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Paralegal Studies

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UHart’s Paralegal Studies Program curriculum actively engages students in critical thinking, ethical evaluation, and legal analysis, while digging into the substantive areas of law.

Through a rigorous curriculum that introduces students to legal principles and real-world application, the Paralegal Studies Program provides the thorough education and training necessary for professional opportunities in a wide variety of legal settings, some of which are the fastest-growing careers in this country.

Beginning Spring 2022, the University of Hartford's American Bar Association (ABA) approved Paralegal Studies Programs will be completely online. These online programs are one of the first of their kind in the United States, putting our students at the forefront of online learning.  

Please note: The Paralegal Studies Program is not designed to prepare students for law school. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as provided by law. 

Our program stands out, and here's why:

  • Students aren’t a number; they’re part of a caring, encouraging community
  • Courses are offered online year-round; no campus visits are required
  • Paralegal Certificate can be completed in about one year
  • Professional and personalized job counseling, placement services, and internship program guidance
  • Curriculum continuously updated to reflect the needs of the legal profession
  • Large alumni population in the community, ensuring a network of professionals to assist in career growth
  • Experienced, practicing attorneys teaching their areas of practice
  • Our objective: see students flourish and reach their goals

Career Outlook

Paralegal Students

Paralegals work under the supervision of an attorney in many different areas of the law, such as litigation, real estate, corporate, probate and estate planning, family law, environmental, employment, intellectual property, and bankruptcy.

They perform a wide variety of legal tasks, such as:

  • Assisting in civil or criminal trial preparation,
  • Interviewing clients and witnesses,
  • Conducting legal research and investigation,
  • Preparing legal documents and correspondence,
  • Analyzing complex procedures and transactions,
  • Drafting legal pleadings and memoranda, and
  • Preparing articles of incorporation.

Paralegals are an important and integral part of the legal team. Your work as a paralegal allows the legal team to more effectively meet the needs of the client, and to more efficiently address the complex problems demanding legal expertise.

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as provided by law.

Program Statistics

95% Job Placement

Your Paralegal training at UHart will prepare you to enter the work force with confidence.

9:1 Faculty/Staff Ratio

Classes are small, by design, to encourage in depth learning and plenty of time for one-on-one attention.

90% Receive Financial Aid

UHart is committed to making your education approachable, doable, and affordable.

Enrollment Information

ADMISSION:

We encourage you to reach out and learn more about our Paralegal Degrees. Admission is accepted on a rolling basis for this online program. Beginning to end, UHart's Paralegal program will guide you through the process of applying and registering for courses.

Tuition:

UHart is committed to keeping your educational endeavors affordable. Learn more about tuition and financial aid

Courses:

The Paralegal Studies program is designed to deliver a well-rounded, hands-on education. You can read specifics about the department and its courses by visiting the course catalog.

This program is 100% online. Students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction. Students who enter a degree program may transfer legal specialty courses taken at prior institutions, in conjunction with the legal specialty transfer policy, and based on an evaluation by the Program Director.

Students who enter a degree program may transfer legal specialty courses taken at prior institutions, based upon an evaluation by the Program Director. Courses will be accepted if they are:

  • From an accredited college or university in the United States,
  • From an ABA-approved paralegal program, and
  • Are similar in scope and content to the courses in UHart’s Paralegal Studies Program.

Note: After matriculation in the associate’s or bachelor’s program, or enrollment in the Paralegal Certificate program, all required Paralegal Studies courses must be taken at the University of Hartford.

 

Meet the Team

Regina Graziani
Program Director
Paralegal Studies

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Sharron Dillon
Program Manager
Paralegal Studies

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ABA Advisory Board

The ABA requires each approved paralegal program to have an Advisory Board.  UHart’s Paralegal Studies Advisory Board serves in an advisory capacity and is the liaison between the Paralegal Program and the legal community, serving to advise the Program on shifts and trends in the legal community, as well as evaluating the Program’s curriculum and objectives, the needs of the legal community, and performance of graduates.

The Advisory Board plays an active role in student professional development, hosting and participating in student workshops such as resume review, LinkedIn profile development, interview skills, mock interviews, and business etiquette.

Current Students

The information below includes resources for current paralegal students at the University of Hartford. 

Overview

ABA REQUIREMENTS
  • Students perform "substantive legal work" (paralegal or attorney level work); and
  • Students work in an area that is considered "new learning" for the student.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR INTERNSHIPS AND WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?
  • Required for the bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies
  • Strongly recommended for both the associate's degree and Certificate
  • May take between 3 and 15 credits of internship. For each 3 credits students of internship, must complete 120 hours of work at the internship site and attend 2 one hour in-class sessions. Students can perform more than one internship experience. Students may also arrange an internship at their current job (as long as it constitutes "new learning").
  • Must have at least 60 college credits and have taken the following required courses: Introduction to the Legal System, Legal Research and Writing I, Ethics and Professional Responsibility for Paralegals, and the course in the content area in which they wish to do their internship.

Certificate students recognize the need for legal experience on their resumes. An internship is a way to strengthen their resumes and complement their current background.

Aside from completing the required number of hours at the internship site and in the classroom, students must also complete a number of assignments to be submitted to the Internship Supervisor.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS FOR STUDENTS CONSIDERING AN INTERNSHIP?
  • Meet with the Internship Supervisor to discuss areas of interest (type of law, legal setting, past career experience, etc.) and schedule of hours they are available.
  • Interview at potential internship site.
  • Develop syllabus and assignment list with Internship Supervisor.
  • For more information on the Internship Program, contact Sharron Dillon, Internship Supervisor, at sdillon@hartford.edu.
University of Hartford students and alumni are active in a number of legal organizations. Students are encouraged to participate in professional organizations; this participation continues after graduation. Students and alumni regularly participate in Connecticut Bar Association and Central Connecticut Paralegal Association activities. Faculty and program-alumni have served as Co-Chairs of the Paralegal Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.Program alumni frequently serve in leadership roles in CCPA. 

Paralegal Studies Department
860.768.5463
ABA Approved Paralegal Program

Students due to complete their program of study should consult with their advisor and submit this application.

Students should apply in:

  • June for a September completion
  • October for a December completion
  • February for a May completion.

Kellie Westenfeld
860.768.4373
westenfel@hartford.edu

Students due to complete their degree should consult with their advisor and complete a degree application. The degree application needs to be submitted, evaluated, and signed by Kellie Westenfeld, the school evaluator, then submitted to the Registrar's office. 

The deadline to submit your application to the Registrar's Office is posted on the Academic Calendar. Your application should be submitted to Kellie Westenfeld by email at westenfel@hartford.edu, by fax at 860.768.5160, or in person in the Computer Center (CC 231), at least two weeks before the Registrar's deadline to allow time for the evaluation. Generally, the deadlines are as follows:

  • June for a September completion
  • October for a December completion
  • February for a May completion

Contact Kellie Westenfeld at westenfel@hartford.edu with any questions.

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