Paralegal Studies Brings American Bar Association Team to Kent State
Kent State’s paralegal studies program welcomes the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Approval of Paralegal Education Programs on July 30 for a two-day review as part of the program’s re-approval process.
The four-year American Bar Association-approved degree program in paralegal studies began at Kent State in fall 2002. Paralegal studies had been offered as a minor at Kent State, until the idea of a four-year major (in addition to the minor) was proposed by an American Bar Association approval team that reviewed the minor in 1998.
“The legal field is definitely moving toward requiring a four-year degree [for paralegals],” says Dr. Hedi Nasheri, professor of justice studies and the paralegal studies program director.
Nasheri is president of the American Association for Paralegal Education and has served as the national director of the baccalaureate degree programs for the association’s board. She is also responsible for bringing the approval team to the university.
Housed within the Department of Justice Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, paralegal studies is an interdisciplinary program that combines a liberal arts and general education background with legal specialty courses. Nasheri says that the legal field has a great demand for skilled paralegals with four-year degrees from ABA-approved institutions. And that demand is high regardless of economic conditions.
The American Bar Association recommended the Kent Campus for the program because the campus was in a strategically good geographic position for the education program and to meet industry needs, among other reasons.
“Cleveland is a major law city in the country, with corporate headquarters of some of the major national and international law firms,” says Nasheri. “[The location alone] provides Kent State graduates with excellent job and internship opportunities.”
Nasheri says the professional relationships between students and the legal community are the paralegal studies program’s most valuable asset. Most students develop these relationships through the program’s internship requirement. And those connections help in the real world.
“Kent State paralegal studies graduates are employed by some of the most prestigious law firms in the country,” says Nasheri. “That in itself is a dream-come-true for any student — and program director.”
As part of the two-day program review, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Approval of Paralegal Education Programs will meet with paralegal studies students, graduates and faculty, as well as the program’s director, members of other academic departments, executive officers and deans.For more information about the program, visit the Paralegal Studies Program Web site or call 330-672-2775.