Paralegal Technology

Start Your Exciting Legal Career With a Paralegal Technology Degree or Diploma From Pitt Community College

The Paralegal Technology program at Pitt Community College prepares you to succeed as a professional, ethical, problem-solving member of legal teams and in other work environments that rely on paralegals.

Paralegals may not give legal advice, accept or reject a case, set a fee for an attorney, or appear before a court or tribunal. In all other respects, a well-trained paralegal working under the supervision of an attorney can provide a comprehensive range of legal services on behalf of his or her employer for their clients.

Our department offers traditional day and evening classroom instruction and some online classes. You must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.

For more information regarding the Paralegal Technology program, contact Vicki Coleman, Department Chair, at 252-493-7495 or via email at vgcoleman356@my.pittcc.edu.

Paralegal technology program approved by the American Bar Association

Both the Paralegal Technology associate degree and the post-baccalaureate diploma are approved by the American Bar Association and the North Carolina State Bar. Approval indicates adherence to standards of excellence and involves a rigorous review process.

ABA approved paralegal program

Why Choose Pitt Community College for Paralegal Technology?

We offer two programs for students interested in paralegal work:

  • Our five-semester Paralegal Technology associate degree is for anyone who has completed high school. It prepares students to successfully begin a career as a paralegal in North Carolina.
  • Our three-semester post-baccalaureate diploma is for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree. It is ideal for career-changers or those looking to enter the field just after attending a university.

Whichever program you choose, there are several reasons to begin your paralegal career at Pitt Community College, including:

  • Expert faculty – Our Paralegal Technology faculty are all attorneys with combined legal experience of 80 plus years — and each has more than a decade of teaching experience.
  • Experiential learning – Our instructors will personally lead you in authentic workplace activities that mirror those you will undertake as an entry-level paralegal in our region.
  • Networking opportunities – Regional employers are actively engaged in our program and our students easily find paralegal work, typically prior to graduation. Additionally, our students have multiple classes together in our dedicated paralegal lab and law library and form a community among themselves — a network that includes our 700 alumni and all the employers those alumni have worked with.
  • Dedicated learning spaces – Our dedicated paralegal lab contains 30 computer workstations where students learn to use the same legal software that graduates will use in their paralegal career. In this lab, students will earn a legal technology certificate, which proves they are conversant in at least 12 of the 31 different software products widely used in legal workplaces. There is also a law library located within the C. W. Everett Building, where our students learn vital legal research skills. All students have free access to and training in the Westlaw suite of electronic research tools beginning with their first paralegal course.
  • Affordability – In addition to campus-wide scholarships, grants, and other financial aid, there are three scholarships available specifically to paralegal technology students. We are also conscientious about costs, with practical, instructor-developed materials taking a central role in most courses. As a high-quality community college program, we are affordable and cost-effective.
  • Location – We have a large and diverse legal community, given our proximity to various state and federal courts in Greenville. We maintain close personal and professional relationships with many professionals in the industry and tailor our course instruction to their broad needs. This allows us to facilitate numerous internships, job placement opportunities, and real-world coursework. Moreover, these same professionals often lend their time for many of our more complex projects, such as investigations and mock trials.
    Career advising – Faculty act as both academic and career advisors for all students, leveraging not only their own experience and expertise in education and law, but also the direct input and participation of the local legal community and our advisory board members. You will be well-prepared to succeed in school and to secure gainful, fulfilling employment as a paralegal. We also have a dedicated career services staff who can assist you with various other aspects of work life, such as resume reviews and mock interviews.

Career Opportunities for Paralegal Technology Graduates

Students with degrees or diplomas from our ABA-approved Paralegal Technology program qualify to test for several certifications within the field, including the North Carolina State Bar’s Certified Paralegal credential and the National Association for Legal Assistants’ Certified Paralegal credential. Both are industry-recognized and respected certifications that will set you apart from other entry-level paralegals.

Graduates are prepared to enter the legal field and work in law firms, government agencies, banks, or corporate legal departments. Employment rates for trained paralegals are extremely high, with many students securing permanent positions before they graduate or obtain certification.

Uniquely, our graduates also find themselves prepared to pursue graduate education in the field of law (via Juris Doctor programs). Our legal research courses are designed with this possibility in mind, and the practical education and experience our students receive sets them apart from typical law school applicants and students.

Employers know that we design our program to produce graduates who meet their needs. Given our 50-year history, virtually all area employers have previously employed one or more of our graduates. They know our teaching attorneys, and they will typically contact us before using other avenues to find educated paralegals. They know that our students have not just conceptual understanding but also lots of practice doing the very things that the employer will be asking them to do.
You can work as an entry-level paralegal in:

  • Private law firms
  • Corporate legal departments
  • Government agencies and legal departments
  • County courthouses
  • Public interest nonprofits
  • Lending institutions
  • Public benefits agencies
  • Title insurance companies
  • Regulatory compliance offices
  • Contract negotiation and management entities
  • Public and private investigations

“I came to Pitt originally because I wanted to be a lawyer, and the paralegal program felt more within my reach, since I came from a family that had meager means. In the paralegal program, I fell more in love with the law and decided I would continue my education.”

Shannon Jarvis

Assistant District Attorney in Beaufort County

PCC, Paralegal Associate Degree, May 2004
ECU, BS Applied Sociology, May 2006
Florida Coastal School of Law, JD, May 2009
2023 PCC Distinguished Alumna

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Private law firms
Corporate legal departments
Government legal departments
County courthouses
Public interest non-profits
Lending institutions
Public benefits agencies
Title insurance companies
Regulatory compliance offices
Contracts negotiation and management entities
Public and private investigations

Intro to Paralegal Study
Legal Research & Writing I & II
Civil Injuries
Civil Litigation I & II
Commercial Law I & II
Criminal Law & Procedures
Administrative Law
Real Property I & II
Bankruptcy & Collections
Family Law
Wills, Estates, & Trusts
Ethics & Professionalism

In the Paralegal Technology program, students learn how to:

  • Interact with and gather critical information from clients, witnesses, and various practitioners in a professional environment.
  • Use substantive legal knowledge to locate and complete appropriate court and agency documents, such as the paperwork used to form a business corporation or to administer the estate of a person who has died.
  • Apply substantive legal knowledge to draft appropriate legal documents, such as those filed with the court in lawsuits and domestic disputes.
  • Perform legal research with both print and electronic resources, and draft case briefs and legal memoranda.
  • Identify ethical issues and comply with the NC Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Research and record critical information from the public record, such as ownership information for real estate purchases.
  • Use tools widely used in professional workplaces including the newest legal technology.