Lawyers need paralegals, also called legal assistants, to help them provide legal services to clients. Paralegals can assist in the courtroom, perform legal research, assist with mergers and acquisitions, draft wills and contracts, interview clients and witnesses, and identify and manage documents critical to litigation*.
A degree or certificate in paralegal studies from Lakeland provides you with the practical skills needed to enter the legal profession as a paralegal. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:
Enter the legal profession as a paralegal.
Prepare legal documents.
Perform legal research.
Apply principles of legal ethics.
Work as a member of a legal team.
Approved by the American Bar Association, Lakeland's paralegal program provides you with the educational credential you need to be eligible for the Ohio State Bar Association Paralegal Certification. Classes are offered at convenient times to fit your schedule. Some classes are offered online.
*Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law. Ohio prohibits the practice of law by non-lawyers.
"The paralegal program helped me to gain a better understanding of the different areas of law, documents and legal principles within the various legal disciplines. I know the skills I've learned as a result will come in handy throughout my career. The staff teaching this program have excellent professional knowledge and teaching skills. They were encouraging, reassuring and supportive, but not shy to let you know what they were looking for in response. i.e., whether more detail is needed or why your answer is incorrect. The program gives a broad overview of various areas of law.
I highly recommend obtaining an internship at a firm that focuses on the area(s) of law you are most interested in. I felt that being hands-on was the greatest learning experience. I completed this program in 2022 with an Associate of Applied Business Degree in Paralegal Studies. I am currently working for Moreland Management Co. as an administrator in legal and investments."
Lori Kilpeck – attorney at law, partner and co-chair of the Trusts and Estate Practice Group at Brouse McDowell, LPA
"I earned an Associate of Applied Business Degree in Paralegal Studies from Lakeland, a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning from Cleveland State, and received my Juris doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. I am a partner and co-chair of the Trusts and Estate Practice Group at Brouse McDowell, LPA.
I received practical hands-on experience from Lakeland. The curriculum provides the opportunity through legal research and writing, internships and classes in each area of law to provide students with the skills, knowledge and education to be able to draft motions, briefs and analyze cases/matters. I was able to use my experience from these classes and internships which greatly helped me in law school, law clerking and as a young attorney. Instead of only having "book" knowledge, I also had actual experience that I was able to apply as a law student, law clerk and attorney. Additionally, the paralegal program provided me with the foundation to be successful in law school and as an attorney. Finally, it made my first year of law school much easier."
Kailey Papo – paralegal at Lake County Public Defender's Office
"Currently, I am a paralegal with the Lake County Public Defender's Office. In addition to my paralegal duties, I am the treatment intake coordinator, assist with expungements, and coordinate the specialty courts in Lake County such as the drug court, mental health court and veteran's court. The possibilities of tasks you can take on with a paralegal degree are immense.
Lakeland's paralegal program as a whole prepped me for everything I needed to know before starting my career, from the basics of etiquette to critical thinking and the application of legal principles. Each course focuses not only on learning the material, but learning skills such as time management, organization, prioritizing, networking and teamwork. These are all very important skills that I utilize daily. The research and writing courses were very important as I use Westlaw on a daily basis. From that course, I learned how to navigate not only Westlaw, but all search engines, which is vital when you're a paralegal. The professors are members of the legal community and able to offer insightful and factual circumstances to help students understand the legal world. I am grateful everyday for this program as it molded me into who I am today."
Learn more about Lakeland's Paralegal Program from our faculty and students in the videos below!