YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University bachelor’s degree program in paralegal studies has been ranked among the 20 best in the nation, and the number one public university program in Michigan.
Study.com, a website that helps millions of students research potential schools, degrees and careers, selected the programs for its rankings based on U.S. Department of Education data, academic and career resources, quality of education and faculty.
The paralegal program at Eastern Michigan seeks to place students in high-demand jobs in today’s legal landscape. The United States Department of Labor notes that: "Employment of paralegals is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects.”
“This program brings significant value to our students and the community,” said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, which houses the program. “It also brings needed perspectives to our students in other fields in the college. These include several areas such as patent law and cyber law.”
Elizabeth Donovan, a professor in the School of Technology and Professional Services Management in the CET, notes that the paralegal program is responsive to the changing needs of the legal community, through skills courses such as electronically stored information, data base management and e-discovery, as well as other substantive courses exploring topics such as cyber law, marijuana law and human trafficking law.
“Equipped with technological skills as well as critical thinking skills, our graduates are perfectly positioned for employment in an array of settings, as well as graduate studies in fields such as business or law,” Donovan said.
A paralegal is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity, and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.
EMU’s Paralegal Studies program, which has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), offers both the initial Bachelor of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Second Bachelor’s Degree.
The program also features the Legal Resource Center, in which EMU paralegal students offer assistance to community members. The center, normally located in the Washtenaw County Courthouse in downtown Ann Arbor, was founded in Sept. 2004. Since then, it has become a nationally recognized, collaborative effort between EMU and the county, providing expertise in family and probate law, landlord-tenant disputes and small claims matters.
Because of the pandemic, the center is currently assisting patrons remotely. Community members can call 734.994.0160 to speak to a LRC student. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org . The center is open Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. For more information, visit the University's website.