Paralegal student standing by bookshelves containing law books


Are you intrigued by the law? If you love to research, read, and write and have an eye for details, a paralegal career may be a great fit for you.

A paralegal is a person qualified by education, training, or work experience who performs substantive legal work under the supervision of a lawyer. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Strong social and communication skills are highly valuable because paralegals frequently interact with attorneys, office staff, court personnel, and clients.

Paralegal education at Elgin Community College includes the study of major areas of law. Courses emphasize hands-on, practical applications that will prepare you to enter law-related occupations. You’ll use online legal research tools to prepare documents for court and business transactions.

Associate Degree Options

If you plan to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree and want to complete paralegal training, you may choose to complete a traditional transfer degree (Associate in Arts or Associate in Science) while working toward a paralegal certificate (See BVS below). Some additional coursework will be required for this option. Some four-year schools will accept an Associate of Applied Science in paralegal. Meet with your academic advisor to determine which associate degree meets your needs and develop an appropriate academic plan.

Basic Vocational Specialist (BVS) in Paralegal

If you already have an associate or bachelor’s degree, you may consider a BVS certificate. Full-time BVS students may be able to complete the program in one year. Your official transcripts of the completed bachelor’s degree, AA, or AS degree must be provided to the college before the paralegal BVS certificate will be awarded.

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Program Highlights

Prepare for Immediate Employment

Associate of Applied Science

Basic Certificate

Planning to Transfer

Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer, or dual admissions with a university by visiting University Transfer & Partnerships.