Ready to make your mark on the legal system? Become a paralegal.

Are you professional, poised and passionate? Then TCL’s Paralegal Associate Degree is a great fit for you.

Paralegals, under the supervision of a lawyer, conduct research, prepare documents and perform substantive legal tasks. Paralegals work in law offices, inside courtrooms and in other government and business settings.The S.C. annual mean wage for paralegals is $52,060, according to 2022 reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Program

TCL’s Paralegal Associate Degree, which is approved by and subject to the guidelines of the American Bar Association (ABA), can be completed in as little as two years over five full-time semesters. Students must take at least nine (9) semester credit hours of required Paralegal Studies Legal Specialty courses through synchronous instruction, which can include the traditional class format as well as other remote synchronous formats. 

An internship and capstone course provide students with real-world, hands-on experience, helping them build a strong resume. Most courses are transferable to colleges and universities in and out of state.

With regard to the Legal Specialty Courses needed to earn this degree, The Technical College of the Lowcountry will only consider for transfer credit those Paralegal Studies Legal Specialty courses earned at ABA Approved schools. 

Whether you choose to go right into the career field after graduation or decide to complete a four-year degree, TCL gives you the skills to succeed. Judge for yourself.

*Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law, per S.C. Code Ann. § 40-5-310, and must work under the supervision of an attorney in good standing with the State Bar of South Carolina. 

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  • Quick Facts


    TCL’s paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association.


    It is one of only nine S.C. colleges and universities to hold ABA approval.


    The S.C. annual mean wage for paralegals is $52,060.


    Technical College of the Lowcountry is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Technical College of the Lowcountry may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website ( 


    Paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association
    321 North Clark Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60654-7598
    Phone: 800-285-2221


    Tuition: 67 credits x $214 per credit = $14,338.*

    Remember, this is before S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance and other financial aid, which could drop your costs by more than half. In fact, after financial aid, many TCL students attend for free. See more about paying for TCL.

    *Based on Fall 2022 in-state, in-service-area tuition. Your actual cost may differ. Does not include fees, books and other costs. Qualifications vary; all subject to change.


    “The American Bar Association approval helps graduates get careers here in the Lowcountry and across the country.”

    Laura Dukes


    The Career & Educational Opportunities

    A graduate of the Paralegal Program, working directly under the supervision of a practicing attorney*, should be able to:

    • Review and apply the law to the facts while drafting a variety of litigation, contract, property, probate and domestic relations documents with accuracy and attention to detail; 
    • Research and apply substantive and procedural law to hypothetical situations involving issues concerning torts, domestic relations contracts, property law, and/or probate; 
    • Articulate and apply the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure to the process of drafting and filing legal pleadings, motions, written and oral discovery and other procedural issues; 
    • Demonstrate the ability to analyze procedural issues and recommend appropriate courses of action; 
    • Apply ethical principles of honesty, confidentiality, attorney-client privilege, the need for attorney supervision to hypothetical situations and in the internship. Recognize those aspects of the legal practice that are reserved to attorneys and that constitute the unauthorized practice of law; 
    • Demonstrate professional conduct, time management skills and reliability inside and out side the classroom; 
    • Prepare various legal documents using appropriate computer technology and software;  
    • Understand and apply the preparation necessary for client and witness interviews and investigations; 
    • Apply strategies for effective client communication when providing appropriate legal information. 

    *Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

    Is this program right for you?

    The program is a great fit for those who:

    The program is a great fit for those who exercise judgment, work independently, and meet deadlines with respect to assigned tasks

    Program Dean

    Karen Smith

    Dean, Business & Industrial Technologies


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 14, Rm. 118


    Brian McDaniel

    Paralegal Program Director


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 14, Rm. 126