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American Bar Association Approves EFSC Paralegal Program

February 16, 2017 - Following a stringent review process, the American Bar Association has approved the Paralegal Studies Program at Eastern Florida State College, creating a strong career path for students into the field.

Paralegal classroom with instructor
Dr. Melissa Secrist, an attorney and the program manager for EFSC's Paralegal Associate in Science program, instructs students at the Public Safety Institute where students also spend time in a mock courtroom setting as part of their education.

The program is just the 10th in Florida to gain ABA approval after a review in which it met strict standards for a well-rounded education and meeting the needs of the local legal community.

“We’re committed to setting our students up for success and preparing them for the realities of the legal profession, which is why the ABA approval of our program is so important” said Dr. Melissa Secrist, EFSC’s Paralegal Program manager.

“They learn the paralegal skills necessary to work in the legal field, and hopefully are better positioned for more job opportunities and the possibility of higher incomes.”

Currently, 158 students are enrolled in the Eastern Florida program, which is based in the Public Safety Institute on the Melbourne campus.

Graduates earn an Associate in Science Degree after completing courses in procedural and substantive law, practical paralegal skills and general education.

The program culminates with a semester-long internship where students bridge the gap between classroom learning and real world legal experience.

In the fall 2016 semester, 70 percent of the interns were offered employment during their internship.

For more information on the program, visit