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Online Associate of Science in
Paralegal Studies

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Complete an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies at Etown

Elizabethtown College's Associate of Science (A.S.) in Paralegal Studies offered through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS) is crafted to provide aspiring paralegals and legal assistants with options for obtaining the skills and knowledge needed to serve the community with integrity and dedication. This innovative program is built on a stackable credential model, developed in collaboration with the Lancaster Bar Association. Online courses, including some with synchronous components offer a dynamic learning experience. Graduates who complete the associate degree will emerge with proficiency in legal research and writing, a deep understanding of ethical standards, and practical skills in utilizing technology within legal settings.

Program Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of key legal concepts, principles, and procedures across various legal practice areas covered in the program.
  • Develop advanced legal research and analytical skills, enabling the ability to locate, interpret, and apply relevant legal authorities to specific cases and scenarios.
  • Exhibit proficiency in legal writing and communication, including the drafting of legal documents, memoranda, and correspondence with clarity, accuracy, and adherence to professional standards.
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to ethical and professional conduct in the legal field, understanding the importance of confidentiality, integrity, and maintaining high standards of professionalism.
  • Apply legal knowledge and skills in practical scenarios, including drafting legal documents, participating in simulated legal proceedings, and effectively collaborating with legal professionals.
  • Master the use of technology tools relevant to legal practice, including legal research databases, case management systems, and other software essential for paralegal work, while gaining a strong foundation in utilizing AI-powered legal research and analysis tools.
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Program Format

with some synchronous components


credits required

to graduate

with an associate degree


of undergraduate students

were satisfied or very satisfied

with their experience


of undergraduate students

experienced enhanced

job performance

Career Opportunities in Paralegal Studies

The legal field is dynamic and ever-evolving, with a growing demand for well-trained paralegals who can support legal teams with expertise, efficiency, and ethical standards. The A.S. in Paralegal Studies at Etown is designed to prepare students for a variety of roles, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and technological proficiency required in today's legal environments. The program capitalizes on the experiences of Central Pennsylvania's top legal experts and addresses cutting-edge legal issues like Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) and Artificial Intelligence.

The Paralegal Fundamentals Certificate provides students with the fundamental knowledge, research, and communication skills needed to pursue a future career as a paralegal.

The Advanced Paralegal Studies Certificate extends the knowledge gained from the Paralegal Fundamentals Certificate by immersing students in advanced Civil Litigation principles, Family Law dynamics, Personal Injury Law intricacies, and Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Elder Law complexities. This comprehensive certificate equips aspiring paralegals with the specialized knowledge and practical skills to assist attorneys effectively in these specialized legal domains.

The Business Foundations for Paralegals Certificate aims to give prospective paralegals a comprehensive grasp of business and corporate law principles. Covered topics encompass real estate law, business and tax law, intellectual property rights including NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness), artificial intelligence, corporate governance, technology law, and employment regulations. Through this program, students gain essential insights into the legal frameworks governing various aspects of business operations, enabling them to provide valuable support to legal practitioners in diverse corporate environments.

Understand Tuition Costs and Explore Scholarship Opportunities

The A.S. in Paralegal Studies is priced at $400 per credit. Scholarships and financial aid are available to make your Etown SGPS education even more affordable. Below are just a few of the scholarships and programs available to students:

  • Alumni Scholarship: 15% tuition discount, available to Elizabethtown College alumni.
  • Affinity Partner Scholarship: 15% discount, offered to employees of organizations partnered with Etown SGPS.
  • Jay Fellowship Referral Program: This is a referral program that benefits both current students/alumni and prospective students. When a student or alum refers a new student, both the referrer and the referred student receive a complimentary credit for their program of interest.

Tuition and fees are reviewed and subject to change annually.

Tuition & Aid 

Associate Paralegal Studies Requirements

The Paralegal Studies program at Elizabethtown College requires a total of 64 credits, including a practical 1-credit internship. Students are encouraged to begin with the foundational undergraduate certificate in Paralegal Fundamentals. Progressing further, they are presented with two additional certification options for further specialization. By choosing to complete all three certifications, along with the required 1-credit internship, students are then poised to be awarded an Associate degree.

Courses are delivered in an online format with some synchronous components, following a 3-credit model with each course spanning 5 weeks. The entire associate program can be completed within 75 weeks.

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Academic Calendar 

Paralegal Fundamentals Certificate (21 credits)

The foundational course of the program will provide students with an overview of the legal system, the various roles, ethics and professional responsibility, legal technology and case management. Students will understand important ethical considerations such as confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and maintaining the integrity of the legal profession.

Wills, Trusts, Estates, & Elder Law I covers essential topics such as estate planning, guardianships, estate tax, probate preparation, social security and government benefits, and asset protection.

Legal Research and Writing I will prepare future paralegals with the research, technical, and writing skills needed to prepare legal documents, conduct legal research, and communicate effectively in the legal profession.

Civil Litigation I will provide an overview of the civil litigation process, the different types of civil cases, the parties involved, and the role of the paralegal.

Criminal Law will analyze the legal system's role in defining, prosecuting, and punishing crimes. Students will learn important concepts about the elements of crimes, different defenses, the burden of proof, and the criminal process.

Required Core Courses:

  • Foundations of Accelerated Learning (3 credits)
  • Writing & Language (3 credits)

Advanced Paralegal Studies Certificate (21 credits)

Building on the concepts learned in Civil Litigation I, this course further extends the knowledge base by delving into the rules and procedures governing civil lawsuits,  the rules of evidence, and the discovery and trial process.

Legal Research and Writing II will expand on concepts learned in Legal Research and Writing I. The course will take a deeper dive into the research, technical, and writing skills needed to prepare legal documents, conduct legal research, and communicate effectively in the legal profession.

The following course expands on concepts learned in Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Elder Law I. The course will take a deeper dive into estate planning, guardianships, estate tax, probate preparation, social security and government benefits, and asset protection.

Family Law explores the intricate world of family law, providing paralegals with the knowledge and skills to assist attorneys in handling a wide range of family law matters. Participants will gain an in-depth understanding of the legal principles and procedures governing divorce, separation, child custody, child support, alimony, and adoption.

Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Law will provide an in-depth understanding of the legal principles and procedures governing workers' compensation claims, personal injury lawsuits, and disability benefits.

Required Core Courses:

  • Applied Mathematics or Statistics & Probability
  • Area of Understanding (3 credits)

Business Foundations for Paralegals Certificate (21 credits)

Real Estate Law provides a comprehensive understanding of the legal principles and procedures involved in real estate transactions, important real estate documents, tenant rights, eviction and foreclosure procedures, and how to research real estate law using a variety of sources.

Business and Tax Law provides a comprehensive understanding of business and tax law, contract formation, and tax procedure, and the nuanced aspects of various business structures. This course equips students with the essential legal research, writing, and communication skills necessary to support business attorneys and tax professionals.

The following course will introduce students to the basics of intellectual property and NIL (name, image, likeness) law. The course will discuss the different types of intellectual property, the requirements for protection, and practical aspects of intellectual property and NIL law.

Corporate and Tech Law provides an in-depth exploration of the legal principles governing corporate and technology transactions, equipping paralegals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively assist attorneys in these dynamic areas of law. Special focus will be given to the concept of Artificial Intelligence.

Employment law will equip paralegals with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex legal landscape governing the workplace. Students will gain a thorough understanding of federal and state employment laws, including those related to hiring, discrimination, wages and hours, workplace safety, and employee benefits.

Required Core Courses:

  • Area of Understanding (6 credits)

Application Requirements & Process

To enter either an associate or bachelor's program, you will need to:

  • Have graduated from high school or earned a GED.
  • Have writing ability sufficient for success in an accelerated academic program. You will be asked to write an essay that demonstrates your ability.
  • Have the time to devote to your coursework. Course requirements in a five-week accelerated class can be as high as 20 hours per week.
  • Successful completion of some college coursework is strongly suggested prior to entering an accelerated program, but it is not required.

  •  Contact or meet with our admissions staff for guidance and to find out more information.
  •  Complete the undergraduate application via the online portal.
    • Submit official transcripts (college or high school/GED if no college coursework), and a current resume.
    • Submit a double-spaced essay adhering to English usage standards, addressing your understanding of a rigorous accelerated program, your strategy for managing time demands, and your personal and professional goals.
  •  After submitting your application, the SGPS Team will review it and make an admissions decision.
  •  If accepted, you will receive an initial offer letter via the applicant portal, which you must accept to proceed with matriculation.
  •  If there are any questions or concerns, the admissions team will contact you for further discussion.

Elizabethtown College