Paralegal Degree - Southwestern Illinois College

Degree Program

Paralegal Studies Associate in Applied Science Degree (0088)

The two-year Associate in Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies is designed to give you a working knowledge of the diverse areas of the law.

Accelerated Degree Option

If you have completed an associate or bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college you can earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies by completing at least 30 credit hours of program-related coursework. A plan of specific courses required for the degree will be dependent upon the previous degree. You must meet with the program coordinator to determine the exact courses required for degree completion. The plan must be approved by the dean of the Business Division and the vice president for Instruction. You must also meet all institutional requirements for the AAS degree.

Transfer Opportunities

SWIC has an articulation agreement with Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Webster University that allows students to enter the bachelor’s program in Paralegal Studies with junior status.

If you plan to apply to law school, you must pursue a bachelor’s degree and courses in any discipline that requires critical thinking, verbal and written communications skills, math and accounting skills, and knowledge of technology. Admission to law school requires that an applicant take the Law School Admissions Test.

Career Opportunities

Upon graduation from the program you will be eligible to work as a paralegal or legal assistant. Graduates of this program have gone on to complete their bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies or other areas and some have completed law school.

Job Outlook for Paralegals

Job prospects for paralegals are excellent. Due to the well-rounded course of study at SWIC, you will be prepared not only to work in any kind of law firm, but also in government agencies, banks, hospitals, insurance companies and private industry.


Additional education, experience and the size and location of the law firm or institution can affect the salary range.