New “Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal” to be offered at KCC

The KCC Paralegal program is proud to announce its first new credential in over 30 years – an ABA-approved Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal. This certificate is designed for people with a bachelor’s degree in any field who want to retool for the work force and are seeking to enter the profession as a paralegal. To enter the certificate program, an applicant must show that they have obtained a bachelor’s degree from an American college.

The Certificate of Achievement credential is recognized by the American Bar Association, which has approved the KCC Paralegal Program since 1978. The new Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal will be offered starting in fall 2017.

How does this certificate differ from the existing Associates of Science (A.S.) in Paralegal? The A.S. Paralegal degree is a two-year, twenty-course program which includes nine required core courses, four electives, and an advanced elective in the program, and five general education courses. There are no special requirements to enter the A.S. degree program. The new Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal requires only the nine core courses, which can be completed in one year. The courses may be spread over a longer period, and students may add electives if they choose.

Students who receive a Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal will have taken these courses:

  • LAW 101, The Hawaii Legal System
  • LAW 102, Legal Research
  • LAW 105, Law Office Management
  • LAW 111, Litigation
  • LAW 145 Computer Applications in the Law Office
  • LAW 148, Legal Document Preparation
  • LAW 202, Legal Interviewing, Negotiation, and Advocacy
  • LAW 203, Legal Writing
  • LAW 293P, Paralegal Cooperative

These core courses will provide a substantial background for graduates to excel in a law firm. The only other difference between the certificate and the A.S. degree is that the former does not require any electives.  A student who has earned the Certificate of Achievement in Paralegal may choose to return to school after graduation to take five electives and then may receive the A.S. degree if he or she wants.

The application process is as follows:

  • Step 1: If student is new, transferring, or returning to KCC (any status but continuing), submit an online application at hawaii.edu
  • Step 2: All students applying to the CA-LEGL Program must complete a Admissions Application/Check List and submit it to Dr. Susan Jaworowski at susanjaw@hawaii.edu, “Attention: Certificate Application.”
  • Step 3: Academic Transcript Process: you would need to submit your official transcript to the admissions office and either another official transcript or a student copy to Dr. Jaworowski at least 5 weeks prior to the start of the semester (generally, July 1 for fall, December 1 for spring, April 14 for summer).

These admissions practices will be posted on the KCC website over the summer; for now, interested applicants can email Dr. Jaworowski for the Admissions Application/Check List at susanjaw@hawaii.edu.

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