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This Certificate of Achievement prepares students who already have a bachelor’s degree for entry-level occupations in law offices of all sizes and specialties, including private law firms, government agencies, the court system, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.  Students pursuing the MCC Legal Studies – Paralegal Accelerated Certificate of Achievement can fulfill elective requirements and focus on an area of concentration by selecting from one of the four below six-course Career Certificates:

  • Immigration Law Specialist: The MCC Immigration Law Career Certificate prepares students for careers in non-governmental organizations, local and federal government agencies, private and public institutions and businesses. Federal regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 1292.1(a)(4) allow non-attorney “Accredited Representatives” to represent aliens before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which includes the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This career certificate is not an option for the education of paralegals.
  • Legal Specialist: The MCC Legal Specialist Career Certificate prepares students for various careers in the legal community by providing a broad understanding of the legal profession through the completion of various courses focused on business law, litigation, and/or immigration law. This program provides students with an opportunity to explore multiple topical areas while still earning an award and providing a pathway toward a Certificate of Achievement and/or an Associate Degree.
  • Litigation Specialist: The MCC Litigation Specialist Career Certificate prepares students for careers in law specific to litigation. Students pursuing the MCC Litigation Specialist Career Certificate learn about the roles and functions of litigation professionals who provided support to attorneys throughout the litigation process. Job functions include conducting investigations; participating in pre-trial matters through documents and functions such as pleadings, motions, evidence, discovery, hearings, and depositions; and facilitating alternative dispute resolution, settlements, trials, appeals, and other post-trial matters.
  • Transactional Law Specialist: The MCC Transactional Law Specialist Career Certificate prepares students for careers in law specific to business or transactional law matters. Students pursuing the MCC Transactional Specialist Career Certificate learn about the roles and functions of transactional law professionals who provide support to attorneys to resolve disputes out of court. Job functions include researching, drafting contracts and real estate closing documents; working on matters involving deal negotiation between parties (i.e., mergers and acquisitions of companies, financing agreements, and sales of company divisions); assisting with matters of corporate governance; helping with corporate oriented work (i.e., securities filings, UCC matters, due diligence review, etc.); and otherwise assisting with matters that bring people and businesses together.

Degrees & Certificates Offered

Certificate of Achievement:


For current information regarding income and careers in legal occupations, see the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Examine the role of a paralegal and the knowledge and skills required of a paralegal professional.
  • Create a professional pathway plan and pursue a career as a paralegal.
  • Evaluate and apply ethical standards of the legal profession.
  • Demonstrate writing proficiency and competency in oral communication.
  • Apply quantitative and analytical proficiency needed in a legal environment.
  • Utilize technology tools used in legal offices to conduct research and complete other tasks.
  • Organize case files and other records.
  • Apply legal concepts to factual situations.
  • Draft legal documents.

To enroll in this accelerated certificate, students must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a college/university and submit a transcript to the MCC Records Office. Students are required to take at least 13.5 quarter credit hours of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction. Formal application to the program is offered and completed by earning a C or better in LAWS 1101. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Legal specialty courses completed at another college may only be transferred if they are from an ABA-approved program with substantially the same content, are for the same or more earned credit hours, and earned a grade of C or better. Transfer credit is not available by course challenge, course examination, or course portfolio. To request transfer of credit, students must request that original transcripts be submitted by the college or university directly to the MCC Records Office. The Records Office staff will then refer any legal specialty courses to the Academic Dean for determination of acceptability for transfer. No more than 9.0 quarter credit hours of legal specialty credit may be awarded by transfer.

The Legal Studies – Paralegal Accelerated Certificate is designed specifically for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and therefore is seen as a terminal curriculum pathway at MCC to create a professional pathway to pursue a career as a paralegal.

For more information contact:

Sherman Willis
J.D., B.A., RICP®, Licensed Insurance Agent - Nebraska and Iowa
Business Area Division Coordinator | Law/Insurance Instructor
MCC Sarpy Center | (531) 622-3832

Academic Focus Area (AFA) Community & Human Services

Associate in Applied Science: Legal Studies - Paralegal and Legal Studies
Paralegal Accelerated Certificate of Achievement

American BAR Association - ABA Approved