Approved by the American Bar Association
Paralegal Program

Paralegal Program

Research issues, draft briefs or contracts, and provide vital support for attorneys. Paralegals—also known as legal assistants—perform in-depth legal work and serve as key members of legal teams.

Strong Demand & Good Pay

Demand for paralegals is expected to grow by 14% over the next decade. That’s much faster than average for all careers.

In 2021, paralegals earned median pay of $56,230. Paralegals with 4-6 years of experience typically earn $59,750 to $79,750.

Paralegals work for law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies. They collaborate with lawyers on:

  • Legal and factual research
  • Court and agency filings
  • Contracts, mortgages, and legal agreements
  • Trial documents, evidence, and witness preparation
  • Real estate closings and title examinations

A paralegal is not licensed to practice law but performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for
which a lawyer is responsible. A paralegal is bound to the same ethical principles as a lawyer.

Hear from OCC Paralegal Faculty

A Paralegal Program Built for You

Whether you’re new to college or changing careers, OCC offers a paralegal option made for you.

Paralegal Associate Degree

Choose the paralegal associate degree if you don’t already have a college degree. 

You’ll complete 63 credits hours of major requirements, supporting courses, electives, and general education. Full-time students can complete the program in two years.

You’ll graduate with an Associate in Applied Science degree, fully prepared to:

  • Work as a paralegal. You’ll be ready to start your career right away.
  • Transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree. Our transfer agreements with Eastern Michigan University, Madonna University and Oakland University let you complete your bachelor’s degree in just one more year.
  • Go to law school. While most law schools require a bachelor’s degree, our paralegal program provided marketable skills that surpass any pre-law major.

Paralegal Post-Bachelor Certificate

Choose the paralegal certificate if you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college but want to take your career in a new direction. OCC’s 34-credit certificate program prepares you to become a paralegal in the shortest possible time. Complete six core courses, an elective, and three supporting courses in as few as nine months.

  • OCC’s paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association, the national voice of the legal profession.
  • Our associate degree and certificate options offer perfect preparation for first-time college students or career changers.
  • Recommended for all paralegal students, our internships offer real-world experience.
  • Special topics courses taught by practicing attorneys provide in-depth insight into areas like criminal law, family law, real estate, and more.
  • OCC’s focus on support and success connects students with academic and personal counseling, personalized transfer planning, and more.
  • See paralegal FAQs and Goal & Objectives for additional details on the paralegal program.
Did you know?
“I pursued a paralegal career because of its professionalism, high growth, and competitive wages. Even though I could walk to another paralegal program, I chose OCC for its outstanding reputation in the legal community. It was the best career decision of my life!”

— Chris P., OCC graduate and paralegal with Plunkett Cooney

Professional headshot of Chris P.


Take the Next Steps

Ready to begin your paralegal studies? Get started now:

  1. Apply to OCC. If you’re not already an OCC student, create a profile and complete our online application. On the application select the degree program ‘Paralegal Applicant (PLG.APP)’. Existing OCC students can update their academic program using the Student Update Information Request form.
  2. Email the Paralegal Director. We'll set you up with a zoom interview to discuss program options and develop a custom program plan. 


Contact Information

Sara Bowman
Paralegal Program Director
Phone: 248.522.3627

OCC's Paralegal Program is approved by the American Bar Association

American Bar Association