Paralegal A.S. Degree: Frequently Asked Questions  

Accordion FAQ Table

Question 1:  What does it mean that the EFSC Paralegal Studies Program is ABA approved?

ABA approval ensures that our program complies with the high academic standards and strict requirements set forth by the ABA for a quality, well-rounded paralegal education that also meets the needs of the local legal community. Attorneys, paralegals, legal administrators, employers and recruiters all respect the ABA and its stringent guidelines for an occupationally competent paralegal education. If you have any questions about the approval process, visit the American Bar Association website at www.americanbar.org

Question 2:  What is a paralegal?

Definition of paralegal:
According to Rule 20-2.1(a) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar (a) Paralegal or Legal Assistant: A paralegal or legal assistant is a person qualified by education, training, or work experience, who works under the direction and supervision of a member of The Florida Bar and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a member of The Florida Bar is responsible.

Question 3:  Where do paralegals work?

Paralegals work in traditional private law firms, agencies of the state and national government, offices for criminal prosecution and criminal defense, and the legal departments of large corporations and corporations involved in banking, insurance, real estate and technology.

Question 4:  What type of degree will I earn if I complete the EFSC paralegal studies degree program?

Upon successful completion of the Paralegal Studies Program students will be awarded an Associate in Science degree in Paralegal Studies from Eastern Florida State College.

Question 5:  Is there an online paralegal studies degree option?

No. Students cannot earn a paralegal studies degree online at EFSC. 

Question 6:  Does the program award credit for legal specialty courses through course challenge, examination or portfolio?  

No. The Paralegal Studies Program does not award credit for legal specialty courses through course challenge, examination or portfolio.

Question 7:  Can I take a course as an independent study?

No. The EFSC Paralegal Studies Program does not permit taking a legal specialty course as an independent study.

Question 8:  What if I am interested in law school?

A paralegal degree is an excellent springboard for further educational and career goals in the legal field. Not only will a paralegal degree give you a head start for a law school curriculum, it puts you in a position to potentially work your way through law school.

Question 9:  How will a criminal record impact my ability to complete the program and employability?

Record of criminal conviction: Most public service agencies and some law firms require students to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement in legal departments for internships and employment. Internship placement and employment may be denied based on unsatisfactory drug screen results and criminal records.

Question 10:  Will any of my previous college courses transfer to this program?

Acceptance of transfer courses into the Paralegal Studies Program is within the sole discretion of Eastern Florida State College. There are different criteria for transfer of general education courses and transfer of Paralegal Studies legal specialty courses, major courses and technical elective courses. At least 25% of the total credits for the degree must be earned at EFSC of which a minimum of 12 credit hours must be Paralegal Studies major courses. The following information is not meant to substitute for consulting with the Paralegal Studies Program Manager, Paralegal Studies Program Specialist and the EFSC Registrar.

Click to view requirements for transfer of general education courses from other institutions.

Transfer of all legal specialty courses, major courses and technical elective courses from other institutions must be reviewed and approved by the Paralegal Studies Program Manager, in addition to the college award of transfer credit process. Note: transfer of legal specialty courses from a non-ABA approved program is limited to six credits taken in traditional format (in a classroom).

Students must forward official transcripts to the EFSC Admissions Office and the Paralegal Studies Department for evaluation. Further information may be required. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the Paralegal Studies Program Manager with any requested information and material for transfer evaluation, which may include but is not limited to course syllabus, course description, instructor credentials and textbooks. Under no circumstances is it the responsibility of the Program Manager or other EFSC staff to contact the previous institution or previous instructor in making a transfer acceptance decision.