Why Study Legal Studies?

The Associate of Science (AS) degree in Legal Studies program will prepare students for careers in the legal industry, working under the supervision of attorneys. According to the American Bar Association, “a legal assistant, or paralegal, is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, 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 the lawyer is responsible.” Paralegals are not licensed and always work under the supervision of an attorney. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law. The goal of both the Legal Studies degree and Paralegal Studies certificate program is to prepare students to become entry-level paralegals.

The Legal Studies Program and Paralegal Studies certificate are approved by the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Paralegals, 321 N. Clark Street, Mail Stop 19.1, Chicago, IL 6065-7598. Phone: 312-988-5618.

School of Business and Professional Studies

Degree Tracks & Course Sequence

Associate of Science (AS): Legal Studies*
Certificate: Paralegal Studies

*At least nine semester credits of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom or synchronous instruction are required. (21 of the 30 Legal Studies/Paralegal Studies credits must be taken at RCC)


Real World Ready

Listening to workforce needs

Graduates of Rockland Community College are provided with a clear path to meaningful careers that meet the needs of businesses and industry in the communities we serve. Our students are trained in specific skills that are needed by employers, and guided through a career path that leads directly to workforce opportunities. With affordable tuition, students who begin their college careers at RCC are ready to meet the demands of the real world.

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Student Success

At Rockland Community College, you are provided with a Student Success Team that will help you with your academic journey, career exploration, transfer planning, support service referrals, and more! Your Team includes your Dean, Program Director, Faculty Advisor, Student Success Advisor, Connection Center Counselor, Financial Aid Advisor, Peer Mentors, and if you’re involved in any of these special programs, your Athletics, Honors, TRiO, and Veterans Advisors. During your first semester, you will take an ‘Introduction to the School’ course that will outline the various College offices and departments that can help you on your path.

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Career Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor website states that employment of paralegals and legal assistants grew 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations, and the paralegal field is regularly ranked as one of the fastest growing in the nation.

Examples of some paralegal responsibilities include interviewing clients and witnesses, preparing legal documents, assisting at trials, investigating, and performing legal research. Paralegals are not permitted to practice law, which means that they cannot give legal advice, represent clients in court, set a legal fee, or accept a case.

Job Roles

Paralegal, Contract Manager, Administrative Assistant, Collections Specialist, Legal Blogger, Compliance Officer, and Bankruptcy Petition Preparer


Litigation, Family Law, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Corporations and Partnerships, Bankruptcy, Environmental Law, and Intellectual Property


Paralegal and Legal Assistant

$78,850 NYS Average
National Average $66,460 annually

Legal Support Workers

$86,870 NYS Average
National Average $82,960 annually

Compliance Officers

$88,280 NYS Average
National Average $80,190 annually

Employment and wage data by occupation are based on the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, which collects information from approximately 51,000 businesses. labor.ny.gov

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Rockland Community College, State University of New York, offers a safe, supportive learning environment for thousands of students from diverse backgrounds. RCC has become the “first choice” for parents and students. Thanks to our affordable tuition, students can save $100,000 on a college education by starting at RCC and transferring to outstanding four-year colleges.