Paralegal program gets American Bar approval

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- DeKalb Technical College's paralegal department has received a new status that will aid students after they graduate.

On Monday, the paralegal studies program at DeKalb Tech was granted approval by the American Bar Association.

"It helps students when they go to find a job," said Virgil Costley, director of the Criminal Justice & Paralegal Studies department at DeKalb Tech.

The program, along with others like Gainesville State College and Clayton State College, are ABA Approved Paralegal Education Programs. They are part of six approved program in Georgia.

The program at DeKalb Tech was started in 2006, and it currently enrolls between 125 and 140 students per quarter in the program, which is offered at the Newton Center and Clarkston campuses of DeKalb Tech.

Costley said the approval has been a two- to three-year process that included submitting an application and resubmitting information to the association at their request. The school also had to upgrade its library, and in February, the state committee from the ABA visited the program to evaluate it.

At the college, students can earn a two-year associate degree in applied science for their course work in paralegal studies. They focus on such topics as ethical obligations, state and federal law, legal correspondence preparation, family law matters, basic concepts of real property law, criminal law and procedure, civil litigation, tort law, substantive contract law, wills and trusts, and probate.

They must complete 30 hours in general core courses, five hours in economics or sociology and 85 hours in occupational courses.

DeKalb Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and has eight centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties.

Established in 1961, the college currently has more than 4,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes.

More information is available by visiting the DeKalb Tech website at www.dekalbtech.edu.