The Paralegal program at El Centro will prepare you to work as a paralegal to attorneys. Our faculty draw on their knowledge and experience to ensure student success.
In the Paralegal program, you will prepare for exciting and challenging work with law firms, corporations and agencies. You'll learn how to handle routine assignments for attorneys, with opportunities for advancement in many areas. Please be aware that the program does not qualify graduates to take a bar exam, represent clients in court, give legal advice, or provide independent legal services. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
The Paralegal program is an associate degree program designed to be completed in two years if you are a full-time student. The program is not only widely respected, but it is also an incredible bargain. Its setting near downtown Dallas provides access to the Records Building, George Allen Civil Courthouse, Frank Crowley Criminal Courthouse and Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse. Many law firms are located in the area.
Weigh the El Centro Advantage
Paralegal students have access to these facilities and advantages at El Centro:
- Instructors who are practicing attorneys and paralegals.
- An on-campus law library and computers for legal research.
- Mock trials and career seminars held by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, SMU Law School, Dallas Young Lawyers Association and others.
- Classrooms in downtown Dallas, near the legal community.
- Daytime, evening and online classes.
- Full- or part-time study options.
- El Centro Paralegal Student Association membership.
- Cooperative (co-op) work experience working at least 16 hours per week at an assigned site.
- Connections to partner institutions like UNT Dallas College of Law
Although most employers do not require certification, earning a voluntary certificate from a professional society may offer advantages in the job market.
- The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) offers two certifications: Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) or Certified Paralegal (CP).
- The Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam, administered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), offers the Registered Paralegal (RP) certification.
- The Texas Board of Legal Specialization offers the Board Certified Paralegal (BCP) certification.
Accreditation and Affiliations
Our program is fully accredited by the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Paralegal program at El Centro is also one of only a few paralegal programs in Texas approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).