A Paralegal Program on Top of the World: The University of Alaska Fairbanks Paralegal Studies Program

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					PARALEGAL SCHOOL FEATURE                                                                        1. 800.973.1177

                            A Paralegal Program on Top of the World: The University
                            of Alaska Fairbanks Paralegal Studies Program
                            [By Devon Pryor]
                            Why not train to become a paralegal in a classroom at the very top of the world? The University of Alaska Fairbanks in
                            Fairbanks, AK, sits on more than 360 million acres in a spectacularly picturesque locale close to Denali National Park and
                            only 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Part of a network of campuses scattered throughout Alaska’s vast expanse, the
                            University of Alaska Fairbanks boasts the geographically northernmost paralegal program anywhere, giving new meaning
                            to the notion of staying on top!

And the view from the top is nothing short         gives students in the program opportunities       administrative law, and other special topics.
of dazzling. At the school’s main campus in        to learn from those with whom they will           Rather than obtaining the associate’s
Fairbanks, dramatic and breathtaking views         likely find employment after completion of        degree, students can choose to minor in
of Mount McKinley make quite an impression.        the program.                                      paralegal studies, although this does not
The Fairbanks campus, in central Alaska,                                                             necessarily permit them to practice as
is accompanied by campuses in Dillingham,          Professor Ed Husted, the only full-time faculty   paralegals. The paralegal studies minor
Bethel, Kotzebue, and Nome. University             member for the paralegal studies program,         requires students to take an introduction
of Alaska Fairbanks is a public, two-year          agreed that the program’s small class size        to paralegal studies class and five elective
institution offering an Associate of Applied       is conducive to one-on-one instruction and        courses-a total of 8 units.
Science degree through its paralegal studies       the formation of a closely knit learning
program. The program takes an average of           environment. Husted noted that a large            According to the program website, the
two years to complete, but the university may      portion of the student population, about 25%      objectives of the paralegal program at
honor previously completed course units if         to 30%, is comprised of military students from    University of Alaska Fairbanks are to train
they are relevant to the area of study and are     the Air Force and Army bases nearby. Husted       students under supervision of licensed
college-level.                                     explained that the rest of the students are       professionals, to provide continuing
                                                   locals, and most of them stay in the Fairbanks    education for professionals, and to allow
The paralegal studies program at University        area after graduation to build professional       other students to gain practical law-related
of Alaska Fairbanks is offered by the Tanana       careers in the local community.                   experience by making its courses available
Valley campus in the Fairbanks area. The                                                             to students of other majors. Students in
program provides training for students             The primary degree offered through the            the program develop strong written and
who wish to become paralegals, as well as          paralegal studies program at University of        oral communication skills in tandem with
continuing education and skill development         Alaska Fairbanks is the A.A.S. or Associate       paralegal knowledge. Computer skills, as
resources for practicing paralegals in the         of Applied Science degree. Required               they apply to the paralegal profession, are
local community. Paralegal classes are             courses for this degree include classes           also emphasized in the program. Academic
also open to students who are focusing their       in computer applications, introduction to         advisors at the school can help students
studies on other law-related areas, such as        paralegal studies, civil procedure, legal         devise the best course plans, and the Student
political science or justice, allowing these       research and writing, introduction to             Assistance Center provides resources such
students to gain practical knowledge that          American government, politics, judicial           as tutoring, counseling, financial aid, and
is pertinent to their future careers. The          process, constitutional law, and institutions     “college survival skills.”
paralegal studies program at University            and governmental powers; additionally,
of Alaska Fairbanks is approved by the             each student must complete a mandatory            Employment opportunities in the surrounding
American Bar Association. The typical class        internship. Each student also takes five          community are more numerous than one
session in the program is comprised of             elective courses, which can be chosen             might expect. Not only do students have
only 5 students and taught by an adjunct          from a list that includes classes on issues       opportunities to build relationships with
professor who practices as a paralegal or          such as family law, torts, probate law,           the adjunct professors who may someday
as an attorney in the local community. This        business organization, employment and             employ or work alongside them, but also

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PARALEGAL SCHOOL FEATURE                                                               1. 800.973.1177

many of the law practices in the community   finding employment in Fairbanks and keep        ON THE NET
rely almost entirely on graduates of the     in touch with local lawyers and government
                                             offices, which they can contact when helping    University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks paralegal
                                             students find jobs.                   
program to staff their offices. As the
school’s website explains, successful
                                                                                             The Paralegal Studies Program at UAF’s
completion of the program guarantees         And when there is time to relax, students and
                                                                                             Tanana Valley Campus
employment opportunities in Fairbanks,       faculty alike can sit back and enjoy the most
and graduates are well-prepared to seek      spectacular light show on earth, the Aurora
employment elsewhere in the country. The     Borealis, which can be observed right from      Map of Fairbanks, AK, and surrounding areas
program coordinator and faculty advisory     the classroom windows.                
committee actively assist graduates with                                                     usstates/ak.htm


Description: Article With Discussion On Alaska University Paralegal Studies Program And Information About American Bar Association, Paralegal Studies, Legal Research, Legal Writing And More.
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