William Woods Offers Paralegal Degree-Completion Program

To meet the growing demand for paralegals, William Woods University is offering Jefferson City area residents the opportunity to pursue a bachelor of science degree-completion program in paralegal studies.

An orientation for the program will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 at the William Woods facility in Jefferson City, 3405 West Truman Blvd.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the university’s Graduate and Adult Studies office prior to then, but walk-ins will be accepted. Call 1-800-995-3199 or contact WWU by e-mail at cgas@williamwoods.edu.

The program is a 48-semester hour, 16-course sequence designed for the working professional interested in entering the legal profession with a baccalaureate in paralegal studies. Admission requirements include the completion of 50-60 semester credit hours and at least two years of work experience.

William Woods University has been educating paralegals for more than 25 years on its main campus in Fulton. Peggy Nickerson, coordinator of the paralegal studies program, cites U.S. Department of Labor statistics as one of the reasons to expand the program. According to the department’s report, the paralegal profession remains a top 10 growth career for the 21st century.

“As the number and complexity of lawsuits continues to grow, so will the need for paralegals,” Nickerson says.

A degree in paralegal studies allows a person to function as a paralegal or legal assistant (the terms are often interchangeable). Paralegals are members of the professional legal staff (not the clerical staff) who are employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who perform specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.

A paralegal can work in all types of legal environments, including law offices, governmental agencies, financial institutions, health organizations, corporations, insurance companies, courts and both prosecutor and defenders’ offices.

The paralegal degree-completion program “is representative of the innovative, professions-oriented programs of study for which William Woods is noted,” Betty R. Tutt, vice president and academic dean, said.

In addition to the paralegal degree, William Woods offers several other Graduate and Adult Studies programs, including an associate of arts degree in liberal studies, the ACCESS program of general education, a bachelor of science in computer and information management, a B.S. in management (BSM), a BSM with human resources emphasis and a B.S. in marketing.

Graduate programs include a master of business administration (MBA), MBAs with accounting, health management or human resources emphasis, a master of education (M.Ed.) in administration, curriculum/instruction or athletics/activities administration and a specialist of education in school administration or instructional leadership.

William Woods can tailor any of its programs for a particular business or community. More information is available on the William Woods website at www.williamwoods.edu.