Paralegal Studies

Paralegals play a key role in the practice of law. They provide invaluable assistance to attorneys and lawyers, helping them prepare for trials and hearings, developing important documentation and paperwork, and communicating with clients. Paralegals' work is essential for lawyers and their clients, and as such, they are in high demand, making this an excellent career path for those interested in legal work without having to spend years in law school. Though paralegals are not permitted to practice law without the direct supervision of a licensed attorney or represent clients in court, as a paralegal, you can play a variety of roles in legal settings.

Oakton Community College's Paralegal Studies Program can get you started in this career or upgrade your skills so you can pursue new opportunities.

In our paralegal courses, you will take on coursework designed to prepare you for roles in a variety of legal settings such as law, business or government offices. You can pursue an associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree in paralegal studies or a paralegal studies certificate. The paralegal studies certificate is intended for students who have already successfully completed an Associate of Arts or Bachelor of Arts degree.

Our program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Degree and Certificate

Our Paralegal Studies Program offers the A.A.S. Degree in paralegal studies, requiring 60 semester credit hours of paralegal studies courses and general education courses.

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Our Paralegal Studies certificate requires 24 semester credit hours of strictly paralegal courses.

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Job Outlook

The employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 43,000 openings for paralegals and legal assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

The median annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $52,920 in May 2020.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


Meet Your Faculty and Experts

Merilee K. Slipenko, Esq.
Professor of Paralegal Studies
B.A. Loyola University of Chicago
M.Ed. Loyola University of Chicago
M.A. Dominican University
M.S. Dominican University
J.D. The John Marshall Law School|
Office: B212, Skokie

Meet our part time faculty:

Patricia Cintron-Bastin
B.A. DePaul University
J.D. Valparaiso University
Office: B206, Skokie

Mitchell Mancione
Department Coordinator
B.A. University of Illinois at Chicago
J.D. The John Marshall Law School
Office: B206, Skokie

Samantha B. Myers
Certificate Oakton Community College
A.A.S. William Rainey Harper College
B.S. Kaplan University
Executive J.D. Concord Law School
Office: B206, Skokie

Samantha Sindles
B.A. Northwestern University
J.D. DePaul University School of Law
Office: B206, Skokie

Larry Cohen
Attorney, Cohen & Assoc.

Brittany Wallace-Rohr
C/o Krohn & Moss, Ltd.

Merilee Slipenko (formerly Waters)
Professor of Paralegal Studies
Oakton Community College

Vicki Prot, Manager
Corporate Legal Services
FreightCar America, Inc.

Catherine R. Locallo, Attorney
Robbins Schwartz Nicholas Lifton & Taylor, Ltd.

Terry Poindexter
Froum Law Group, LLC

Patty Curescu

Jim Humenik
Chair of Law Enforcement
Oakton Community College

Nicole Del Mastro

Bryn K. Tanner
Healthcare Services, CVS/Caremark

Kenny Bahena
CARPLS – Legal Aid

Mitchell Witkov
Inspector General’s Office
State of Illinois

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton Community College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Contact Us

Mitchell Mancione
Department Chair