Legal Studies Program
- About the Program
- Career Opportunities
- Externship Opportunities
- Student Club
Since 1988 Manor College, located just outside Philadelphia in beautiful Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, has been educating students to become paralegals. While hundreds of our graduates work in law firms, businesses and the government, others utilize their paralegal education as a foundation for pre-law studies.
A paralegal is an individual who possesses skills, learned through education and training, which he/she then uses to assist attorneys in the practice of law. By using paralegals to assist in their practice of law, attorneys are able to help greater numbers of people with legal problems.
Although paralegals cannot give legal advice, set fees or argue in court, you will learn, by browsing our website, that the opportunities for an individual who possesses a paralegal degree are endless!
In the law office, paralegals act as part of the legal team representing clients in many different types of litigation and legal problems. Paralegals are also employed by corporations, banks, real estate and finance offices and the government, where they can experience an even broader range of job opportunities and challenges. In all employment venues, paralegals are highly valued for their ability to analyze, research and solve problems.
While a paralegal cannot give legal advice, set fees, or argue in court, paralegals serve a vital function in today’s society. Many individuals who earn a degree or certificate in paralegal studies continue their education, earning a Bachelor’s Degree and often, continuing on to law school.
It is the primary objective of Manor’s Legal Studies programs to provide students with an education that will enable them to effectively assist attorneys in all phases of private and public law practice. To achieve this objective each of our programs is designed to:
- Develop in each student critical thinking and analytical skills;
- Enable each student to become an effective communicator through training in research, writing, listening, and speaking skills;
- Make each student a competent legal professional by providing him/her with both theory and practical knowledge and training; and
- Provide each student with a foundation in ethics and professional responsibility that will enable him/her to recognize values and perform legal services in an ethical manner.
Manor’s Legal Studies Programs are approved by the American Bar Association, signifying that they have met standards intended to ensure a quality paralegal education.
Our flexible scheduling options (day, twilight (4 p.m.), evening, Saturday mornings and online) will allow you to create a personalized course schedule. Each student receives a Westlaw computer-assisted legal research password to use 60 hours/month anywhere there is Internet access.
Externship opportunities and placement counseling are available to all legal studies students.
Course Sequence for Paralegal Program
Course Sequence for Post-Baccalaureate Paralegal Certificate
How Can I Learn More About Manor's Paralegal Program?
You can speak directly with the program director and, if you choose, sit in on one or more classes so that you can meet students and faculty and experience Manor’s legal studies programs.
Diane Pevar, J.D.
Director, Legal Studies
215-885-2360 extension 259
The most recent projections of the Bureau of Labor and Industry indicate that employment of paralegals and legal assistants will grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018 which is considered to be a much faster growth rate than for most occupations. The Legal Studies Department of Manor College offers placement assistance by counseling students on resume preparation, interviewing techniques and job search skills and by sponsoring networking events that allow students to connect with future employers.
In order to prepare students for paralegal employment, the Legal Studies program offers all students seminars relating to careers, job preparation and job search. Networking events are held throughout the year that allow Manor students to meet working professionals and hone interpersonal skills.
Manor graduates are well-prepared to enter the legal workforce. Manor Paralegals receive education and training that allow them to:
- Meet and communicate with clients, attorneys, judges, investigators and other court and legal personnel;
- Perform factual and legal research on behalf of their clients;
- Draft correspondence and court documents;
- Create, organize, and maintain client files;
- Summarize medical records and depositions;
- Analyze and form solutions to client problems;
- Use technology to further client representation;
- Prepare and assist at trial;
- Assist in managing the law office.
Many different kinds of people make excellent paralegals. No special training or knowledge is necessary to enter the program, but a candidate should:
- An interest in the law
- Good written and oral communication skills
- An outgoing personality
- A strong desire to help others with their problems
- An inquisitive nature
- The ability to persist in searching for information and obtaining answers
- Good organizational skills
- The ability to work both independently and as part of a team
Manor paralegal and LNC graduates are currently employed throughout Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley and New Jersey. Here is a sampling of where our some of our recent graduates are employed:
Jenna Gallen, Graduated 2009
Paralegal, Woloshin & Killino, P.C.
Anne Cromley, Graduated 2009
Paralegal, Philadelphia Gas Works, Philadelphia
Linda Anstotz, Graduated 2010
Div. Director, Healthcare Services and Quality, Brookdale Senior Living
Angela Booker, Graduated 2010
Paralegal, Social Security Administration
Erika Goldman, Graduated 2010
Paralegal, Feldman & Feldman, Jenkintown
Kristen Gushue, Graduated 2010
Paralegal, Goldberg, Miller & Rubin, Philadelphia
Chelsea Costello, Graduated 2010
Paralegal, Comegno Law Group, Morristown, NJ
Julia Poshyvak, Graduated 2010
Paralegal, Lidia Alperovych, Esquire, Feasterville
Leonora DeLuca, Graduated 2011
Legal Nurse Consultant, Bruce Ginsburg, Esquire, Philadelphia
Sharon Pace, Graduated 2011
Paralegal, United Educators, Chevy Chase, MD
Megan Shull, Graduated 2011
Paralegal, Buchanon, Ingersoll & Rooney, Princeton, NJ
Christine Vargas, Graduated 2011
Paralegal, Solenick & Levin, Jenkintown
Sharon Williams, Graduated 2011
Mortgage Fraud Investigator, Radian Guaranty
Additional information about paralegals is available at:
Manor paralegal students participate in on-the-job-training as part of their studies. The externship experience is required for all Associate Degree paralegals and open to Post-Baccalaureate and Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate students.
Students receive academic credit for participating in a 120-hour Externship course, but Certificate students may also choose to be paired with a professional mentor, visiting or shadowing a local attorney, for a few days or even 1-2 weeks.
Externship opportunities offer a challenging alternative to classroom experience by providing students with an entrance into work situations that allow them to test classroom theories, refine their career objectives, and develop positive work habits.
The Legal Studies Program maintains an extensive registry of externship sites within Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Externships are available in law offices, government agencies, courts, and corporations. Those students enrolling in LE290 Legal Externship will also participate in a weekly seminar that will allow them to share their workplace experiences and develop job search techniques.
1. After I complete my paralegal program at Manor I want to transfer and get my Bachelor’s Degree. Will Manor be able to help me with that?
Manor provides transfer counseling for all students. Furthermore, Manor has agreements with many local colleges and universities for the acceptance of all Manor credits upon transfer. Some of the colleges and universities that Manor Paralegal graduates have transferred to are:
- Arcadia University
- Cabrini College
- Chestnut Hill College
- Cornell University
- Gwynedd-Mercy College
- Holy Family University
- Immaculata College
- LaSalle University
- Peirce College
- Penn State University
- Rosemont College
- Temple University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Widener University
2. How will I find an externship?
The program director and education coordinator work with each student to locate an externship experience that will be both educational and rewarding for the student. While a student is permitted to locate his/her own externship site, the Manor College Legal Studies program maintains a registry of externship venues including law firms, corporations and government agencies located in Philadelphia and all surrounding counties.
3. Can I double major in paralegal and another subject?
Many Associate Degree paralegal students choose to “double major”, meaning they choose to fulfill course requirements for both paralegal and another course of study offered at the college. The most popular choices for a second major are Business Administration and Liberal Arts.
4. I want to work after I get my paralegal degree. Does Manor have placement assistance?
Placement assistance is available to all legal studies students. Seminars are offered on resume preparation, interview readiness, and job search skills. Networking events are offered throughout the year to allow students to meet working professionals. Students are encouraged to meet with the program director or education coordinator to prepare a resume and work on job search strategies.
5. Can I transfer credits from another academic institution?
Manor College accepts a maximum of 30 credit hours toward an Associate Degree, 9 credit hours toward a Paralegal Certificate and 3 credit hours toward a Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate. Specific details are available through the college catalog.
Transfer of law credits must be approved by the Legal Studies program director and should be from a school approved by the American Bar Association or a school which is an institutional member of the American Association for Paralegal Education.
6. What clubs and student organizations can I join as a paralegal student?
The Legal Studies Student Association (LSSA) provides access to justice for Manor students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community by sponsoring community service projects designed to assist those in need of legal services. The LSSA also educates students about the legal profession and provides a professional forum for Manor students to network with working professionals. LSSA membership is open to all Manor students. Click here to find out more about the LSSA
Many law students also join Rotaract, the business division student auxiliary that is affiliated with local business organizations and performs community service as part of its mission. Many law students are able to achieve membership in one of Manor’s two National Honor Societies, Alpha Bata Gamma and Phi Theta Kappa. Many other exceptional social experiences await the Manor student. Clubs such as the Theatre Guild, the Manor Dance Team, sports teams, and others provide a rich and diverse experience for the willing student.
7. What is the shortest amount of time in which I can complete my program?
A full-time day student typically completes the Associate Degree program in two (2) years. This time period may be shortened by the transfer to Manor of credits taken at another institution and , by attending summer session courses.
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate students may complete the program in two (2) semesters.
8. Will I receive help choosing courses?
Upon acceptance, every Manor student is assigned an academic advisor, who will follow the student’s progress and meet several times a year with the student to give academic advice and to help plan future course schedules. Academic advisors are available to students during office hours, as well as by phone, e-mail and by appointment.
9. How many students will be in a typical class?
All computer classes are limited to between 15 and 18 students. Lecture style classes are also kept small, on average, approximately 25 students. Small class size allows instructors to provide personalized instruction and attention to every student.
10. What if I need academic support?
Every instructor has posted office hours and will meet with a student who needs help at mutually agreeable times. In addition to the support of the student’s instructor and academic advisor, the Manor College Learning Center provides free tutoring and tutorials to all Manor students.
11. Can I sit in on a law class before enrolling?
Yes. The Legal Studies Department encourages all prospective students to take advantage of our Ambassador Program, which allows students to preview classes and to meet with currently enrolled students to learn more about the college and the Legal Studies Program. To schedule a class visitation call program director, Professor Diane Pevar at 215-885-2360, extension 259 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
12. Does the paralegal program have distance learning?
The Legal Studies program has several online courses including Tort Litigation, Legal Environment of Business, Employment Law. Introductory online courses are periodically scheduled.
13. What is the difference between criminal justice and paralegal?
Criminal justice programs are traditionally limited to understanding crime and the administration of justice. Criminal justice professionals often work as correctional or probation officers. Others may seek jobs in law enforcement. Criminal justice work is considered to be hazardous and stressful and jobs opportunities are often dependent on government funding.
Paralegals who wish to pursue criminal justice studies at Manor College will study a broad range of subjects that combine criminal justice studies with training in the skills highly valued by employers: critical analysis, problem-solving, research, and writing. Students graduating from this track will be offered a wide range of employment opportunities including positions with criminal prosecution and defense teams, at victim’s advocacy agencies, and in national security.
Here’s What Manor Paralegal and LNC Graduates are saying about Manor’s Legal Studies Programs…
“Manor College’s paralegal certificate program gave me the knowledge to be successful as an entry level paralegal, assured me I chose the right career path and gave me a prestigious credential that differentiated me in the job market. Only one month following completion of the program, with assistance from Manor College, I was placed in my first paralegal position. Three years later, I am employed by a center city law firm and I love it! I give thanks to the legal studies faculty for my success.” Christina Yizzi, Paralegal Certificate, 2009
“The thing I loved the most about Manor was how friendly everyone was - students and professors. I think that the college has a great sense of community and pride in its past. I also felt like I really got more individualized attention as a student at Manor than I would have gotten at any other college.
In this tough economic climate, another thing that sold me on Manor was how the program directors were so willing to give guidance in finding a job after graduation. We were given lots of opportunities to prepare for the job search - resume building, Legal Studies Student Association events, creating writing portfolios and we were taught the importance of making connections and given many opportunities to meet attorneys and practicing paralegals. The college also helped me gain experience by providing me with internship opportunities, which were so beneficial in helping me to get a job after graduation. I was worried going into the job search, but within two weeks of graduation I received three different offers for paralegal positions. I know that that is a result of the quality program Manor has developed.” Megan Shull, Paralegal Certificate, 2011
“The Legal Studies program at Manor College gave me confidence to go out into the job market as a newly graduated paralegal and compete for employment with experienced legal professionals. And it worked! Out of 4 interviews I went on, 2 of them returned job offers.” Tara Heckler, A.S. Paralegal, 2010
“The Paralegal program at Manor College gave me great knowledge that I now use every day at my work in the legal field. The staff at Manor is friendly, supportive, and helpful and treats each student as an individual.” Alyssa Serrao, A.S. Paralegal, 2011
“Manor College's Paralegal Program gave me the skills and knowledge that I would need to become a successful paralegal. The Program offers a wide variety of courses that cover different parts of the law. The class sizes are small so as a student I didn’t feel lost in a crowd of people but almost like I was being taught one on one. One of the features of the Program that particularly helped me in make contacts with people in the legal profession was the LSSA Legal Studies Student Association). The LSSA gave me the opportunity to get involved in the community and in the legal world by giving me the chance to be a part of Wills for Heroes, The Career Wardrobe and by joining the MCPA, Montgomery County Paralegal Association, which provides a network of communication in the legal field outside a school setting. If you are looking to become a paralegal you will not find a better school than Manor College. I believe that Manor not only prepared me but gave me the confidence and the knowledge that is needed to become a great paralegal.” Jacqueline Gwiszcz, Paralegal Certificate, 2011
“I appreciate the focus on legal writing. I use my writing skills in summarizing and applying case law every day. The small classes gave me the individual attention I was seeking to hone my skills.” Jennifer Goldman, Paralegal Certificate, 2010
“The paralegal program at Manor College is outstanding. The classes are taught by attorneys, so not only do you obtain an education, the classes are entertaining since they weave in stories about many of their actual cases. One of the reasons I chose Manor College was because the program is approved by the American Bar Association. There are so many programs that advertise for paralegal training, however, without the ABA approval, you would be wasting your time and money.” Sharon Williams, Paralegal Certificate, 2011
“I was a mature student coming back to school to get my Legal Nurse Consultant Certification. I was very nervous about coming back to college with students the same age as my nephew. To say that I was apprehensive was an understatement. The teachers helped me to overcome my college jitters, learn new skills (like how to use a computer and write a term paper) and to believe in myself. The time spent at Manor College was well worth all money, and the hours in the library and the classroom. The staff had the patience to deal with my many questions and problems. It was a great experience.” Leonora DeLuca, Legal Nurse Consulting Certificate, 2011
“As a Spring 2011 graduate of Manor College, I can attest to the fact that Manor College has an outstanding Paralegal program. There are very fine professors who have real world experience in the legal field. You will receive training that will enable you to start a career as a paralegal upon graduation, or give you a great start toward pursuing a law degree, if that is your wish. While at Manor, you will have opportunities to be involved in the Legal Studies Student Association, which involves meetings and interactions with community and legal groups and individuals. With the small class sizes, you can be assured that you will be a very important part of any class activities. The Manor staff is always very helpful. I hope that you will enjoy your studies at Manor.” Good luck! Dave Miller, A.S. Paralegal 2011
“As an older student returning to school after many years, I knew immediately that I had made the right choice in Manor. If I had to do it all over again, I would not hesitate.” Helene Shapiro, A.S. Paralegal, 2009
"The LNC Program has been instrumental in helping me stay on track while achieving my educational goal. The courses at Manor have prepared me to work professionally while completing the LNC program." Stephanie Wroten, MS, RN, Legal Nurse Consulting Certificate, 2009
Legal Studies Student Association of Manor College (LSSA)
We are very committed to area organization and volunteer with the following: Wills for Heroes, The Career Wardrobe and Special Olympics. The LSSA is an active group and are affiliated with all of the local Paralegal Associations. For further information, please contact Mary Sims, LSSA advisor.
Mary L. Sims, J.D., M.A.
Adjunct Professor, Business and Liberal Arts Departments
821 Homestead Road
Jenkintown, PA 19046
Spring 2013 Office Hours:
Tuesdays 3-5 PM; Wednesdays 1-3 PM (Business Studies Division Office)
or by appointment, please email or call me to set up a time.