral reports.
2. Identify and accurately apply the rules of professional ethics governing lawyers and nonlawyer staff, and the rules governing the unauthorized practice of law in Alaska.
3. Interpret and accurately apply legal terminology and foundational principles of substantive and procedural law in the analysis of legal issues.
4. Develop and execute legal research plans using law library resources and commonly used legal research databases.
5. Synthesize primary and secondary legal authorities and draft memoranda of legal analysis.
6. Prepare legal investigation/discovery plans and draft legal pleadings that conform to the rules of civil procedure and incorporate standard techniques and resources for managing a case in litigation.
7. Relate legal rules and doctrines to client problems in the performance of entry-level paralegal duties in a private law firm, public legal service agency, or law department.

Program Information

2015-2016 Advising Sheet 

Recommended Course Sequence 
Steps to Success 
Transfer Credit Policy 
2015-2016 Legal Studies (undergraduate) catalog
2015-2016 Legal Studies course descriptions


Legal Studies Exit Exam

The Legal Studies Exit Exam is a graduation requirement for the Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies program. Students must complete the required exit exam in the same semester that they plan to graduate. Students who fail to complete the exit exam for their degree and/or certificate will not receive a diploma until this requirement has been met; it is not optional. Students will be allowed at least 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the required exam. All exams will be timed and graded. There is no minimum score required for graduation.

Exit Exam Instructions