Paralegal - FAQs | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a paralegal and what can I do with a paralegal certificate?
    The paralegal fills many roles.  The profession is broadly defined and encompasses a myriad of responsibilities in the legal community, business world, and elsewhere.  The ABA defines “legal assistant/paralegal” as “a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, government agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”  American Bar Association (1997).

    How can I apply for the Paralegal Program?
    The application form is available online.

    What factors are considered in the admission decision?
    The admission decision is based on all aspects of the application file.  Each component is important and given significant consideration in the decision.  We consider your work experience, undergraduate experience, references, and answers to the objective essays contained in the application.  If needed, the Assistant Dean of Graduate & Professional Law Programs may request a meeting with any applicant.

    Do I need a bachelor’s degree for your program?
    Yes.  We require all applicants to have a bachelor’s degree as a requirement of admission into the Paralegal Program.

    Will the program accept the transfer of credits?
    A student may transfer a maximum of 9 credit hours of legal specialty courses earned from an ABA approved program to the Paralegal program.

    My undergraduate performance doesn’t illustrate my potential.  How much will it hurt me? 
    Not everyone does well as an undergraduate.  The reasons vary.  Your undergraduate experience is only one component considered in the admission decision.  If your undergraduate GPA is below a 2.7, the Assistant Dean of Graduate & Professional Law Programs will consider a conditional admission.

    When will I know your admission decision?
    One of the advantages of a small university is that the admissions process is quick.  Once your application file is complete, we can usually make a decision in less than a week.

    Is financial aid available?
    Yes.  Financial aid is available for the Paralegal Program. You can contact our Financial Aid department at 614-236-6350, or by email at

    When can I start the Paralegal Program?
    The Paralegal Program starts new evening cohorts in the fall and spring semesters each year.  The Summer Immersion cohort starts and ends in the summer semester each year. Note: We must have a minimum of 5 students registered to go forward with the Summer Immersion Program.  We make the decision approximately 3 weeks before the scheduled Summer Immersion start.  If there is not a minimum class size, we will move your admission to the fall evening cohort.

    When are the Evening Program courses?
    Courses in the Evening Paralegal Program are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, and Saturdays from 9:00 am – noon. 

    What is the Summer Immersion course schedule?
    Courses in the Summer Immersion Program start in early May and run through mid-August.  The program is 14 weeks.  Classes are all day Monday through Friday for the first half of the program.  There are no classes on Fridays for the second half of the program.

    Does the program offer any electives?
    Yes, the program offers one elective each semester.  The typical elective schedule (subject to change) is Criminal Procedure in the fall, Intellectual Property in the spring, and Family Law in the summer.  A minimum of 5 students must register for an elective to hold the class.  Electives do not apply toward the 27 required credit hours.

    Will I be a “certified” paralegal after completing the program?
    No.  We provide a professional certificate to students who successfully complete the program.  Those who want to become a “certified” paralegal or obtain a “certification” as a paralegal must take additional steps through the Ohio State Bar Association or other national paralegal associations.

    With all the legal knowledge I will learn in the Paralegal Program, can I give legal advice at work or to friends, family, and others?
    No.  Only a licensed attorney may provide legal advice.  Anyone else doing so is committing the unauthorized practice of law. The program prepares you to work under the direct supervision of an attorney.  Successful completion of the Paralegal Program does not, however, prepare you to offer legal advice, provide legal services directly to the general public or engage in the practice of law.

    Can I schedule an appointment to talk more about the program? 
    Yes.  If you’d like to talk more about the Paralegal Program and the profession, please email Lisa M. Diem, Assistant Dean of Graduate & Professional Law Programs at  We will schedule a time that is convenient to your schedule.

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