Associate in Science (A.S.) in Paralegal/Legal Assisting

Program Goal:

To educate paralegals with an effective balance of legal knowledge and practical skills. To prepare the student for work in the legal profession upon graduation and to sit for the National Legal Assistant Certification Exam. This program is considered to be substantially in compliance with ABA guidelines for paralegal education by the American Association for Paralegal Education.
Program Entrance Requirements 

To be admitted to the Legal Assisting Degree Program, a student must have: 

  1. A standard high school diploma.
  2. Achieved a level of mathematics proficiency which qualifies the student for entry into MAC 1033 or higher, as demonstrated by the standard placement criteria currently in use at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF);
  3. Achieved a level of English and reading proficiency which qualifies the student for entry into ENC 1101 or higher, as demonstrated by the standard placement criteria currently in use at SCF; and
  4. Successfully completed Introduction to Legal Systems (PLA 1003) with a grade of "C" or better.
Program Manager:

Suzanne Bechtol
SCF Bradenton
Office Phone: 941-752-5359

General Academic Courses**

Students may take these courses at any time during their program of study.



Semester Hours

ENC 1101** Written Communication I
MAT 1033+** Intermediate Algebra  OR   
QMB 1001+** Business Mathematics 3
POS 1041 American Government


CGS 1000** Computer Information Systems
SPC 1608 Fundamentals of Speech Comm. OR  
SPC 1300 Interpersonal Communication
Behav. Sci.**   3

 Program Core Courses**

 Please consult the courses description section of the catalog for any prerequisites.

The Legal Assisting Program has a recommended sequence that includes both general and specialized program courses.



Semester Hours

PLA 1003 Intro to Legal Systems
PLA 2001 General Law
PLA 2800 Intro to Family Law


PLA 2763 Law Office Management
PLA 2303 Criminal Law & Procedures
PLA 1104 Legal Research and Writing I
PLA 2433 Corporations & Business Organizations


PLA 2600 Wills, Trusts & Probate Administration 3
PLA 2732 Law Office Computer Applications 3
PLA 1610 Real Property Law & Transactions 3
PLA 2203 Civil Litigation I 3
PLA 2223 Civil Litigation II 3
PLA 2933 Employment Skills for Legal Environments 1
PLA 1949 Career Decision Work Experience 3
Electives Choose one from PLA 2114, 2612, 2949, 2950, ACG 2021C, APA 1111,   BSC 2085C, BUL 2131, CCJ 1600, CCJ 2500, CJT 2100, GEB 2210, HSC 2531, SOP 1602 3

Recommended Sequence

Many students are working or have family obligations which cause them to stretch their A.S. to additional semesters. 

Semester I Semester II Semester III Semester IV
PLA 1003 - Introduction to Legal Systems PLA 2001 - General Law PLA 1104 - Legal Research and Writing I Complete General Academic Courses
and and and and
Choose 3 or 4 General Academic Courses. Choose 2 or 3 General Academic Courses and/or additional Level II** Paralegal Courses. Choose 1 or 2 General Academic Courses and/or additional Level III** Paralegal Courses. Complete Level III and/or Level IV** Paralegal Courses.


 ** A grade of "C" or better must be attained for each core course and the courses meeting the general education requirements for the degree.

Articulated credit from a technical institute/secondary school may be applicable. Contact the SCF director of career and technical education for more information.

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