2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Feb 27, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Paralegal - Associate of Technical Arts Degree

Program Description  The Paralegal Associate of Technical Arts (ATA) Degree program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), which demonstrates a paralegal program’s high educational standards and consistency and is preferred by many legal employers nationwide. The ABA defines a paralegal as a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by an attorney, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity, and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which an attorney is responsible. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

The Paralegal Associate of Technical Arts Degree program is a job-training degree designed for students who intend to pursue immediate employment as a paralegal upon graduation. Students pursuing this degree have not earned a four-year baccalaureate degree (BA), nor do they intend to earn one in the future. Graduates from this program will receive an ABA-approved professional degree recognizing their achievement in specialized paralegal training. This degree is not intended to transfer to a four-year college or university, although many courses may still transfer. The Paralegal Associate of Technical Arts Degree requires the successful completion of a minimum of 93 credits, as outlined.

Advising Note This program requirement sheet is not a substitute for meeting with an advisor. Due to the complex requirements of this degree, all students seeking this degree must meet with a paralegal academic or faculty advisor to design their educational plan as early in the program as possible. Meeting the requirements to graduate with an Edmonds College degree is ultimately the responsibility of the student. 

General Education Requirements (20 credits)

*See Program Notes

Communication Skills (10 credits)

OUTCOME  Communicate and interact effectively through a variety of methods appropriate to audience, context, purpose, and field/discipline.

Human Relations Skills (5 credits )

OUTCOME  Act responsibly in applying professional and academic standards associated with success in educational, workplace, community, and group settings. 

Quantitative Analysis/Symbolic Reasoning Skills (5 credits)

OUTCOME  Reason clearly using academic or professional modes of inquiry; using quantitative or symbolic reasoning; and/or using other discipline/field specific methods to explore and create ideas; identify information needs; process, evaluate, and use information; and recognize, analyze, and solve problems.

Cultural Diversity Skills

OUTCOME  Explore and apply multiple perspectives in order to examine cultural differences and influences; maintain effective professional/working relationships; and/or interact effectively in multicultural settings.

Cultural Diversity Course List  

____ Cultural Diversity (CD) Requirement met

Additional Requirements (15 credits)

Program Requirements (25 credits)


  1. Apply the analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills needed to perform substantive paralegal work under the direction of a licensed attorney.
  2. Understand the state and federal court systems, as well as civil litigation processes from pretrial through trial and appeal.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to conduct effective legal research using both online legal research platforms and hardbound volumes, including the preparation of court-approved legal citations.  
  4. Identify effective strategies to organize and perform legal writing projects, including the drafting of legal correspondences, legal memoranda, transactional documents, and litigation documents in a professional format, style, and tone.
  5. Demonstrate effective oral communication skills for the workplace, including the ability to work collaboratively with clients, co-workers, and other professionals of diverse backgrounds.
  6. Apply the legal technology skills required to adequately manage, produce, review, analyze, and prepare legal documents, including an understanding of electronic discovery.
  7. Identify the ethical and professional responsibility concerns applicable to paralegals and attorneys, and the role of paralegals in the delivery of legal services to the public.
  8. Career Management: Demonstrate the ability to research employment opportunities, prepare an effective employment package, and present oneself positively in a job interview.

*See Program Notes

Career and College Success (3 credits)

OUTCOME  Develop professional and academic skills and strategies for career and college success.

____Career and College Success Requirement met

  • 3.0 Credits
  • Note  The Career and College Success course should be completed within the first two quarters. Students who transfer in 30 or more college-level credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher may be exempt from taking the Career and College Success course. See a Paralegal faculty advisor to determine whether you may substitute three-credits of legal electives in place of LEGAL 100.

Program Notes

The program code for this degree is LAPPAAPT. For financial aid, academic advising, and other reasons, students should work with their advisor to ensure that this code is properly recorded on their academic record.

In accordance with Washington Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 28, only a licensed attorney or a limited license legal technician may counsel others as to their legal rights or responsibilities. Paralegals (non-attorney assistants) act under the supervision of an attorney in compliance with Washington Rule of Professional Conduct (RPC) 5.3 and Washington General Rule (GR) 24.

Remote Pathway To increase the likelihood of student success, taking traditional on-campus courses is advisable whenever possible. It is also possible to complete this program remotely. This remote pathway requires careful advanced planning with a paralegal faculty or academic advisor.

Grade Requirements Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all college-level courses to graduate. Additionally, students must earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in each of the Required Legal Courses:  LEGAL 200, LEGAL 205, LEGAL 210, LEGAL 228, and LEGAL 240; otherwise, the course must be repeated until a minimum grade of 2.0 is earned. A higher course grade replaces a lower course grade for purposes of calculating cumulative grade point average.

Face-to-Face Instruction Requirement The ABA Guidelines require students to complete at least 14 legal credits through live instruction. Face-to-face instruction includes: (1) courses taught through traditional on-campus instruction; (2) online instruction where there is real-time interaction; or (3) hybrid instruction with only the live instruction hours counting towards the 14-credit face-to-face instruction requirement. A five-credit hybrid course counts as four face-to-face instruction credits; a three-credit hybrid course counts as two face-to-face instruction credits; and a two-credit hybrid course counts as one face-to-face instruction credit. Online courses that have no required meeting time do not count toward this requirement, nor do LEGAL 291, LEGAL 299, or one-credit hybrid courses. The face-to-face instruction requirement will be verified prior to graduation. It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to meet this requirement.

College and Career Success If LEGAL 100 is unavailable in a given quarter, students may complete this requirement by taking CCS 100 - Career and College Success: Liberal Arts, or by getting approval from a Paralegal faculty advisor to take a comparable College and Career Success course.

Technology Skills Requirement The ABA Guidelines require that students demonstrate appropriate technology skills prior to graduating from this program. This requirement is met by completing LEGAL 228 with a minimum grade of 2.0. Alternatively, if a student believes they have extensive and current legal technology experience, they may submit a “Technology Requirement Waiver and Course Substitution” form to their Paralegal faculty advisor for approval. This form requires the student to demonstrate that their legal technology experience adequately aligns with the course objectives for LEGAL 228. If approved, the student may substitute five additional legal elective credits for LEGAL 228. 

Legal Internships Students are encouraged to take LEGAL 291 (Legal Internship) as a legal elective. Students will earn one credit for every 30 hours of paralegal work completed during the quarter. Paralegal work performed before or after the quarter does not count towards this requirement. Students should communicate with a paralegal faculty advisor 4-6 weeks before the start of the quarter to receive an internship packet, support on locating an internship, and other course information. It is important that students register for the correct number of credits they intend to complete (1.0-5.0 credits). Students may take LEGAL 291 in multiple quarters so long as the total number of LEGAL 291 credits does not exceed five. This class meets two times only; students are expected to attend both classes to receive credit.

Legal Electives Note A maximum of five legal credits may be earned in each of the following classes: LEGAL 291, LEGAL 296 and LEGAL 299. The sum of all credits from these courses may not exceed 10 credits.

Transfer of Credits  

  • General Education Credits General Education credits will transfer from any accredited college or university to satisfy some or all of the 30 credits of General Education required for this program. An associate of arts/sciences transfer degree (DTA) will satisfy all General Education requirements, including ENGL& 101;
  • Legal Credits Up to 20 legal credits may be transferred into this program with written approval of a Paralegal faculty advisor, including by email. The transfer of legal credits must be from an ABA-approved paralegal program established at the time the credits were earned; have a minimum grade of 2.0; and be no older than 10 years from the date of completion, with the exception of LEGAL 228 and LEGAL 282 which must be no older than five years from the date of completion. In addition, because LEGAL 205 and LEGAL 210 are state-specific courses, they may only be transferred from an ABA-approved paralegal program located in Washington State. 
  • Transcript Evaluation Request for evaluation of transfer of credits may be completed in the GATE system and should be done during the student’s first quarter. See an advisor if you have any questions about the transfer of credits. If prompted by the previous college or university’s registrar, use the following digital and physical mailing addresses:

Edmonds College
ATTN: Credentials
20000 68th Ave West
Lynnwood, WA 98036

The advisor for this program is:
Cathy Dominguez | cathy.dominguez@edmonds.edu | 425.640.1242

The faculty advisors for this program are:
Scott Haddock, JD | scott.haddock@edmonds.edu | 425.640.1185
Theresa Pouley, JD | theresa.pouley@edmonds.edu | 425.640.1688
Ted Chen, JD | edward.chen@edmonds.edu | 425.640.1552

Program Website: Paralegal Program | edmonds.edu/legal

Associate of Technical Arts General Information

Program of Study Outcomes Edmonds College’s four General Education Outcomes­ (Communicate, Act Responsibly, Reason, and Explore) are promoted throughout the college’s programs. Instructional programs of 45 credits or more foster learning in all four General Education Outcomes.

Student achievement is assessed in the general and program specific outcomes via the courses and course objectives that align with those outcomes. More information about program outcomes and course objectives can be found on the Using Program Requirement Sheets  page.

Credit/Grade Requirements A minimum of 30 credits or one-third of the required college-level (100-level or above) credits, whichever is less, must be earned at Edmonds College. Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all college level courses.

Students Are Advised To:

  • Plan your schedule several quarters in advance in order to accommodate courses that are offered only once or twice a year;
  • Review the college catalog for required course prerequisites and include these in schedule planning;
  • Communicate with an academic advisor and/or a faculty advisor; and
  • At least three quarters before you plan to graduate, contact any college(s) where you have earned credits and have your official transcript(s) sent to Edmonds College. Then, submit an Evaluation Request - Transfer Credits Form (available in Enrollment Services) to activate the process of transferring credits to Edmonds College.   

Graduation Application A completed Graduation Application form must be submitted online by the 10th day of the quarter in which the student expects to graduate. Note: Applications for summer quarter are due by the 8th day of the quarter.

Transferring to Another University or College

  • This degree is not designed to transfer to another university or college.
  • If you are interested in a four-year degree, you should discuss the need for additional requirements with an advisor from the transfer institution.

Common Course Numbering Please refer to www.edmonds.edu/ccn for more information.

Cultural Diversity Requirement All students earning a degree or certificate of 45 credits or more must meet a cultural diversity (CD) requirement by taking at least five (5) credits of CD courses. To learn more, go to Academic Information – Cultural Diversity Requirement  in the online academic catalog.

College Resources

Internal Coding

TC - 93
CIP - 220302
Last revised - 2023/03/20