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'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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Last Updated January 2024

Oakton College’s Paralegal Studies program is an approved paralegal education program by the American Bar Association and has been developed and operates in accordance with those guidelines. As such, the ability to transfer credits to satisfy the Paralegal Studies program requirements is limited to what is permitted by the American Bar Association’s guidelines.

For students completing the Paralegal Studies A.A.S., transfer credits to satisfy a student’s general education credit requirements will be evaluated in accordance with Oakton’s general transfer credits policy.

For students looking to transfer legal specialty course credits to satisfy the Paralegal Studies requirements (A.A.S. or Certificate), Oakton College will evaluate credits for transfer if:

1. The course was taken at an ABA Approved Paralegal Education Program.
2. The course was taken within the last 7 years. Note: The Institution must have been an ABA Approved Paralegal Education Program at the time the course was taken.
3. A grade of “C” or better was earned.
4. The student provides copies of the syllabi for the courses the student seeks credit.

A student may not transfer more than three (3) courses from another institution to satisfy the Paralegal Studies major or certificate requirements.

Students should contact the Paralegal Studies Department Chair to have their transfer credits evaluated to determine whether such credits will transfer. Review and approval of transfer credits is done in accordance with the American Bar Association’s Paralegal Education program guidelines, including that such courses focus on substantive law or process and paralegal skills.

If you have any questions, please contact the Paralegal Studies Department Chair, Ashley Jackson at or 847-635-1477.

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Meet Your Faculty and Experts

Oakton's professors and lecturers are experts in their fields with advanced degrees and years of real-world experience. 

In addition to classroom learning, students receive support from our panel of expert advisors.

Ashley Jackson
Associate Professor of Paralegal Studies
B.S. University of Southern California
J.D. Boston University School of Law
Office: B220, Skokie

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

Samantha B. Myers
Certificate Oakton 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
Cohen & Assoc.

Farren, Nicole
Family Advocate Student Alumni
Early Head Start of Goodwill Industries of Chesapeake, Inc

Gonzales, Alexis
Alliance Title Corporation

Lembessis, Maria
Law Offices of M. Lembessis

Tanner, Bryn
Sr. Paralegal
CVS Health

Mitchell Witkov
Reference Librarian
Cook County Law Library

Zaia, Zaia
Real Estate Paralegal
DKM&O Attorneys

Ex-Officio Members:

Marc Battista
AVP of Workforce Ed/Dean of B&CT Division
Oakton College

Mitch Mancione
Program Coordinator
Oakton College

Merilee Slipenko
Full-time Faculty
Oakton College

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