Paralegal Program at MCC Receives Approval of American Bar Association

Manchester, CT – March 6, 2014 . . . At its Midyear Meeting in February 2014, the American Bar Association House of Delegates, acting on the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Paralegals, granted reapproval to the Paralegal program at Manchester Community College. The term of approval is for a period of seven years, beginning February 2013 and ending February 2020.  The MCC Paralegal Program began in 1974, and it has been continuously approved by the ABA since 1984.

A paralegal is a person - qualified through education, training or work experience - who is employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity. The paralegal performs specifically delegated, substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals do not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

Approval by the American Bar Association means that the MCC Paralegal program meets stringent guidelines established by the ABA, evaluated through periodic reporting and site visits that examine the curriculum, library collection, faculty, student services, Advisory Committee, and information obtained from student, employer and graduate surveys.

According to Paralegal program coordinator, Attorney Mary Holland, “Because the paralegal profession is largely unregulated, employers look for other indications of qualifications for entry into the field. Graduation from an ABA-approved paralegal program is an important factor in securing paralegal employment.”

MCC’s Paralegal associate degree program includes specialized courses in the paralegal profession as well as related courses in business and liberal arts. An option in the program is a cooperative education/work experience course in which students gain practical experience in a legal setting while earning academic credit. The Paralegal certificate program is designed for students who have or will concurrently receive an educational associate or baccalaureate degree in a major other than paralegal or legal studies from an accredited institution. The certificate program provides them with the opportunity to enroll in a paralegal studies program that meets guidelines set by the American Bar Association.

Both the Paralegal degree and the Paralegal certificate are primarily evening programs of study, offering legal courses during the academic year. Many students work full-time while attending classes at night.

Students interested in learning more about the Paralegal program at MCC should plan on attending the college’s annual open house on Tuesday, March 25, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Great Path Academy Gymnasium. Preregistration is encouraged, but not required, at www.manchestercc.edu/openhouse.

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals has a 30-year history within the ABA. It mission is to improve the American system of justice by establishing ABA standards for the education of paralegals and by promoting attorneys' professional, effective and ethical utilization of paralegals. It develops and promotes policies relating to the education, employment, training and effective use of paralegals. The Standing Committee, through its Approval Committsion, serves as the body to set standards for paralegal education. The Standing Committee monitors trends in the field and recommends for approval and reapproval to the House of Delegates (the ABA's policy-making body) those paralegal training programs that have met the standards and guidelines set by the ABA for quality paralegal education.

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About MCC
Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The college offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. The main, park-like campus, which is easily accessible from I-84, is also the home of Great Path Academy, a middle college high school, serving grades 9-12. The college’s second location, the Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center, opened in downtown Manchester in 2012. In January 2014, MCC was named as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges, eligible to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.

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News Item Posted On: March 05, 2014
For Additional Information Contact: Charlene Tappan at 860-512-2912