Doyle R. Happe
Co-founder and Director
Center for Advanced Legal Studies
One of the requirements of attending and graduating from an ABA approved paralegal program is that you must complete a minimum of 10 semester hours on campus. Realistically, that means you must live close enough so you can drive back and forth.
But not always… One of our students flew back and forth from Atlanta to attend class on campus, another drove from Texarkana, an easy 5½ hour one way trip, several others traveled from Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Austin, etc. to attend weekend classes on our campus in Houston to comply with this 10 semester hour requirement.
Many, if not most, ABA approved programs are housed in local community colleges. Students attending there usually don’t have much problem in complying with the 10 semester hour rule. Countless others don’t live close enough, or they run busy lives, or want a more accelerated program, or a higher level of training...
We are proponents of the approval process. Center for Advanced Legal Studies gained its first ABA approval in 1997 and, as required, has gone through the reapproval process several times since then to maintain ABA approval. Most recently, we were reapproved through January, 2019.
Being a private college specializing solely in paralegal education, ABA approval of our programs provided us with a marketing tool recognized by some as the symbol of excellence in paralegal education. This, along with our own pursuit of excellence, enabled us to rank #1 in Texas and in the top 10 nationally in conferring paralegal credentials to graduates.
It makes you feel like you are in the same room with your professor and classmates even though you are often a world apart. It is at least equal to, if not better than, the traditional classroom experience. It’s absolutely perfect for paralegal training.
Realizing this, we had to decide whether our students should have to continue complying with the ABA mandated 10 semester hour rule, or should we empower students nationwide, perhaps even globally, to attend our program in the comfort and convenience of their own home or office.
Obviously, as educators, we opted for the latter and voluntarily withdrew our ABA approval. The integrity of our program remains intact, our pursuit of excellence continues on as always, but no more flying back and forth from Atlanta; no more driving across the state to attend class...
Now, as you search for a paralegal program to attend, you will probably come across Center for Advanced Legal Studies at some point and see a long history of success. Whether you choose to attend classes on campus, or prefer we bring the classroom to you, our flexible schedules will more than likely fit your busy lifestyle better than most alternatives.