One of only a few programs in the Twin Cities that is approved by the American Bar Association, since 1979, North Hennepin’s Paralegal AS degree and Certificate program offer students an ABA approved education for one of the lowest costs in the state. In addition, our students pay on a per-credit basis, permitting paralegal students to take as many, or as few, courses as they wish at the same low cost per credit.
Our paralegal program prepares students to assist lawyers and administrators of law-related occupations in providing efficient legal services to the public. The specialty courses are the core of the program and include the following areas of law: legal research and writing, contracts, family law, property, wills and estate administration, criminal law and litigation. The Paralegal Program does not train graduates to provide legal services directly to the public. Any person who attempts to provide legal services directly to the public, but is not licensed to practice law, engages in the illegal and unauthorized practice of law.
To prepare students for emerging trends in the legal profession, NHCC's paralegal program offers an elective course in Intellectual Property that covers the major areas of intellectual property law in the United States: trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. In addition, students taking the Computer Applications course are introduced to the use of specialized e-discovery software in the Paralegal Learning Lab.
Licensed attorneys teach the legal specialty courses offered at North Hennepin. The faculty is active in the profession and most maintain private law practices in addition to their teaching responsibilities. The depth of experience of the faculty ensures that you will receive practical and timely information relevant to paralegal duties.
You can perform legal work for attorneys in private law firms, government agencies or large corporations with a Paralegal AS or Paralegal Certificate from North Hennepin Community College. Paralegal duties vary according to the nature of employment, level of experience, and level of education. Examples of tasks include:
- Interviewing clients and witnesses
- Performing research and investigating facts
- Drafting documents and correspondence
- Conducting compliance and regulatory activity
- Conducting a variety of transactional services
- Managing attorney's case load
Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the demand for paralegals is still high. North Hennepin maintains alliances with local placement agencies and temporary agencies to further enhance the student's job seeking activity. Education and experience are the two most important factors in securing the most challenging and highest paying positions – you can get them both at North Hennepin Community College.
Transfer to Earn a Bachelor's Degree
When you graduate from NHCC’s paralegal program with an A.S. degree, you can seamlessly transfer into Hamline University’s Legal Studies major, or into Metropolitan State University’s Individualized Studies major. We also have a transfer agreement with Concordia University - St. Paul that permits our Paralegal A.S. students to transfer into Concordia's Criminal Justice major, Organizational Management and Leadership major, Business major, or Public Policy major. Contact Maria Yang at 763-424-0703 for more information.
Paralegal Learning Lab
The Paralegal Learning Lab at North Hennepin exposes students to a law office environment in an academic setting. When used for the Legal Studies Seminar/Practicum Tract, students work through assignments from a mock legal case. In addition, students enrolled in Computer Applications in the Legal Profession course are introduced to the use of e-discovery in the lab. The lab is also used by our paralegal tutors and faculty on a regular basis.
Our paralegal tutors are North Hennepin students. They are recommended by North Hennepin paralegal faculty based on academic excellence and superior subject knowledge and receive training and support from staff, paralegal faculty, and veteran tutors. Paralegal tutors work with other students to help them understand the problem-solving process, explore success strategies, and discover their own solutions. Tutors strive to help students become active, independent learners.
Legal Services Clinics
Students may gain paralegal experience by volunteering at legal services clinics held on NHCC's campus. In collaboration with community and legal organizations, students will assist volunteer attorneys in a paralegal role and provide community service to local residents.
The following links to non-NHCC websites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement:
Criminal Offense Notice
If you have been arrested, charged, or convicted of any criminal offense, you should investigate the impact that the arrest, charge or conviction may have on your chances of employment in the field you intend to study or your chances to obtain federal, state, and other higher education financial aid.