Paralegal Programs

Education and Training opportunities in Mississippi

LEGAL ASSISTANT TRAINING OPTIONS IN MISSISSIPPI
A survey of educational opportunities for legal assistants was initially conducted by the Mississippi Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. in 1991 to provide attorneys and law office administrators with a brief overview of the various legal assistant education programs available in Mississippi. It has been updated several times, with the most recent update in 2004. This listing of schools may not include all legal assistant programs in Mississippi.

WHAT IS A LEGAL ASSISTANT?
The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistants has defined a legal assistant as “a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible”.

HOW DOES SOMEONE BECOME A LEGAL ASSISTANT?
Legal assistants may either complete a formal education program or receive in-house training from attorneys. In Mississippi, there are several legal assistant degree programs offered. Four-year Baccalaureate degrees in paralegal studies are available from colleges and universities, and two-year Associate degrees in paralegal studies are available from a variety of institutions. Qualified legal assistants can also take the Certified Legal Assistant examination offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants to certify their skills on a national level. Details on these programs are found below.

CERTIFIED LEGAL ASSISTANT
The CLA® designation is a registered certification mark of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. (NALA). Certification is a voluntary undertaking of the legal assistant. Only those meeting high educational and/or work experience prerequisites may sit for this two-day exam. The exam covers skills common to the profession: verbal and written communication skills, judgment and analytical ability, ethics, human relations, legal terminology, legal research and substantive law. For the substantive law section, the CLA® candidate must choose four of nine sections on litigation, family law, estate planning and probate, real estate, criminal law, bankruptcy, contract, corporate law and administrative law. A passing score of 70% is required for each section of the examination. As of May 7, 2004, there are 133 CLA’s in Mississippi.

CERTIFIED LEGAL ASSISTANT SPECIALIST
The CLA Specialist® is a registered certification mark for the second phase of NALA’s CLA® program. Only CLA’s may sit for the four-hour Specialist examination. The CLA Specialist® examination is offered in the candidate’s choice of the following areas: Civil Litigation; Probate and Estate planning; Corporate and Business Law; Criminal Law and Procedure; Real Estate; Intellectual Property; and Bankruptcy. A passing score of 70% is required. As of May 7, 2004, Mississippi has 13 CLA Specialists® in Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, Probate and Real Estate.

ANTONELLI COLLEGE
Consuelo Walley, Esqu.
consuelo.walley@antonellicollege.edu
Director
1500 North 31st Avenue, Hattiesburg, MS 39401
(601) 583-4100

COAHOMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Barbara Boschert
bboschert@coahomacc.edu
Director
P. O. Box 3124 Cleveland, MS  38733
(662) 846-4700

COPIAH-LINCOLN COMMUNITY COLLEGE – Wesson
David Higgs, Ph.D.
david.higgs@colin.edu
Director
P. O. Box 649 Wesson, MS  39191
(601) 643-8620

COPIAH-LINCOLN COMMUNITY COLLEGE – Natchez
James Wiggins
james.wiggins@colin.edu
Director
11 Co-Lin Circle, Natchez, MS  39120
(601) 446-1274

COPIAH-LINCOLN COMMUNITY COLLEGE – Mendenhall
Toby Graves
toby.graves@colin.edu
Director
151 Co-Lin Drive, Mendenhall, MS  39114
(601) 849-0128

DELTA STATE
Almon Ellis, J.D.
aellis@deltastate.edu
Director
P. O. Box 3264 Cleveland, MS  38733
(662) 846-4065
Classroom Hours:  33-36 semester hour
Admissions:  Institution Requirements
Degree:  Certificate or Minor Only, non-degree program

DELTA STATE
Genara Morris, J.D.
gfreeman@deltastate.edu
P. O. Box 3264 Cleveland, MS  38733
(662) 846-4065
Classroom Hours:  33-36 semester hour
Admissions:  Institution Requirements
Degree:  Certificate or Minor Only, non-degree program

EAST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE - Mayhew
Jill McTaggart
jmctaggart@eastms.edu
Division Chair of Social Science and Business
8731 South Frontage Road, Mayhew, MS  39753
(662) 243-2661

EAST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE - Scooba
Marianne Stuart
mstuart@eastms.edu
Division Chair of Social Science and Business
1512 Kemper Street, Scooba, MS  29353
(662) 473-5031

HINDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Admission Requirements: HS diploma or equivalent, ACT if under 21 yrs of age
Classroom Hours: 72 hours for 2-year A.A.S. degree
Degree Requirements: Outlined in school catalog
Degree/Certificate Offered: A.A.S.
Accreditation: SACS; MCCA; ABA Approval: No
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: Full time instructors on campus daily; counselors, financial aid, student work study and internship program available, advisory board; paralegal club; day, night and on-line classes; access to Westlaw.

Jackson Campus: 
Shivochie L. Dinkins
Lead Instructor/ Program Director
Paralegal Technology – Jackson ATC Branch
3925 Sunset Drive
Jackson, MS 39213

Direct Line: 601-987-8114
Fax: 601-982-5804
E-mail:  Shivochie.Dinkins@hindscc.edu
Web Address:  www..hindscc.edu

Raymond Campus:
Kathryn Green Ford, J.D.
Paralegal Technology Instructor
Hinds Community College
P.O. Box 1100
103 Gibbes Hall
Raymond, Mississippi 39154
Office: (601) 857-3488
Fax:  (601) 857- 3420
E-mail:  kgford@hindscc.edu

HOLMES COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Darleen T. Dozier, CP
Instructor
Holmes Community College
412 Ridgeland Avenue
Ridgeland, MS 39157
601-605-5279 (direct)
601-605-3411 (fax)
 Admission Requirements: HS diploma or equivalent, ACT if under 21 yrs of age
Classroom Hours: 72 hours for 2-year A.A.S. degree
Degree Requirements: Outlined in school catalog
Degree/Certificate Offered: A.A.S.
Accreditation: SACS; MCCA; ABA Approval: No
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: Full time instructors on campus daily; counselors, financial aid, student work study and internship program available, advisory board; paralegal club; day, night and online classes; access to Westlaw.

ITAWAMBA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Jamie M. Hall, J.D.
Program Director
Itawamba Community College
2176 South Eason Blvd.
Tupelo, Mississippi 38804
Office: (662) 620-5342
E-mail:  jmhall@iccms.edu

Admission Requirements: HS diploma or equivalent, ACT if under 21 yrs of age
Classroom Hours: 69/70 hours for 2-year A.A.S. degree; 30 hours for certificate
Degree Requirements: Outlined in school catalog
Degree/Certificate Offered: A.A.S. and Certificate of Completion
Accreditation: SACS; MCCA; ABA Approval: No
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: Full-time and adjunct instructors; counselors, financial aid, student internship program available, advisory board; access to Loislaw.

JONES COUNTY JUNIOR COLLEGE

900 South Court Street
Ellisville, MS 39437
Contact: Amy Hinton, J.D.
Email:  amy.hinton@jcjc.edu

Phone: (601) 477-4273
Admission Requirements: HS Diploma or equivalent; 16 ACT composite score; score at or above the 72 percentile on TABE
Classroom Hours: 72 hours
Degree Offered: Associates of Applied Science
Accreditation: SACS; ABA Approval: No
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: Full-time and adjunct instructors; access to Westlaw; internship program available, work study program.

MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

Tricia M. Nelson,  APC
tnelson@mc.edu
Post Office Box 4030 Clinton, MS 39058
Phone: (601) 925-3812
Admission Requirements: 18 ACT or 700 SAT or A.A. from degree accredited institution
Classroom Hours: BS-36paralegal, 130 total;
30 house certificate with A.A. or B.A./B.S.; all 2-4 years
Degree/Certificate Offered: both
Accreditation: SACS; ABA Approval: Yes
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: full use of MC School of Law library; night only classes (some at law school downtown), or combined day/night; advisory board; internships available; student club; access to Westlaw.

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE – Jefferson Davis Campus
2226 Switzer Road Gulfport, MS 39501
Director: Kim D. Phifer-Starks, J.D.
Email: kimberly.starks@mgccc.cc.ms.us

Phone: (228) 896-2545
Admission Requirements: HS diploma or equivalent
Classroom Hours: 72 hours
Degree Requirements: 72 Hours
Degree/Certificate Offered: Associate Degree
Accreditation: National College Board ABA Approval: No
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: Full time and adjunct instructors; day and night programs: online classes; paralegal club; student newsletter; internship program.

MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN
1100 College Street MUW-940, Columbus, MS 39701
Director: Wesley Garrett, J.D.
Phone: (601) 29-6401
Admission Requirements: Each applicant must submit an acceptable ACT composite score and H.S. transcript
Classroom Hours: 39 paralegal hours for 4-year degree
Degree Requirements: 128 total hours, 39 paralegal
Degree/Certificate Offered: B.A. or B.S. degree
Accreditation: SACS; ABA Approval: Yes
Placement Service: Yes
Honor Society: Nu Epsilon Delta
Comments: Courses taught by full time practicing attorneys on campus daily; trained on Westlaw; internship required; classes offered at night; paralegal club.

NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Cunningham Blvd., Booneville, MS 38829
Director: Janet Cox, J.D.
Email: jtcox@nemcc.edu

Phone: (601) 720-7342
Admission Requirements: HS diploma, GED, ACT
Classroom Hours: 4 semesters
Degree Requirements: Complete general education core and major courses with 2.0 GPA
Degree/Certificate Offered: A.A.S.
Accreditation: SACS; ABA Approval: No
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: Access to Westlaw; internship program available; full-time instructor

NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE
4975 Hwy. 51 North, P.O. Box 5355, Senatobia, MS  38668
Director:  Stephen McDavid
Phone: (662) 562-3345
Classroom Hours:  69 semester hours, 30 in major Email address:  smcdavid@northwestms.edu
Degree Requirements: C average in major courses
Degree/Certificate Offered: A.A.S.
Accreditation: SACS; ABA Approval: No
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: Classes offered at night.

Tulane University – Madison
Sherry Chance, Director – Madison Campus
schance@tulane.edu
2115 Main Street, Madison, MS  39110
(601) 605-0007

Tulane University - New Orleans
Rosaria Guastelle, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Continuing Studies
rguaste@tulane.edu
6823 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA  70118
(504) 865-5333

Tulane University – Biloxi
Karen Delzell-Lucas, Associate Dean of Mississippi Gulf Coast Campus
kdelzell@tulane.edu
2600 Beach Bolulevard, Bilozi, MS 39531
(228) 388-5769

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI – TUPELO CAMPUS
2170 Eason Blvd. Tupelo, MS 38801

Admission Requirements: full admission to U of MS
Classroom Hours: 33 general education + 36 law specialty
Degree Requirements: 69 hours, maintain C average
Degree/Certificate Offered: Certificate
Accreditation: SACS; ABA Approval: No
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: All courses taught by practicing attorneys.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI – OXFORD CAMPUS
Center for Public Service Continuing Studies
P. O. Box 879, University, MS 38677

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
S.S. Box 5108 Hattiesburg, MS 39406
Director: Subrina L. Cooper, J.D.
Phone: (601) 266-4310
Admission Requirements: Students must complete college preparatory curriculum and submit ACT or SAT scores.
Classroom Hours: 128 college hours, 36 paralegal
Degree Requirements: 128 college hours, 36 in major
Degree/Certificate: B.A. in Paralegal Studies
Accreditation: SACS; ABA Approval: Yes
Placement Service: Yes
Comments: Internship program available; access to Lexis/Nexis, paralegal club.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI – GULF PARK CAMPUS
730 E. Beach Blvd., Long Beach, MS 39560
Director: Robert Harenski, Esq.
Phone: (228) 865-4511
Admission Requirements: 60 hours from Community College in addition to standard USM requirements.
* Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Note: The American Bar Association has established criteria for ABA approval of legal assistant programs. Obtaining this approval is a voluntary undertaking of the education institutions. This approval is distinct from accreditation.

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