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The American Bar Association has granted reapproval to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s legal assistant majors, one of only 14 programs in Pennsylvania to be recognized in that fashion.

The college’s School of Business and Computer Technologies recently was notified of the action by the ABA’s House of Delegates, which follows a successful site visit early last fall and a recommendation by the association’s Standing Committee on Paralegals.

“This notification reaffirms the high quality of the instruction, advising, work-based experiences and job placement provided by our paralegal studies faculty and college for our certificate and associate- and bachelor-degree-seeking students,” said Edward A. Henninger, dean of the school.

Penn College offers a bachelor’s degree in legal assistant/paralegal studies, an associate degree in legal assistant/paralegal and a certificate in nurse/health care paralegal studies. Its curriculum provides students with a mix of essential courses and instruction in specialized areas of the law, providing the background for successful employment in a rapidly growing field.

“American Bar Association approval of paralegal programs is a very rigorous process culminating in a two-day on-site review by an ABA team,” noted Kevin R. Derr, professor of legal assistant in the School of Business and Computer Technologies. “The process involves a thorough review of the paralegal program’s curriculum, faculty credentials, library sources, facility, student services and administration. The process is important to us as an indicator that we meet the very demanding standards set by the national organization, which reviews programs throughout the country.”

All paralegal courses in Penn College’s program, which has been ABA-approved since 1994, are taught by licensed attorneys. Students complete a required internship in a law firm, government agency or law-related office. (Paralegals work under the supervision of licensed attorneys and are prohibited from practicing law.)


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