Legal Education Program

Program Description

The Legal Education mission is to provide legal education to all students interested in legal studies. The credit programs prepare graduates to perform a significant role in the delivery of legal services. The department values personal fulfillment and professional development that results from lifelong learning, therefore, credit and non-credit classes, workshops, seminars, and television shows are developed and offered that respond to the needs of prospective, current, and graduate students, as well as to practicing legal professionals, the legal community, and other interested individuals.

The Associate in Science, Paralegal degree articulates to the University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu towards the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Public Administration with concentration options in General Public Administration or Justice Administration.

Degree and Certificate Programs

The Kapi‘olani CC Legal Education is the only non-law school legal training program in the University of Hawai‘i System, offering an associate in science (AS) degree and one certificate.

  • Associate in Science - Paralegal (60 credits)
    Kapi‘olani Community College's Paralegal program is the only Hawai‘i-based paralegal program offered in the State. Since 1978, it has been an American Bar Association-approved program and has been the major source of trained paralegals in the Hawai‘i legal community. A paralegal is a legal professional who assists in the delivery of legal services, generally under the supervision of an attorney. A paralegal is a member of the legal team in private law offices, government agencies, and corporations, performing technical
    and paraprofessional responsibilities. These include interviewing and assisting clients, legal research and writing, communicating effectively, implementing legal procedures, preparing instruments and documents, assisting in judicial and administrative appearances, representing clients in selected administrative hearings, completing client projects, calendaring, and coordinating office functions. These functions overlap with those of an attorney. The program graduate will be qualified to work in a private law firm, corporation, public agencies, and public law firms.
  • Certificate of Competence - Legal Secretary (18 credits)
    The Legal Secretary program is an open admission, evening program designed to provide currently employed secretaries and recent secretarial graduates with specialized office training in the legal environment. The program does not provide training in traditional secretarial skills. The training emphasizes familiarity of legal office theory and procedure, legal terminology, legal communications, legal documents, legal office technology, and actual work experience through cooperative education in a law office
    setting. The legal secretary may prepare, under the supervision of an attorney, initial drafts of common legal documents such as subpoenas, complaints, motions, and summonses. They may also review law journals

Potential Careers and Employers

  • Careers: Graduates of the associate in science (AS) degree in paralegal may be eligible for paralegal positions in private law firms, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Legal secretary certificate recipients may be eligible for work as secretaries, office managers, clerks, or administrative assistants in a law related organization.
  • Employers: The United States Department of Labor publishes the Occupational Outlook Handbook with additional information about careers for paralegals and legal secretaries.

Contact Information


Download forms & documents at the Legal Education Program Toolbox.

Required Notice:

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law. The Legal Secretary Certificate is not an ABA approved option and does not prepare students to work as paralegals.

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