Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies)
Get ready to work in the legal sector
Explore the Australian legal system and become familiar with legal documents. You’ll study the foundations of criminal law, contract law, land law, and family law. Build your practical, professional skills and form an awareness of ethical issues.
Australian Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
Online & on-campus
- No dates available
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Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.
Course Learning Outcomes
- Apply critical judgement including analysis, reasoning, and appropriate directed research to legal issues and challenges in paralegal, professional and social contexts.
- Demonstrate an understanding and evaluate issues with reference to principles of social justice and legal ethical frameworks.
- Demonstrate an understanding of a broad and coherent body of knowledge relating to the paralegal, professional and social contexts of the fundamental areas of law, the Australian legal system, and underlying principles and concepts.
- Learn and work independently within broad parameters.
- Reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance.
- Access, manage and evaluate sources of information relevant to legal research and practice.
- Communicate appropriately and effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Collaborate effectively and constructively with others.
- Apply an understanding of Australian Indigenous perspectives to all aspects of legal professional practice.
In legal offices in most areas of paralegal practice, with solicitors and barristers, government legal departments, law enforcement agencies, legal aid offices, court administration, public prosecutions, and in the corporate sector in finance, banking, insurance and conveyancing.
Paralegals perform substantive legal work in legal practices, banks, insurance companies, or other public and private organisations with in-house legal departments. A paralegal’s tasks may include legal research, drafting wills, preparing legal arguments, preparing agreements, compiling court documentation, legal record keeping, legal communication and client services.
Students who achieve the required grade point average during or on completion of this degree may apply for admission into the Bachelor of Laws.
Graduates may also choose to transfer into the Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies and graduate with a Bachelor degree after just one additional year of study.
The Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies) when studied with the Conveyancing major is a recognised educational qualification for a licensed conveyancer in NSW.
When taken with the conveyancing major, the Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies), fulfils the academic requirements necessary to obtain a conveyancer’s licence in NSW, and is accredited by NSW Fair Trading. For licensing requirements, and details of mandatory additional work experience required to enable registration, enquiries should be made to NSW Fair Trading.
Note that each Australian state or territory has its own legislation regulating conveyancing practice.
Southern Cross University offers a number of Pathway Programs which would allow you to gain direct entry to this degree.
ATAR: 55 or Equivalent
On campus requirements
The online study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive online pre-recorded and/or live lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.
The following elective units require attendance at on-campus workshops:
- LEGL2008 - Conveyancing Law (a one-day workshop, usually Saturday or Sunday)
- LEGL2011 - Mediation and Dispute Resolution (a one-day workshop, usually Saturday or Sunday)
- LEGL2012 - Mediation Practice and Procedure (a one-day workshop, usually Saturday or Sunday)
Applicants or students that can provide supporting documents to verify they already know, understand and can perform the learning outcomes for one or more units within a Southern Cross course, are eligible to have their prior learning assessed for credit by submitting an application for Advanced Standing. More information can found at Credit for Recognition of Prior Learning - Southern Cross University (scu.edu.au).
Paralegals are a highly-valued part of the legal sector and there is increasing demand for paralegal professionals who can think outside the box.
This course will get you working in law quickly and lays the foundation for career progression. As you explore the Australian legal system, you will gather skills in legal research and writing, and absorb foundational principles in key areas of the law. You can choose to undertake voluntary legal experience or a para-professional placement to become familiar with the issues facing working paralegals. An optional major in Conveyancing provides the academic pre-requisite for qualification as a conveyancer in NSW.
Paralegals work with solicitors and barristers, in government legal departments, law enforcement agencies, legal aid offices, court administration, public prosecutions and in the community and corporate sectors in finance, banking, insurance and conveyancing.
Graduates may also consider roles as a para-professional within a range of industries. This degree is also a pathway to further studies to become a lawyer.
Recommended Study Pattern
To be eligible to receive the Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies), students must complete the equivalent of 16 units (192 credit points), comprising:
- 8 core units (96 credit points); and
- the Conveyancing Major (96 credit points); or
- 6 Law electives (72 credit points) and 2 Law or University-wide electives (24 credit points)