About the program

The Paralegal Studies program at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is approved by the American Bar Association. After completing the program, you will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. The courses for this program can be found here: http://www.nvcc.edu/catalog/cat2016/academics/programs/programdetail.aspx?prog_id=3600&subprog_id=0&level=1.

Information about enrollment and admissions can be found here: http://www.nvcc.edu/admissions/index.html.  And, information about tuition payment can be found here: http://www.nvcc.edu/tuition/index.html.   As part of the enrollment and admissions process, you will furnish copies of your official transcripts to Student Services. At that time, a Counselor will let you know which of the courses taken at a previous college or university will transfer.

Generally those individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution will have all general education requirements satisfied, which means you would only need to take the legal specialty courses. Each semester, some courses are offered online, some are offered in a traditional classroom setting, and others are offered in a hybrid format. Courses that are taught in the hybrid format include both classroom meetings and significant online work which replaces some classroom meetings.

To be eligible to receive the AAS degree in Paralegal Studies, students must complete 25 percent (17 credits) of their coursework at NOVA. In addition, ABA guidelines regulate the number of courses we accept through transfer. Therefore, at least 50 percent of the legal specialty courses must be completed at NOVA and 10 of those credits must be taken in the traditional classroom setting.

Students must complete College Composition I (ENG 111) and Introduction to Law and the Paralegal (LGL 110) in the first semester. Of course, students may take additional courses during the same semester.

It is important for students to follow the sequencing plan when taking legal specialty courses. For example Legal Research is a prerequisite for Legal Writing; therefore, these courses may not be taken during the same semester. Students should meet with an advisor at least once per semester.

The length of time it takes to complete the program depends upon your schedule and the time you have available to take classes.  Students must register for courses before 11:59 p.m. on the day before the session begins.

Paralegals are prohibited by law from offering legal services directly to members of the public.