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Paralegal General Practice Specialist

Career Studies Certificate

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Start your career in general practice with a TCC certificate

You’ll be prepared to perform significant legal tasks that benefit clients

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U.S. News and World Report ranks paralegal in the top 20 social service careers and in the top 100 of all careers.

If you have a passion for the law but can’t commit to the two-year associate degree in paralegal studies, consider Tidewater Community College’s Career Studies Certificate in Paralegal General Practice.

Our paralegal programs prepare you to work under the supervision of an attorney where you can specialize in general practice or litigation. 

As a paralegal, you’ll conduct research, prepare documents and perform substantive legal tasks that benefit the client. Paralegals work in law offices, inside courtrooms and in other government and business settings. While legal assistants and paralegals cannot give legal advice to members of the public, they are respected members of the legal team.

Program note: Legal assistants and paralegals cannot give legal advice to members of the public. Most jurisdictions impose significant penalties for the unauthorized practice of law. This program is not intended to give legal advice to students or to educate or train students to give legal advice or otherwise engage in the unauthorized practice of law.

Go further

Apply all your credits toward TCC's Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies.

Certify your skills 

Earn valuable industry credentials! Course work qualifies students to sit for one or more exams administered by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the National Association of Legal Assistants.

View program curriculum
What does this program cost?

TCC's Career Studies Certificate in Paralegal General Practice Specialist consists of 28 credits of part-time study, with classes held mainly on the Virginia Beach Campus.

Estimated Program Cost*:
28 credits x $185.35 per credit = $5,189.80 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Where can I go?

Continue your education by applying your credits toward TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies.

Is this program for me?

Yes, if you:

  • are able to meet deadlines
  • are detail-oriented
  • are disciplined
  • love to do research
What is the difference between earning a certificate and becoming certified?

A student can graduate from Tidewater Community College with a Legal Assistant certificate. This student has earned a certificate or has become certificated, but is not a certified legal assistant.

The only way to become certified is to take one of two exams offered by two different national paralegal organizations.

Many paralegals and legal assistants are choosing to take one of these exams in order to enhance their resumes and job seeking opportunities. For more information on the certification exams:

National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), also known as the “Certified Paralegal Exam”

National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), also known as the Paralegal CORE Competency Exam (PCCE) and the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE)

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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

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Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

Every legal administration class taught by a member of the legal profession

Courses range from legal aspects of business organizations to bankruptcy to estate planning and probate

Program guided by an advisory committee of local judges, lawyers and paralegals


Alum learned real-world skills in TCC's Paralegal Studies program


Meet Cynthia Pedigo, Associate Professor and Program Head of Paralegal Studies


Prepare for exams offered by the the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the National Association of Legal Assistants