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Associate of Applied Science Degree

If you have an interest in the law and how it affects individuals and society as a whole, then a career as a paralegal could be an excellent choice for you. Paralegals enjoy the intellectual challenge of assisting attorneys in finding legal solutions for their clients’ problems.

What is a paralegal and where are paralegals employed?

According to the New Mexico Supreme Court’s definition in the Rules Governing Paralegal Services (Rule 20-102A), a paralegal is one who:

(1) contracts with or is employed by an attorney, law firm, corporation, governmental agency or other entity;

(2) performs substantive legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney who assumes professional responsibility for the final work product; and

(3) meets one or more of the education, training or work experience qualifications set forth in Rule 20-115 NMRA of these rules...

 

What type of work do paralegals perform?

In the same Rules mentioned previously, the Court’s examples of substantive legal work include, “case planning, development and management; legal research and analysis; interviewing clients; fact gathering and retrieving information; drafting legal documents; collecting, compiling, and utilizing technical information to make an independent decision and recommendation to the supervising attorney; and representing clients before a state or federal administrative agency if that representation is authorized by law.” (Rule 20-102B NMRA)

Employment Outlook

Program graduates are employed with private firms, various courts, community legal services, state and federal governmental agencies (e.g., Human Services Department, public defenders, and district attorneys), as well as a variety of businesses. The need for qualified paralegals continues to grow. 

For more information, call the program office at (575) 527-7642.

5/2015