To meet the growing demand for paralegals, William Woods University is offering Columbia area residents the opportunity to pursue a bachelor of science degree-completion program in paralegal studies.
An orientation will be held at 6 p. m. Aug. 25 at the Columbia site, 3100 Falling Leaf Court. Although pre-registration is preferred, walk-ins will be accepted. For more information, call 1-800-995-3199 or contact WWU by e-mail at GPS@williamwoods.edu.
The program is a 42-semester hour, 14-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,” Dr. Michael Westerfield, vice president of Graduate and Professional Studies, said.
In addition to the paralegal degree, Graduate and Professional Studies programs, include the ACCESS program of general education, an associate of arts degree in liberal studies, a bachelor of science in management (BSM) and a BSM with human resources emphasis.
Graduate programs include a master of business administration (MBA) and MBAs with accounting, agribusiness, health management or human resources emphasis, as well as a master of education (M.Ed.) in administration, curriculum/instruction or athletics/activities administration and a specialist of education (Ed.S.) in school administration and in curriculum leadership.
William Woods can tailor any of its programs for a particular business or community. More information about Graduate and Professional Studies is available on the university’s website at WilliamWoods.edu/evening.