Paralegal Programs | Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Pennsylvania


Become a Legal Assistant


Are you interested in working side-by-side with attorneys as a paralegal in a law firm, corporation or court setting? Do you dream of becoming an attorney?

If you want to become a paralegal, Westmoreland County Community College offers the Legal Studies/Paralegal degree and diploma programs.

Paralegals, also called Legal Assistants, assist attorneys in the efficient and cost effective delivery of legal services. They work under the supervision of an attorney in a law office, title company, bank, government or corporate setting.

Paralegals can perform much of the work formerly done only by an attorney. People in this field also interview clients, investigate, gather and organize information, draft legal documents, perform legal research and most other functions of an attorney with the exception of appearing in court on behalf of a client or giving legal advice.

If you want to be an attorney, the Legal Studies/Paralegal Program has a pathway for you to achieve that goal. After obtaining your Associate's Degree, you can transfer to a four-year college or university and then go on to law school.

Outside the classroom, your learning experience is enhanced through extracurricular events and activities offered by the Legal Studies/Paralegal Program such as volunteering at the college’s Advocacy Center, Career Closet and Expungement/Pardon Clinic. The program also offers a comprehensive internship program providing real-life legal work experience that can lead to full-time employment.

How Will I Learn?

Westmoreland’s Paralegal program offers affordable learning and is offered for the convenience of people with busy schedules. Instruction is offered via Zoom, which allows instructors and students to interact in real time from their own homes, providing a relaxed environment for learning.

Students are not required to appear on campus for paralegal classes but instead can view them from any location with internet access. All lecture sessions are recorded for viewing later if students are unable to attend the lecture when presented.

What Will I Earn?

If you plan to stay in the region, there are many occupations related to this program degree and certificates. In the 10-county region* surrounding Westmoreland County Community College, the earnings for occupations in this field range from:

  • Legal Studies/Paralegal, AAS: $16.61 - $39.56 per hour, with an average hourly wage of $29
  • Legal Studies/Paralegal, Diploma: $14.05 - $37.98 per hour, with an average hourly wage of $23.94

It is important to remember that wages vary based on level of education, experience, job location and other factors. 

Source: Data provided by Lightcast™ ( 2023.1

* 10-county region includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland.

Career Opportunities

Paralegals are employed by law firms, corporations, government agencies and community legal service agencies. Many legal assistants specialize in one area of the law such as corporate law, real estate, labor law, litigation, domestic law, or estates and trusts.

Paralegal looking at files